Saturday, 12 September 2009

Ciders and Juice

With our record apple harvest last year, and the successful cider making, we decided that we would invest in an electric mill this year.  New mill was purchased, last year's manual crusher was sold on Ebay,  and we were all set.

One of our trees produced zero apples.    Second tree doesn't have many, third has a reasonable amount but a fraction of the normal yield.  Third tree apples don't ripen for another month.

We decided to visit Cross Lanes Fruit Farm in Mapledurham. They have over 60 varieties of apple (not all at once, of course) including Katy, which Thatchers use for one of their single varietal ciders.   Our more local apple farm has a smaller range, and doesn't have Katy, so we decided to visit them later in the year instead.

We came away with 2x13 kilo boxes of small apples. Predominantly Katy, but with a few other varieties thrown in.    Being small, they didn't need chopping - which speeded up the processing time enormously.   The mill was fantastic.

We now have 3 demijohns of juice to be turned into Cider,  and one and a half litres of very acceptable tasting juice, which we'll drink over the next couple of days.

DH did nearly everything himself.   I just had to pile the washed apples into buckets and weigh them,  and record yield/cost/specific gravity etc etc in a spreadsheet.

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