Autumn is here, temperatures are dropping and that means I can get back to brewing. I don’t have a brew fridge to stop things getting too hot during fermentation so I take a break over the summer but I do have the technology to push the temperature up when it drops too low. I’ll get some beer going soon but I made a start this week by kicking off with a cider from my John Downie crab apples.
I probably could have harvested a week earlier but I got the ladder out on Sunday afternoon and still snagged a good load – over 2kg which exceeds my previous record and is substantially over the poor harvest from last year. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to use all of it but, spotting that some of the fruit was going off, needed to seize the moment last night. I lightly washed and chopped the fruit, discarding the bad bits and putting the rest in my brewing pot, topping it up with about 10l water. That will now sit for a few days as the juices leach out of the fruit and then I’ll clear away the pulp, add some sugar and hopefully the natural yeasts will do their work and I’ll get a batch of either drinkable cider or handy cider vinegar.
Time will tell but this marker does mean that the new brewing season has begun.