Saturday, 6 June 2009

Ciderhouse News - Welland Valley Beer Fest #3

We're flushed with success here at Rockingham Forest Cider, but it's not the cider we're crowing about, it's the Perry. This morning was spent barrelling and bottling our 70 litres of perry ready for the Welland Valley Beer Festival, and what a perry it is. Lovely and clear, rich, aromatic, and surprisingly sweet!

When I racked the perry off the sediment in January, it was bone dry with a bitter tannic edge. I could taste the promise in it, but was a little surprised at how dry it had become. Several months of maturation later, and the tannin has mellowed nicely, allowing the fragrant, Elderflowery fruitiness to come through, and a gentle sweetness has returned from somewhere. Most peculiar you may think.

Having checked the specific gravity of the perry, and found that it has fermented right out with no residual sugar, there's only one explanation for the apparent sweetness. Sorbitol, a non-fermentable sweetener which occurs naturally in perry pears, and means that traditional perrys are rarely completely dry, and often quite sweet. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I'll take this sweetness and run with it. It should be a popular choice at the festival.

On a slightly more cautious note, it should be noted that Sorbitol is not only a natural sweetener, but also a very effective purgative! Over-indulgence of pure juice perry can have serious repercussions, particularly if combined with strong spicy food, Rhubarb etc. It can, and will if taken to excess, (ahem!) 'Go Right Through You'. Don't say you haven't been warned!

Our Rockingham Forest Perry will be available exclusively at the Red Lion, Middleton during the festival.


Mark Edwards said...

I shall be on the CAMRA trip on Friday night and shall certainly give the perry a go. Maybe see you in one of the pubs on the night.

Mark said...

We'll be visiting the three village pubs on Friday evening, starting at the top of the hill at the Royal George in Cottingham, and rolling down to the Red Lion via the Spread Eagle. There will also be some Torkard Cider from Hucknall at the Red Lion, and I'll be carrying a flagon of our Sulgrave Orchard Slider for tastings too.

Mark Edwards said...

I'm keen to give the Slider a go.

I'll drain whatever is in my glass when I see you.