Ciders No.3 & No.4 – “Half Cock” & “Cock On”

It’s a bit of a random post, as it was so hectic here grouting tiles and working on the kitchen extension before Christmas hit us, that I totally forgot to write up the last two ciders, or even take any photographs of the pressing day!

In a nutshell, our third cider was meant to be the trusty “Sydney Camm’s Marvel Machine” – a mix of Dabinett, Rosemary Russet and Newton Wonder. When I came to pick the apples from the three trees, the Dabinett was bare! Scratching my head, I can only surmise that in all of the chaos life had thrown at us, that I had seen some on the floor and decided to plop them all into the Tally Ho! cider! Shock! As it was, the resulting third cider was a mix of Rosemary Russet, Newton Wonder, and as many dessert apples as I could scrump from our neighbours (again).

Again, I thought this was the cider I was going to attempt to carbonate naturally, measuring the sugar levels until we’d reached 1.005 and then bottling it, allowing the resulting CO2 given off by the yeast to stay within the cider. But, business again meant the 30 litre tub, sat behind me as I worked, fermented to dryness. No fear – I bottled half of it as a dry still cider – calling it “Half Cock” in tribute to the fact it wasn’t quite what I’d wanted to do. The other half I innoculated with 5g of sugar melted into water as a solution as I bottled it. After a two weeks in the kitchen where the remaining yeast could get going on the sugar, I moved it to the cooler garage. This one is a corker! It’s got a lovely ‘mousse’ as they call it – a fizz with gentler, smaller bubbles than you’d get in can of Coke or Pepsi, and cold it’s really refreshing! I just now wish I’d made all of it this way!

Cock On, Tally Ho!, Half Cock and Pickled GooseThis is the final line up of this year’s ciders – next year we’ll hopefully not have Half Cock or Cock On again, but the Sydney Camm’s will hopefully be fizzy at last!