Sunday, 1 November 2009

October Wrapped Up

We completed the last pressing of October yesterday, bringing our main cidermaking month to an exhausting conclusion. It's nothing but rest and recuperation from now until the Vilberie are ready later in November.

I'm getting a bit nervous about the Vilberie for all kinds of reasons. I've nothing much to blend in to up the acidity of these bittersweet apples, and may have to order a little Malic Acid for the job. I'm also concerned for the condition of the trees, which are already in quite a poor state. When we last visited the orchard, one tree had lost a large branch due to the weight of crop it was carrying, and the crown on another tree has split for the second time. High winds over the next few days could wreak even more damage before we get back to the orchard, and I'm expecting to find most of the crop on the ground. It's much harder work scratching around in the grass for apples, particularly when they're quite small like Vilberies.

Good news: A neighbour let us take all the crop from their mature Bramley Apple trees, not a massive quantity, but a useful bit of sharp juice for the pressing yesterday. We even managed to find enough local apples to fill a couple of small fermenters of Welland Valley Special, including a few pears and some huge yellow apples from down the road in Rockingham village.


Steve Appleseed said...

So its not just me that gets broken branches now and then!

Karen and Mark said...

I'm trying to avaoid this in our own mini-orchard by training and tieing down branches. Even so, one slender branch on a Harry Masters' Jersey was so heavily weighted with apples it had bent down to ground level. No breakage though.