Absolute cheapest way to make cider in SE1 is as follows:
- RENT a press from Richard Burns (of Cheers brewing shop, Priory Rd, Cheam, Tel 8664 0934). He has basket presses and a (bigger) rack and cloth press (see Vigo for details) and rents them out at approx £50 a weekend (probably a bit cheaper, but he can't remember exactly). We just need to book a date.
- see if it's OK with Emma to have the pressing down at the City Farm. If any of her group wants to make cider, then there's still a benefit for them as we'll get hold of a nice big press and mill that they can use
- use any spare cash to hire a van/trailer/whatever to get the apples and press from Forest of Dean/Cheam to SE1
Yes, I'll go for that. We could still try for the R&S press though unless you're fed up of trying to phone them Ivanhoe. If its a success this year there's a still half a lifetime ahead to acquire a press. And next year we wont be cider-making virgins any more so we will know exactly what to get.
Emma has already phoned and said it was OK to do our thing at the farm (see previous post) but that was when she was getting a press at the end. I hope this new plan wont make any difference - well nothing that Stowford can't put right. I'll phone her soon.
Have you discovered there's no presses for hire more locally? I know we have to get the apples anyway but the press would involve 2 journeys which could be a nuisance (though presumably a car would suffice).
Glad you're in Harriet. I think the answer to your question is: as long as you can resist it for.
1) If anyone wants to call R&S and ask to borrow their press, please feel free. David is the man re apple pressing, and you may well have better luck getting in touch with him than I have had so far. It would be one way to solve the problem of where to do the pressing.
If nothing else, (based on the bloke I spoke to yesterday - not David) I think they'd be happy for us to come down and watch/help them when they use their press for the first time, and that would all be good learning.
I think that the hire prices are good value, and that (if we found somewhere to do the pressing) then hiring our own press gives us some control, and also lets us do it by hand. But that's not an overriding concern, and, as I say, it's just my initial thoughts.
2) Ditto with Emma. Personally, I like the idea of doing it in their orchard, if it's OK with her.
3) Cheam is 12 miles from SE1. Can't imagine anyone nearer hires cider presses (I've spent ages looking, and only got this guy's name after a tip off from another man whose number I got from a woman whose number I got from the cider man at the market - if that gives you any idea of how opaque the world of cider press availability is). But, do feel free to try.
For all of the above I've done my best to find things out, but they are by no means guaranteed to be the best solution. I would welcome it if someone else wanted to dig around a bit and come up with something better. However, if no one does, then I suggest that:
a) we carry on with getting a list of people who are committed to doing it (and we've made a good start above)
b) we get together on the 21st to get everyone's views on: Do we want to try to borrow R&Ss press or do we want to hire a press? Could we use a hired press at City Farm, (or is there anywhere else suitable to do the pressing)?
c) Once we've got a concensus on the things above, we can allocate jobs to people.
Sorry Ivanhoe, I had no idea where Cheam was. It sounded like it was out in the West country. 12 miles away sounds ideal. I'd be happy to do a run in the leak-mobile. All the above sounds like an excellent plan, thanks for getting it together while you're having a busy period at work.