Cider from orchard to the bottle
Producing cider, they say is a simple process, and yes, it is. So, I will take you through the cycle from the gathering the apples from the orchard, it should be noted that we harvest at different times of the fall, usually starting late August to November/ December.)
(Photo) Picking apples by hand is time consuming but for us it is the best way as we try and keep the apples for two weeks before(Video) milling and pressing, and require a light wash which conserves the yeast bloom on the skin of the apples thus giving us a natural yeast fermentation, worth noting yeast cells multiply as starting as one cell and multiply one by one, it can take up to a week for enough yeast cells to form and creating a fermentation. At this stage we will check different aspects of the juice for acidity, PH, sugar these are important for the pathway of the finished cider, after a week we will control the fermentation with bubble float to allow air out but not in .monitoring the fermentation speed is interesting as it will really give an indication when all the sugars consumed by the yeasts, once the sugars are at a certain stage we will decide to rack or not,. At this stage we are well into the spring of the following year testing the acidity PH and now the alcohol. The now raw cider is topped up with surplus cider to cut off any air in the tanks. In May or June, it is decided to rack again or not, I like to keep a little sediment in the tanks as it keeps the freshness of cider intact as our use of So2 is practically nil.
Bottling the cider is very much depending on demand, if I can keep it in tank until the following year it is a bonus for the maturity , in saying that when bottled and left the cider does mature nicely also.