Week 40, Orchard Cider Year

ocy40-outdoorsOctober 5, OUTDOORS: Yarlington Mill do their best bittersweet work if they drop before they’re pressed.  On Black Hill, some have dropped but most have not.  Often it’s possible to save time and effort by shaking trees just hard enough to bring down a lot more press-ready apples, leaving the unready ones to ripen further.  But not today. The guys tried it, then left the shaking poles behind because too many unready apples fell. But they can’t leave those Yarlington drops!  Those might rot before the rest peak!  So, moving fast down the rows, the crew gathers today’s drops only.  A lot of patience goes into the best possible cider. (P.S. That’s Kenneth with the bucket, he’s picked here every fall since 1992.)

ocy-40-indoorsOctober 5, INDOORS: The first pressing for fermentation (we’ve made some sweet cider for the retail stand already).  Top left, apples go up the elevator to be pulverized in a hammermill, emerging as mush. Small pictures, clockwise: a cider-cloth waiting to wrap a portion of the mush; mush landing in a cloth just before wrapping; a partial stack of the unpressed “cheeses,” dribbling juice; a flattened stack of 9 cheeses; the “pomace” that drops from the cloths; a bin of Tremlett’s Bitter awaiting its turn.  In the big picture  John builds the next stack while the previous one waits for him to take it apart. He will slide both to the right and start the press squeezing the new one while he shakes out cloths for the next round. There’s no standing still!  This is will be part of a 1300-gallon fermentation batch: Ellis Bitter, Somerset Redstreak, Major, Stoke Red, Tremlett’s Bitter and more.          LDS

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