?!? SE1 Cider making 2009 ?!?

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JonR Tuesday 1 September 2009 3.44pm
they might do - I think we tried before but the price was so expensive, and we wanted a tonne, that it was cheaper for us to hire a van and pick them up from The Forest of Dean (where we got them the first year).

Last year we got about 800lbs of assorted apples for 80 from a farm in Worcestershire, with the hire of a van at about 100. Direct from the farmer is almost always cheaper than via several middlemen.
(10p/lb is cheap for picked eating apples, but at the end of the season that's better than nothing if you can't sell them)
Ivanhoe Tuesday 1 September 2009 9.58pm
So, it pretty much looks like things are coming together!

Is it a good idea to have a quick meet-up, or should we try and sort it out on the forum, do we think?

Whatever we do, the things we got written down from Sunday, and which we'll probably end up discussing however we do it, are:

We need:

1 - A source of approx 1/2 tonne of apples. (Jon's friend? Or someone mentioned a source in Kent earlier in this thread)

2 - One or 2 people to pick up apples, and a small van (I'll ask Carpoint). On Fri 16th Oct.

3 - One person, and car, to pick up press and scratter from Cheam. Preferably on Friday. Possibly on Sat 17th, but the earlier we get the gear to the farm the better a day we'll have, imho.

4 - One person, and car, to get the press back to Cheam on Monday 19th Oct.

5 - As many people as possible who want to spend Sat 17th having fun, meeting some SE1-ers, checking out the excellent City Farm, and making cider.

6 - to know how much juice people might want to make (I know some people just like to come and take part, and have no interest in taking juice and making cider. But we should get some idea of how much juice we're aiming for, and how many apples we need.)

As a guide, we pressed around half a tonne of apples last yr, and I think we must have got somewhere around or over 30 gallons. And for that sort of volume, with the fixed costs of the van and press hire, and petrol, it came to around 7 a gallon - tell me if I'm wrong Jon, please: I know you did the money last yr. I'm largely guesstimating costs, and remembering when I did the cash before and we made a lot more cider. It's the van hire and petrol that's the big fixed cost, so if anyone had a vehicle that could take a payload of half a tonne it would bring costs right down.

As a help to thinking about how much you might want to make, there are two conventional options: either ferment in 1 Gallon demijohns, or in (approx) 6 gallon fermenters (slightly over knee height, and about 18in wide). Or any mix thereof.

I love it when we're at this stage. Let us know what you all think, and we'll take it from there.

...if you press it, they will come.
sarah2 Tuesday 1 September 2009 11.41pm
We should be around this year and would love to join in. Let me know if you need any help with the above, apple picking etc. (I had hoped that the kids could go to Kent for a bit of hopping when they were old enough, in line with the good SE1 tradition. However apples will do.)
billiangel Wednesday 2 September 2009 9.18pm
I will pick up the stuff in Cheam on Friday if you like and bring it to the farm either Friday or Saturday what ever you want.
Ivanhoe Thursday 3 September 2009 9.36am
Thanks billi...you're an angel ;0)

Great news, Sarah. Good to have you and the cidermonkeys on board again.

...if you press it, they will come.
JonR Thursday 3 September 2009 12.01pm
if we get apples from Worcester again, I might need help with the driving over there and back, probably on the Friday (16th).
billiangel Friday 4 September 2009 7.34pm
I used to live in Orpington last year and there is a fruit farm there (Hewitts). I asked how much 1/2 tonne was and they said 330 for a mix of eating and cooking.
So your deal of 80 last year was great.

As it is reasonably close by I could get my ex to pick them up for free though if I twisted his arm.

The farmer said for early varieties they would need to start putting them away in the next few weeks.
sarah2 Monday 7 September 2009 8.57am
Ivanhoe, the Cidermonkeys cant wait to get into action. Training has started already.

I am a bit dim about reading through threads, so let me know if and when I need to book a day off work to help pick or collect apples.

Sarah
Jac Monday 7 September 2009 10.21am
The jacs are still in and will put date in diary. Mr Jac unable to take time off and as a non driver I am not much help for picking up apples equipment etc, but work permitting happy to come along for the company.

Apples should be in plentiful supply as it is reportedly a very good crop this year and if my Bramley apple tree is anything to go by, this is true as I already have a gallon of apple juice fermenting away. I may be able to add a sackful or two of windfalls to the mix (cooking and eating) from my family home in kent if they too are loaded. I am going there next week so will see.
Ivanhoe Monday 7 September 2009 12.09pm
Jac wrote:
I already have a gallon of apple juice fermenting away.

Wow! You've definitely won the 2009 SE1 Early Bird-Rolling Stone award for day-seizing. Well done Jac.

Sarah,

I think there are two big jobs remaining:

- we need someone with a car who can take the press back to Cheam on the Monday after pressing (Monday 20th)

- Jon would like someone to accompany him (probably on Friday 16th) in a van to pick up the apples

I think it might be more helpful if you were able to do the returning of the press, if that suited you. But I should probably shut up and let Jon chip in at this point. (And thanks for putting your hand up)

...if you press it, they will come.
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