If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.



Last weekend I picked a lot of apples: 50% Bramley, 30% James Grieve, 20% Spartan with oddments of John Downie crabs and Conference pear, and screwed it down to a bit over four gallons of juice. I'd say there was a ratio about three gallons of loose apples to one of juice, but that may be optimistic, They were all fresh off the tree and hard, so I don't think I mashed them as well as I should have. Anyway, after a rather slow start, it's fermenting nicely with whatever Wilkinson sell as wine yeast at this time of year.

It was extremely hard work. The book had been rather lyrical about the benefits of community endeavour with everybody helping to get the work done. Mrs U left me to it, driving off to visit her parents, and I pounded out the whole lot using the boss on a 17lb fence post digger and a six liter screw press myself.

Since I set that lot going, I've learnt that 80% cookers is a bad thing (too acid), that using fresh apples reduces the juice yield (too hard, and too tart), and basically I've done it all wrong. So today I filled the mower trailer with 60% eaters and the balance mostly Bramleys and I've hidden it in the shed. In a fortnight's time I'll see whether they've softened up, and perhaps make myself some less acid cider to blend. For certain the Spartans had the dullest juice so I'm afraid the cider will be bland, but we'll have to see how that goes.

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