The torch of knowledge
When I started cider making I met many great cider makers willing to give helpful advice. Dave Matthews of Bartlestree cider, Mike Johnson of Ross on Wye Cider and Dr Mike Penney of Troggi to name but three. As a new cider maker their advice and support while I found my feet was immesurable.
They were also able to advise when it all went pear shaped. If a cider maker ever tells you it never goes wrong for them they are lying through their teeth!
I remember once, years ago, producing a cider that tasted wonderful. Because of that I decided to sell it to a local pub. When I tried to rack it into a plastic barrel the tube suddenly stopped flowing. On inspection the bottom half of the container was set like gello! When the set cider container was tilted it slumped over splitting into cubes as it went. That was most likely lactic acid bacteria producing excess polysaccharides. As a young cider maker having people to ask advice of was a godsend.
Talking to them they emphasised the importance of passing on the knowledge of cider making to future generations. Without a new generation of cider makers the tradition would die out. Furthermore, cider is also a much smaller industry than beer or wine. For that reason more people cider making good cider and perry increases ciders overall exposure which will help everyones sales. An example of such was the magners boom in the early 2000’s. Regardless of your thoughts on Magners the increased exposure of cider lead to an industry wide increase in sales.
It has been something that has always stuck with me. As such I am producing a series of written and video guides of the different parts of the cider making process. I hope they are of use to a future generation of cider makers.
Printed cider making guides
Here are the cider making help sheet I use day to day at my barn. I have added and modified them over the years from various sources. Hopefully they are of use in your own cider making adventures!
For the Welsh Perry and Cider Society I was asked to produce a technical guide on bottle conditioning for the monthly newsletter.
For the welsh cider society I held a short talk about ice cider several years ago. Here is the presentation I did.
This is a basic guide on how to perform the acid titration for cider and vinegar
YouTube cider making guides
Picking Katy and Morgans Sweet
Video picking Katy and Morgans Sweet apples in Llanblethian Orchard.
Pressing Katy and Morgan’s Sweet apples
Video showing the milling and pressing of Katy and Morgans Sweet apples.
Perry making at Llanblethian Orchard
Video showing the perry making process at Llanblethian Orchard.
Late apple varieties from Llanblethian Orchard
Video talking about late apple varieties from Llanblethian Orchard and how you categorise them.