Second Pressing Day – 20th October 2014
The motto for the day has to be “team work!”
It had been decided at last Wednesday’s meeting, to continue the pressing work ourselves, locally, using our own equipment, and so seven of us met again at the Tee Barn, at 10 am on a sunny but cold Monday morning.
And I think we’d all agree, after 5 plus hours of hard work, that it was a steep learning curve. Steep but worthwhile! Some things you can learn only by doing and problem solving.
Issues around procedures such as filtering the juice and disposing of the pulp became clearly identified, and our little team ( Dave, Chris, Susanne, Kate, Catherine, Val and Pam) found ways round, through, over and above all of it.
Clamps, a pressure washer, net curtains (yes you read that right!), a balloon whisk, knives and chopping board were located and put to good use.
The day remained sunny and dry, till a little after 2pm, when rain forced us into the barn which reduced the workspace somewhat. Still, we’re a good natured crew and, even armed with knives, plungers and a pressure hose, nobody got hurt!
Filtering proved, yet again, to be messy and hugely labour intensive ( or as Susanne expressed it, b$**^% hard work!). But the team pressed on (pressed on —- get it??) and by the end of the afternoon the new fermenting bin, borrowed from Mark at Wells, was over ¾ full –its capacity is 45 gallons.
Chris spoke with Mark when he got home and it seems we can add the already fermenting juice to the new batch at any time, which is great news as it’ll add sweetness.
The Specific Gravity on the new batch, which Chris also measured today was 48. This should give us an alcohol level of about 6.2 which would be pretty good.
All in all a successful day, with lots of ideas on refining and improving the process for next time. But for sure we’re a creative, multi-talented and resourceful bunch.
Thinking of calling ourselves, “the Press Gang” !