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?!? SE1 Cider making 2009 ?!?

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Wednesday 22 July 2009 8.11am
Hi guys and gals

I think it's about time that I started a 2009 cider thread.

is anyone up for making cider again this year?

I had an email from Cath Knight at Surrey Docks Farm, asking about this. Here is what she has to say:

Hi Jonathan,
Hope you are keeping well. Thankyou for your email - i think it was a while ago in May possibly! Sorry for not responding sooner. Myself and Carl couldn't make it to your tasting session - how did it go?. Carl has been in charge of the cider making at the farm, and i have been helping in the tasting! so far so good. We have got lots left to drink.

Would you and your chums be up for doing it again this year? We are having a Harvest Festival on Saturday 17th October, it would be great if we could combine the two, i think there would be alot of interest. Let us know what you think.


Catherine Knight
Farm Produce Co-ordinator
Surrey Docks Farm
South Wharf, Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 5ET
0207 231 1010

so what do we think?
I know that cider apples are traditionally ready a few weeks later than eating apples, so mid October may be a bit early - although we could offer to help out at the Harvest Festival, to give us some brownie points for a cider pressing at a later date...
Wednesday 22 July 2009 9.17am
Hi Jon,

This sounds interesting - could you please give me a very brief run-down explaining what we would be doing to make the cider? I've never done it before and have no idea what is required!

Wednesday 22 July 2009 2.16pm
You KNOW I'm up for it, Jon. Might be a small baby-sized issue that prevents both me and Mrs I both helping at the same time, but I'm sure we can work around that.

James B - you could do a lot worse than try this link for info on how to make cider on a small scale. Essentially, you use one sort of "machine" to smash the apples up into little pieces, and another to press the little pieces into juice. Once you've got juice, you put an airlock on it to keep out the nasties, and pretty much leave it to itself somewhere cool and dark to turn into lovely cider a few months later.

It's great fun, and if you search on this forum under "SE1 cider" then you'll find threads from the previous years where we've made cider together. Everyone's welcome.

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 23 July 2009 11.23am
Alllllways up for a bit of Cider making, havent tried since I lived with my dad as a lad but should be fun.

I also have a Apple Farm near my parents place in kent should more resources be required.

Thursday 23 July 2009 4.12pm

Can the kids join in as well?
Thursday 23 July 2009 5.32pm
dee dee wrote:
Can the kids join in as well?

i know i am not jon but yes the kids can join in the making of cider and those that have done so far have enjoyed the activity.

and Jon you can count the jac family in again this year
Friday 24 July 2009 9.47am
splendid, so that's the Ivanhoes, and the Jacs with possibly Dee Dee, Andrew01, and JamesB.

As Ivanhoe said, there are other cider threads on here for previous years.

In the past we have used Surrey Docks City Farm as a venue for the actual weekend of cider pressing (though it's not in SE1 we felt it was an ideal place for this to happen)

The first two times we made cider (2004, and 2005) we had a tonne of apples (about 40 large sacks) and it took a full two days to do, last year we had about a half ton (about 25 sacks) and we got the pressing done in a day.

Ivanhoes brief explanation was good and succinct.
We would generally try to use a mixture of cider apple varieties, but last year we couldn't source any so we used mostly eating, and dessert apples. Still nice cider, but a different taste.

the process involves washing the apples to remove dirt, leaves etc, cutting them into quarters, then putting them through a scratter (a machine with bigs cogs that mashes the apples up), then squishing them in a cider press, and collecting all the juice in fermentors. the juice is left under an airlock to ferment naturally (or you can add a yeast culture), and a few months later(3 if it's quick, up to 9 or 10 for a slower ferment) it's bottled.

we don't peel the apples, or take the pips or cores out, we don't normally add any other ingredients (you can add yeast, nutrients, sulphates, sugars etc if needed) we don't add any acohol - that's a by product of the yeast living off the sugars in the fruit. we don't add any gas (CO2) that's a by product of an anaerobic (without air) fermentation, in the latter stages, once bottled.

Thanks for the offer of supplying apples Andrew - if we can't source cider varieties we might take you up on that (unless yours are cider apples, in which case we'd love to use yours)

The pressing weekend is generally a very nice community activity, with lots of manual labour and outdoorness (for those that want it), and some people provide sustenance to keep the troops going, and it's set in the city farm, so lots to keep youngsters occupied too, if they get bored of apple related activities.
Friday 24 July 2009 2.37pm
and the cost implication ....correct me jon and ivanhoe if i am wrong, We hire the major equipment we need, scratter and press etc and add that to the cost of apples plus a donation to the farm to give a cost per gallon of apple juice produced and you pay according to the amount of juice you take.

In addition to make the cider you will need purchase a demi john or fermentor plus air lock, and yeast if using, if you do not already have them. These can be brought easily on the internet or from the company that hire the equipment.
Sunday 26 July 2009 2.11pm
On behalf of Jon - yes the cost implication is correct.
Can't wait to make more - only a bit left of last years!
Wednesday 29 July 2009 4.30pm
zider is go!!

on hols now. just wanted to say v happy we're looking good for this yr. welcome to the new intrepid cidernauts. it's always been a lot of fun, and looking forward to meeting you

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