All posts tagged: cider making

Do you have an apple tree but can’t use all your apples?

Please consider sharing your surplus apples and pears with other members of the Real Cider community.

Due to recent demand of people wanting to learn how to make their own cider, we are going to help make this even easier for you.


Well. there are plenty of people and places around the country that have surplus apples, and windfalls from neighbours that are never used, and are left to go to waste.

This is for everyone to use, whether you live in England, Wales, America and beyond!

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We get lots of enquiries from people who have inherited a few trees or an orchard, and want to make good use of the annual crop of local apples and pears.

Newcomers to cider are unsure what equipment to source, how to press the apples, and the stages of fermentation. Hopefully with this list of resources on the Real Cider site I can make the entry level easier to cider making.

How do I make my own cider –

The Five Essentials of Cider-Making for Beginners

Basic equipment for cidermaking –

We’ve listed the finest selection of books on cider making – ‘Real Cidermaking on a small scale’

Learn from the pros! – Watch cidermaking videos –

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Let us know how you get on this year!

Cider Time! Photo by Bill Bradshaw ©

West Bradley Orchards will be open for Pick-Your-Own on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weekends in September, Friday – Sunday, 10.00 – 5.00.

West Bradley is one of the few remaining Somerset orchards to grow dessert fruit as well as cider fruit, home of the Orchard Pig cider makers.

Dessert varieties include Bramley, Cox, Charles Ross, Egremont Russet, Worcester Pearmain, Jonagold, Reinette d’Orleans and others. Pears are Beth, Comice, Concorde and Conference.

Sunday 9 September will be our annual Apple Scrumping Day.

Come along to the orchards, pick your own fruit and we will help you to turn it into juice.

Equipment, tuition and bottles provided. This is a great family day out, and you get apple juice to take home!

If the cider fruit is ripe you can choose to press that instead of dessert fruit – start off your own cider blend!

For PYO info call 01458 850227

The hot spring and cool summer conditions have brought early and bumper autumn crops.

There is a plentiful supply of fruits, seeds and berries and many trees are already showing their autumn colours.

The conditions follow a record-breaking dry spring, a drought in parts of east and southern England, and a rainy and cloudy summer. As a consequence, orchards are said to be bursting with apples and pears.

Tim Wale from Tutts clump cider in West Berkshire said:

I thought last year was good, but this year its bonkers, so many apples in west Berks…!!!

Mark Shirley from Rockingham forest cider blogged this description:

Shaking down the very large crop of Yarlington Mill cider apples. Five of the seven trees are cropping heavily this year, though sadly some of the the trees have suffered as a result. The very dry conditions seem to have made the wood drier and less flexible and the very heavy crops and high winds have caused several large branches to break under the strain.

Robin Barnwell already has his cider racked off into the second set of demijons. He uses local apples near Birmingham, Midlands –  This photo shows the final racking off the lees.

Could well be ready by Xmas! I use whatever I can get my hands on. This year came from our orchard plus nice people in Rushall who let me strip their tree.

Second racking off, ready for Xmas?

Big tree cider busy with juicing the apples

A day in the life of Big Tree Cider

 Totterdown Press in Bristol at the ‘Apple Chapel’ 

Totterdown Press in full swing!

Tweet from @bigtreecider

Tweet from @uddersorchard

Finally a report from BBC Suffolk on the bumper fruit crops this year:

A gentle portrait of Frank Naish, (86), possibly the world’s oldest cider maker, on his farm in Somerset, with helper Paul Chant.

Collecting apples on a frosty morning in November 2010, Frank continues a life-long devotion to the artisan way of producing cider, which he did with his brother Harold until his death in 2005. Since then, Paul has worked with Frank, allowing him to continue his passion well into old age. As Frank says, it’s hard work and plenty of fresh air that keeps him going.

I am pleased to share with you a beautiful and informative video explaining the history of cider making at Sheppy’s in the West country.

The launch of the video was wonderful 40 members of staff turned up (past and present) and the screening was followed by the sort of feast that farmers refer modestly to as ‘ a little farmhouse supper’ – home cured ham, a huge cheeseboard, fresh bread, pickled onions, fruit and gallons of excellent apple juice and cider.

The film is also on permanent display at the Hereford Cider Museum – right in the heart of Bulmer’s country!

Credit – Kevin Redpath