Three “workstations” were set up, each manned with 2 people for filling the bottles from a tapped container, wiping them clean, checking each bottle reached the required level and screwing the top on.

Others were racking cider from one full tun to an empty one, also mixing in content of smaller fermenting containers. Mixing helps us get a more even blend of all apple varieties and improve the flavour consistency of the various lots. Some apple varieties have more sugar than others – meaning that their SG is higher. They will give stronger cider than the less sweet ones. By blending we also reach greater consistency of alcohol content in all our cider.

We added a teaspoon of white sugar per litre of cider. The sugar was dissolved in a little hot water, then stirred into the container, and will start a second, slower bottle fermentation to  give our cider some fizz.

As we don’t have fancy machinery like the professional cider makers, all is done manually and the whole process takes a lot of time. We managed to fill about 250 bottles. The remaining ones will, we hope, be filled by end of January.

The bottled cider will be best in about 3 months time, we think, when we’ll put the sought-after Horatia’s Tipple 2015 label on the bottles and make them more widely available. Why Horatia’s Tipple? Well, Horatia, the darling daughter of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton out of wedlock, spent many years in Trunch, married to the Rector. What’s in this Tipple? Trunch hospitality, heroism, love and care, blessing from above….and anything else you care to fancy!

You’d like to try Trunch Cider? It is, as you can see, the real thing: no pasteurisation, full of the undefiled purity of the apples, probably more organic than many a cider with official ‘organic’ recognition. You can purchase a bottle or two of “Horatia’s Tipple” at local outlets: a small quantity of 2014 vintage is still available at Groveland Farmshop (Roughton) and Country Pickings (Mundesley). They will be stocking up with 2015 vintage as soon as it’s ready.