Friday, 24 June 2011

Got a lot to bottle

    It's that time of year again, last year's cider needs to be bottled. It has spent the winter fermenting, I racked it a month or so ago and now it's ready for the next step.
    There is one snag though. Because of my fancy new press, last year's juice yield was higher than expected. My worry is that I may not have enough bottles to cope, and will have to resort to inventive solutions. Cider in jam-jars anyone? Or more likely one gallon demijohns.
    So my Sunday will be spent preparing my stock of bottles. Counting them, and the tedious task of label removal. The BBC tells me it will be a warm day, I'll sit in the shade of a very large apple tree with a tin bath full of water and a bottle brush. I can think of worse ways to spend a day.
    Thinking about it, there is a war of words in the cider community too. The drink is called cider, but some insist on referring to it as cyder. It can come down to presscloths at dawn in the saloon bar of the Kingston Black over that one!
    Silly really, because however you refer to it it's exactly the same stuff.


  1. I would be ALL OVER a jam jar of cider! :D Have fun.

  2. The 'Y' is probably a thow back from Middle English don't you think Jenny?
    About the golden nectar itself, I realise that it can be still or sparkling (daft term that) nevertheless shouldn't it all be stored in bottles or containers that withstand the pressure of malolactic fermentation? (I hope that is the correct term). Basically, should the cider continue to ferment after bottling it would be a bit of a problem. Personally I wouldn't much care what it was contained within, it can give me a 'sparkle' any day1

    Shirley Anne xxx

  3. good luck finding appropriate bottles.

    Will have the same problem when it comes time to bottle our blackberry wine. Although we can buy the bottles and corks at a wine shop.

  4. Cyder is a bit Merrie England, innit? I have a few spare flagons, courtesy of Westons; shall put them in the boot, you know, just in case.

  5. Jam jars would have a pret-a-boire simplicity to them wouldn't they. But I think the small amount of sediment might be a bit of a pain. I like my cider clear.

    My ever-handy dictionary gives 'cyder' as 'archaic'. Doesn't stop Aspall's and others descending as Dru say into merrie olde Englande.

    It is true, malolactic fermentation might be an issue in weaker vessels. But my cider, being made from non-cider varieties, is a bit more acid than West Country ciders, so secondary fermentations are very slow if they happen at all.

    I could of course buy bottles. But it's a hangover from my Good Life self-sufficiency upbringing, the recycling of spent bottles. Some of them are old friends that have contained years of ciders (and still the damn labels won't shift!).

    Dru, thanks for your offer of Weston's bottles. Very welcome!

  6. And very cute bottles they are too.

    New post has gone missing btw.