Monday, 25 February 2008

Rack On...

Did the final racking of batches 12 and 13 this weekend - so only the dodgy no.14 to rack now (expected to be dodgy as I had trouble pressing the juice from the sweets for this batch...)
No 13 was a using-up batch and tasted (not surprisingly) quite different to earlier batches - not unpleasant though and quite heady (OG 1060 now SG 1004)
No.6 is now on tap also... knock it back and think of England... well, Albion... Avalon*
marvelous stuff...
I suppose if you drank paint stripper for long enough...
(* Ayup, Blake-ion slip there? Avalon methinks more 'proper')

Saturday, 23 February 2008


Well - took another 2 litres down to A. Smith's in Creswell today. Turns out that Tony never got any of the last 2 litres - Charlie supped it all! - half one day and half the next... a litre a day... a better man than me. A pint's enough for me! ...mind you I've usually had 1/2 a bottle of wine beforehand... crank it up... front box is on it's way out now - so looks like I'll have to be going back soooon...
Tip for the day: the more you drink the better it tastes!
(Tesco no longer taking cheques from Monday btw...)

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Batch 11: Not Good!

This weekend gave me chance to rack batches 10 and 11.
Yesterday morning I was banished from the kitchen... doh...
...which made the job a tad more tedious and slow as I opted to siphon the cider rather than pump... but No. 10 (OG 1.060)was quite dry (now 1.004) but okay.
Today I tackled no. 11. (OG 1.060 - now 1.003) This is the batch I discovered had somehow lost the top of it's airlock. I noticed this sometime over the Christmas period - no idea how long it had been off! I blame Billy - he's the overweight British Shorthair... a bit clumsy is Billy... but then again it could've been me when I removed the last of the lettuce trays that had held apples up to the end of December. Shame I've got no other place to keep it than the cat pen!
I've cellotaped all the airlock tops on now!
Anyway, being open to the air could be the reason it has a slight vinegary taste and not nearly as good as the other batches to date. It'll go down okay though - think I'll call it Derbyshire Double Shudder - free cat hair in every bottle! Certainly not one for the ladies... ye gods, no.

Does Billy look bovvered...?

Friday, 8 February 2008

Local Cider Tasted Today!

One of my customer's lads has made cider for the 1st time. He attended a one day cider making course at Rufford last yr. His Mum just happened to have one handy in the fridge and would I like to try some? ...does a car need oil? I only tried a mouthful as I still had work to do. But what a sip! Bottle fermented, very crisp, fresh and dry... very very nice. Heady stuff too! Like champagne only better! Reminded me of Burrow Hill's Bottle Fermented Sparkling Dry though not as bone dry as theirs. He's bought the spring-steel closure type of bottles (like Grolsch lager bottles?) - this year though he's only made 8 galls. He's recently moved to Shirebrook - I'll try and track him down as where he's moved to has an orchard...

Avatar Explained:

Thanks to Rich's Farmhouse Cider, Somerset

Monday, 4 February 2008

Y'u Buy One...

I put a 30L pressure barrel on mi'Chrimbo list...
Lo and behold... thing is, Santa only saw fit to send me a 25L one. 'They haven't got any 30L ones left - she says you can take it back if it's not right...'
Well the 30L cask is just right for the final rack from a 30L fermenter... so I tooks it back.
"Leave it with us," says the kind lady. "I'll see what I can do."
Picked a new 30L Cask up today - turned out somebody had returned a wobbly one and did I want it? (does the Pope pray?) Apparently it's no good to them as it's been used...
Thanks HB!