2019 Cider No.2

With all the kerfuffle over the confounded Covid-19 virus, cider bottling was put to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list. Before it all kicked off, we’d managed to bottle two ferementers – No.4, a small 30 litre fermenter, and No.1, one of the new Speidel 60 litre fermenters.

Today we finally got round to No.2 – yes – there is no order we do this in. No.2 is a quarter Warner’s King, for the acidity, with Jonagold making up a large portion of the sugar content, along with Ellison’s Orange and Oslin. I have absolutely no data on the malic and tannin levels of any of the dessert apples used, suffice to say the resulting blend has turned out very smooth and doesn’t seem to have suffered much from being on the lees for so long.

This is also the second time I’ve used the new Grifo capping machine, along with capped bottles rather than swing tops. The Grifo is amazing – very sturdy; the decision to go with capped bottles is largely due to the desire to go commercial in the near future, and the fact that plain bottles are cheaper, but also easier to clean than a swing top. I’m hoping we get many of the bottles back to reuse.

The final ABV was 6%, back sweetened for in-bottle conditioning. As usual it’s a wild yeast fermentation with no sulphites added. A friend asked if it was vegan, which is something I hadn’t really thought about before! But I guess it is? I mean, it’s apples and, in this case, some sugar. Does that make it vegan friendly? I need to learn more!