What our Dorset Cider Apple Project aims to do
First we need to locate the trees. This is where we need your help.
When the fruit is properly mature we will collect a good sample so that we can identify the variety and name the tree.
Then we crush the fruit to extract the juice.
A sample gets sent for laboratory analysis, for acidity, tannin and sugar content.
The rest gets fermented to make a small scale cider sample.
In the spring when the cider has finished fermenting, cleared and is ready for drinking, we will have a cider tasting with the West Milton Cider Club.
This is when we will know if the apples have potential for cidermaking, on their own as a single variety cider, or perhaps useful for blending with others for a better balanced drink
Some apples will be dual-purpose, useful for general cidermaking and also useful for cooking, even eating.
We will put all our information on a CD and our web-site so that all Dorset cidermakers and potential cidermakers can share it.
DO YOU WANT TO START MAKING CIDER?
CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING
Do you have old cider apple trees in your area with fruit that is left on to rot every year?
Speak to neighbours and friends, establish if there is sufficient interest in using these apples every year.
Decide how much money you need to raise and call for donations, or hold a fund raising event. It's more fun and less hard work to make cider on a communal basis than individually.
You will need at least one enthusiast to take responsibility during the fermentation process as this can involve regular attention during the winter months.
Establish how the cider is distributed after making and hold regular weekly or monthly tasting sessions. - Real cider can change taste and nature over short periods of time.
Bring the finished product to the Powerstock Cider Festival!!
First take a critical look at your apples. It is best to have at least six in front of you before you begin.
Make sure they are fully ripe. If not, the colour and taste may change with maturity.
Make a note of their shape. Are they. . . ?
What basic colour are they. Are they striped or flushed?
Are their stems long and thin, short and stubby or just average?
• Then take a bite!
Does it taste like an eating apple - sweet and sharp?
Does it taste like a cooker - sharp, no sweetness?
Or does the taste draw your mouth - bittersweet?
Does it have a woolly texture typical of many true cider apples?
Now go the APPLE BOX that most suits your description.