Showing posts from October, 2011

Making Real Cider

At one time virtually every farm in Somerset had its own cider barn where householders would make cider for themselves and their workforce. They were usually partially under ground and had a tree planted right next to them to keep them nice and cool in the summer. This photo was taken at Higher Plot sometime late in the 19th century and shows the barn on the left with its newly planted tree. 

Sadly this year the tree didn't show any signs of life and so will have to come down after more than 100 years. It may re-grow from the roots but if not, we will plant a new one.

A very small number of farms in Somerset still make cider in the traditional way and I went down the road to Beer Aller to help out at Nightingale Farm where they use an old press and crusher to mill local apples. Unlike wine making there's no sulphur, cold stabilisation or anything like that just the natural yeasts from the apples. As they say, the force of the ferment will be strong enough to get rid of any imp…