Monday, 5 October 2009

Perry Making

It's nice when a plan comes together. When the niggles and obstacles are few, your system works, and everything is smoothness and efficiency itself. It's particularly nice as it so rarely seems to happen!

Yesterday was one such day, and it came on the back of several preceding days of smooth efficiency in the orchard. Up at the crack of dawn, and up to our elbows in Perry Pears and water. The Blakeney Reds were in very good condition, very few rots, and since they were mostly shaken down onto a tarpaulin, not too dirty either. I was helped with the washing for an hour or so by Colin Bates, a chap from nearby Great Oakley with a surplus of apples and a desire to learn how to make cider from them. He brought along a friend who gamely set-to with the washing up.

The pears pressed very dry indeed, and released around 250 litres of juice with a thoroughly respectable specific gravity of 1.050. Not exactly a 'vintage' sugar level, but still better than last years Blakeneys which were 1.048. We were all finished, everything cleaned down, and ready for a relaxing bath when Serena & Adam of Keythorpe Rare Breeds arrived to whisk the dry pomace off for the delight of their pigs. Not only did they arrive with impeccable timing, but brought with them a wedge of unbelievably creamy Lemon Cheesecake. We sent them home with our thanks and a bottle of Rockingham Forest Cider, and still feel we got the better end of the deal!

Tomorrow it's back to the orchard with my brother Paul as a willing (?) volunteer. We've our sites set on apples this time. This perry making is all good fun when it goes well, but it's high time we made a bit of cider!

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