Trunch Cider Coop Update

We have been much luckier this Autumn than last. We have had good weather and a good harvest. In particular, a big thank you to all who donated the ton of apples collected and to the Village Society, who provided support for additional fermenting containers and other expenses. Steven Fisher from the Apple Shop very generously offered to press our apples with his hydraulic press for this year’s trial run, and so we went to his site near Attleborough in a convoy loaded with apples and containers.

Steven showed us the process of washing, scratting (shredding the apples) and then pressing the apples. The juice was then siphoned into the containers, all within 2 hours. As we still didn’t have enough containers, he lent us a 40-gallon barrel which was half filled. We brought back nearly 100 gallons of fantastic apple juice (with a few pears mixed in as well).

The containers, with their airlocks, are now in storage. Those involved in the project took their bottles of fresh juice, which had to be drunk – or frozen – within a few days. The rest of this precious commodity is now happily bubbling away. When the fermentation stops and the solution clears, we should be able to have a drop of pure organic cider (or vinegar – it is our first trial, after all!), excellent for treating arthritis or high cholesterol, as well as for giving a fillip to the spirits. When will this be? That depends on the mix of apples used, the temperature of storage and many other factors. Watch this space.

We are hoping to sell some of the cider to the Social Club, with the proceeds flowing back to the Village Society thus helping to sponsor next year’s season.

Thanks to all those who have helped get the project off the ground,
Annabel, Pam and Susanne

Apple Pressing

We were very fortunate that Stephen Fisher offered us to have our apples pressed on his site near Attleborough. On Sunday 13 October we went with 3 cars loaded with over 1 tonne of apples (and pears) as well as fermenting containers to Stephen’s.

The pressing process was amazing for all of us (see pictures here) and went much faster than with a manual press. The juice looked a bit muddy, but was absolutely delicious. Within 2 hours, all apples were transformed into juice and then brought home.

The containers are now stored in a barn, with bubbling airlocks. The fermentation started from day 3. As it is still quite warm, we wonder if the fermentation process might be accelerated. Stephen reckoned it would take until the end of March 2014 (“when the first cuckoo calls”).

Open questions:

  • How do we know that fermentation has finished? Steve says, after fermentation has finished, the cider has to “clear”.
  • How long does the clearing process take? How will we know that it has finished?