Cider anyone?

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Cider anyone?

Post by wayland on Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:05 am

We shall be doing the last pressing today. Its been a good year for apples this year, so my small orchard along with apples "scanked" from neighbours we should exceed last years pressing. Some may even be quite drinkable.Smile . While on the topic of home brewing I have developed a taste for Nettle beer. Nettles are a super food I believe so it is for the good of my health Cool . Have any of you lads tried it?

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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by Deryn on Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:10 pm

|I have not tried nettles in any form but they make great plant food. Just a quick question, would making beer out of them not destroy the beneficial goodness.
We had a good year for apples too. Have half the juice frozen and the other half is fermenting nicely by accident as didn't get it in the freezer quick enough.
Has anyone made apple cider vinegar?

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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by DizandStell on Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:42 am

We've had a great apple crop to this year, plenty for eating not for cider though.
I haven't tried nettle beer but did make nettle wine a number of years ago which was very good. When the nettles were fermenting in the kitchen they use to push the lid up and dribble down the side of the bucket and the lurcher and greyhound use to spend time licking all round the bottom and side of the bucket. It obviously tasted good to them.
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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by wayland on Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:55 am

Cider vinegar! I have made many gallons in the past, by mistake I might add Crying or Very sad  I am sure Sean has done the same. The Dreaded vinegar fly will turn sugar to vinegar in no time. To stop this we must keep our brew covered. I remember as a lad being sent to the Greengrocers with a bottle to get filled with vinegar. The Grocer would take us out the back and fill the bottle from a wooden barrel. Out of the top of which he had wooden  rods which he raised for a while  and then returned them into the liquid. A sort of magic we kids thought. As to Nettle beer and losing the goodness  through fermentation, I have no intention of believing it Very Happy
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Post by wayland on Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:39 am

Well thats the end of Cider brewing for another year. We made more this year than last I am happy to say, and although it will not last till next harvest it should take me through until the nettles start growing Very Happy Very pleased.
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Post by DizandStell on Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:47 pm

Wow, you have been busy. We had enough of a crop to keep us happy in eating apples for the past couple of months and for a few more to come. Pleased with that, best year since we have been here (10 years). What will happen next year???

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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:21 pm

wayland wrote:Well thats the end of Cider brewing for another year. We made more this year than last I am happy to say, and although it will not last till next harvest it should take me through until the nettles start growing Very Happy  Very pleased.

I'm all geared up ready get going at first light tomorrow. Only one session this year compared to three last year. Hopefully the quality will make up for the small quantity!

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Post by wayland on Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:46 pm

It should be fine weather for it Sean. Still a few wasps around but good luck with it. Wink
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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:09 pm




Anyone interested, this is my cider-making setup. Sorry the top pic is sideways - this thing turns some sideways and others not.  Anyway you can get the general idea.  The yellow yoke is a Speidel mill for pulping the apples - it's expensive, but I wouldn't face the job without it.  

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Post by wayland on Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:59 pm

Interesting. I have been using a modified garden shredder and a small fruit press. My setup is fine for the quantity of apples I have. Making cider with my uncle he had huge cider apple trees that produced small hard apples planted many years ago by the monks. He also had one pear tree which he called "Iron Sides". These pears were aptly named. They defy the strongest teeth even after storing over winter. These were used to soften the cider and make it taste less like battery acid. Do you blend pear juice into your cider Sean?
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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:49 pm

Yes Wayland, I have a few pear trees and any specimens which are unfit for sale (usually a couple of crates) go into the cider bucket. The pears you describe were real perry pears bred specifically for making perry. I intend planting some of those next Spring.

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Post by wayland on Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:09 am

Interesting. I would think this old pear tree is still around. It also had the ability to always have a fine crop to it no matter the season. I now have a notion to try and take some scions. A project for next time I am in Gloucestershire which will be soon I hope.
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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:35 am

That could be a very rare perry pear, Wayland. Gloucestershire was one of the three main counties for growing perry pears in England, along with Worcestershire and Herefordshire. I'd love a couple of scions if you could manage it. I have a nice little patch of ground which could take eight or nine perry pears - so that's another project!

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Post by wayland on Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:57 am

Ok Sean. I will talk to me cousin who is now the farmer and see if the tree is still about. Hopefully it is and get him to send some of last years growth. Fingers Crossed.Smile
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Post by wayland on Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:56 pm

Well, great news. Old Ironsides is still alive and apparently thriving. Its covered still with hard red pears. Smile Sean, you being the expert on this, when is the best time to cut scions? I am thinking of grafting them on to a Quince rootstock. What do you think? I can also get what me uncle called "Strawberry Apple" scions if anyone is interested.
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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:37 pm

That's good news Wayland. Regarding grafting, perry pears sometimes don't graft well onto quince rootstocks unless you can get a beurre hardy pear and use it to make an intermediate graft ( you graft the beurre hardy onto the quince rootstock and then graft the perry pear onto the beurre hardy). Otherwise, I think the best rootstock is pyrodwarf. I think fruitandnut.ie stocks them. I will contact him and find out after Christmas. Any time the wood is dormant is good for taking scions, so after the New Year will be fine. Straight, one-year old wood is the ideal - but often not so easy to get on very old trees, so as close as you can get. Nine or ten inches long, just so long as it has three or four buds on it. Dab a bit of vaseline on the cut ends, wrap 'em up in a bit of kitchen roll, stick 'em in a freezer bag and keep 'em in the fridge - but not with fruit and veg as the ethylene they give off can cause the scions to break dormancy.

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Post by wayland on Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:46 am

Sounds like a plan Sean. I will ask the cousin to send us some in the new year. Have you ever dealt with "Ashridge" nurseries? for your root stocks? I have found them very useful in the past.
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Post by Sean Ph'lib on Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:46 pm

No Wayland, but I have dealt with fruitandnut and found him pretty good. Where is Ashridge?

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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by Deryn on Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:18 pm

Just down the road from where we used to live in Somerset. Would highly recommend them, although we had to order by post even though they were down the road

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Post by wayland on Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:00 am

Well! That's it! All gone! Crying or Very sad Waiting now for the Nettles.
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Post by Deryn on Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:37 pm

Not long to wait now the sun has decided to put in an appearance. They are shooting well here now.

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Re: Cider anyone?

Post by wayland on Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:10 am

Yep! here too. I will give it a couple of weeks more me thinks. I am making some Hootch at the moment from leftover fruit from the freezer so "Jobs a gooden".
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