“I know the look of an apple that is roasting and sizzling on the hearth on a winter’s evening,
and I know the comfort that comes of eating it hot, along with some sugar and a drench of cream…
I know how the nuts taken in conjunction with winter apples, cider, and doughnuts,
make old people’s tales and old jokes sound fresh and crisp and enchanting.”
I love this time of year, so very much. Though I must confess that the beginnings of our Autumn feel suspiciously like the roasting hot days of the inordinately blistering Summer we’ve just had. Hopefully cooler days will come soon.
In the meantime, Bear and I are basking in the harvests of Autumn, hauling home boxes full of too ripe pears and perfectly crisp apples as we begin our initial forays into cider-making.
Over the past few months we’ve been collecting all the bits and bobs necessary for brewing our own cider, beer, wine, champagne, liqueurs, and anything else we might think of.
Our outdoor kitchen is still in the dreaming phase, so until then, our breezeway is stacked with demijohns and bottles, packages of lids and rubber seals, and the presses and mulcher Bear has been lovingly restoring and adapting to our needs.
Last week we were finally ready for the trial run of our equipment, so we got it all set up and went to work.
Our cider apple orchard isn’t planted yet, so we just picked up a couple varieties from the market and a box of pears to blend them with.
I was in charge of the mulching, getting the fruit chopped into pressable bits. It smelled amazing!! All that gorgeous apple and pear deliciousness wafting around us while we munched on apples as I fed the machine. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon, I tell ya.
When the fruit was all chopped up, Bear manned the press, turning the handle and squeezing out every last bit of gorgeous juice into the waiting bucket. Then we filtered the juice into waiting demijohns, added Campden tablets and yeast, inserted the air locks, and set them into the Granny Flat to do their fermenting work.
Bear checks them all throughout the day, excitedly reporting back on the rate of air bubbles, frothing consistency, and whatnot. We’re getting rather antsy to get to the bottling and tasting stages. Oddly enough, we keep getting volunteers eager to help with that whole tasting thing. Such good friends we have. 😉
What is your favorite brew? xo
**If you fancy reading about how we got involved in making cider, pop over to our farm blog to read my hubby’s highly exaggerated account: Adventures in Cider Making 🙂