Saturday, 25 September 2010

Tempus fugit - ad nauseum!!!

Sunset from Croft Ambrey on summer-solstice 2010
 There just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment... What a busy summer - where did it go? One minute we were watching the sun set on Summer Solstice day from the summit of Croft Ambrey Iron-age hill fort north of Leominster in the company of the Marches Cyder Circle, the next... Well - being inundated with offers of apples and pears of all sorts from the good folks of Nottinghamshire, after listening to our little interview, tasting and appeal for excess fruit on BBC Radio Nottingham. Mind you, drinking our 8.4% ABV cider at 8.20am is not the sort of thing I'd recommend you do on a daily basis...

The work on the plot continues - sadly I have not been able to reach the big pear tree in time so I fear the pears - whatever they are - will be lost for this year. We have had bumper crops of Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Gages, Damsons, Plums - and of course apples. We threw lots of these into jams and crumbles and pies. The battle with the brambles shows little sign of success but we have shifted a great deal and are making headway. We need to clear the rest soon to get the heeled-in trees into the ground. Yarly was sort of helpful, but wasn't too keen on the bramble thorns having-a-go at her pads. 

Yarly posing in front of a wall of brambles
The cider shed is now filled with lovely smells and delightful 'plopping' sounds as the first ciders of 2010 get underway on their fermenting-journey into 2011. Gravities are still low-ish compared to last year, being around SG 1046 - SG 1050 (6.0% - 6.5% ABV). We hope to have a little cider ready by the early part of 2011 to supply a festival or two. However, we do want to keep the sales limited this year until we are sure it is at it's best. But the phone keeps ringing, the emails still keep coming in and people still want it for their pubs and festivals, even though we sold out in early August. We are hoping to take delivery of some 1,000 litre IBC's soon so that we can try to satisfy demand with our planned increase in production.

The last of the pre-ordered 2010 ciders will go out of the door in a couple of weeks for the 2010 Nottingham CAMRA Robin Hood Beer & Cider Festival (14th - 17th October).

Morgan Sweet
The first fruits have ripened well on our new 'orchard plot' - the lovely big and juicy Morgan Sweets have already been processed and the bright red Tremlett's Bitters will join them soon. A few Yarlington Mill's and Harry Master's Jersey's will need a few more weeks to ripen I think.
Tremletts Bitter


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