Very happy to. Am leaving work now, will be home about 6:30. If you're going down the pub, give us a call at home if you're thirsty. Happy to have a couple any time after 7:30, but will be trying hard to keep it down to just a couple and get a reasonable early night.
Hello fellow cider-drinkers from http://www.hannahmorezider.co.uk!We found your message board a few weeks back when someone noticed you had mentioned our website, and I've been meaning to post on here since to encourage you in your cider-making idea.
We made our own cider for the first time last October, on a very small scale, and it was really good fun. Amazingly, the cider tastes pretty good for a first attempt too.
Although we may live a bit further into cider-making country than you, I can't see any major problems you'll have with cider-making in South East London. We started off from scratch building our own presses (a run through of how we did this will be on our website soon, but we roughly followed a design in a book called "Cider making on a small scale" which theres a link to from our "shop" here: http://www.hannahmorezider.co.uk/HMZShop.htm). You can also buy presses from home brew shops or specialists comapnies such as http://www.vigoltd.com/index.asp. We bought in our apples from a farm in Glastonbury (50 quid a tonne - bargain!). Borrowed a scratter. Bought some barrels from a company in Glouscester. And made the stuff in a fairly small back garden. You also need somewhere to store the stuff, that will stay reasonably warm in the winter, like a conservatory or spare room.
There is more info about our exploits on our website and feel free to ask us anything we might be able to help with on our forum. It's not exactly a buzzing forum at the moment, but we are new to designing websites and haven't really done much to spread the word amongst cider-making groups until we are a bit more competent and are featuring regular news articles about cider making and cider producers on the site.
The chap you mentioned he had trouble posting on our forum today - yes things have been playing up today but it's not normally like that so please have another go sometime.
Hope it all works out and you are making your first batch of SE1 cider this autumn, it really is a good laugh, so good luck with it.
Close Encounters: yes. I bet you could spend a good afternoon trying to drink 5 bottles of Thatchers down to the right levels so they play the "derr-derr-derr-derr-duuuuuuuuuuurrr" tune.
I reckon you'd have to start off with more than five bottles though.
Thanks for the encouraging message. Welcome to cyberSE1. Good luck to you and the HMZ posse, and I'm sure we'll be in touch soon (to pester you with questions). Interesting to know that you made your press from that book. I got a copy of it the other day (sorry - didn't get it through your site. Forgot you were doing that to raise funds. Will remember in future), and was reading the press section over the weekend.
I was home and sipping a bedtime cuppa by 10:30pm, so it was hardly a night at the pub at all. Spoke to Frank and he was pretty encouraging. Said he was OK with it in principle, with the same reservations as before (that we didn't go beyond a couple of small tasters of anyone else's cider because that would cause him problems with the brewery - but that's perfectly understandable and reasonable IMO). I said thanks a lot, and that the nexzt time I'd speak to him about it I'd have some sort of proper plan.
Well we all seem keen to make cider, and there is support and advice available from the Hannah More Zider crew, I think we should get on with it. There are several things we need to address:
• financing a press
• deciding on a home for the press
• learning how to make cider
• sourcing apples (apple source!)
Ivanhoe Martin has spoken to the Landlord of the Royal Oak in Tabard Street about the possibility of using the Chaucer Room one evening to raise money for the press. We would like to invite the farmer who sells his cider in Borough Market to give a talk and we could have a few samples for people to try. They would have to be small samples, as the Oak would obviously want us to buy their drinks. We could charge a small fee for this event, and the money could go towards a press. As for a home, it would be your press, where do you want it to live? It would benefit all if it went to a community garden/farm project. Do you have a favourite? IM has bought a very useful book on cider making, and there are a lot of very interesting sites on the web, what do you know? We need to learn how to make different styles, think how nice it will be to compare and contrast our cider when it's done. All advice gratefully received. TUMJ mentioned an orchard, and also Mapmaker, if I remember correctly, where are we going to get our fruit from? Can we find a farm that would sell them to us? We want to involve people, as there is obviously a bit of work to do. Is there any area that you are particularly interested in? Would you like to find out about any of the things I've mentioned? It would be a lovely thing to be able to see this through, it's something that we can all join in with and hopefully we can have some fun too.
So who's up for it?