Year 1

Wildling Cider Year 1 started back in 2014, with an advert in the window of a shop in Newton Abbott asking about apples and finished a couple of weeks ago when I dropped the last of the cider off at the Bree Louise pub in Euston. It's been astonishingly unprofitable but great fun. The insurance alone ate through well over half my earnings and that's before tax, but it was thoroughly rewarding to have discovered that someone had bought the first pint between me dropping the cider off and quickly parking the car up. I never met them. I did meet the second guy and I got a photo, I think he thought I was a bit odd.

I bought the third pint myself and learnt a valuable lesson in pricing,  here are a few of the other things I've learnt:

  • Getting your level 2 in food safety is ridiculously, scarily, worryingly easy
  • Bucket presses are very very inefficient as is a hand-turned scratter, I was very thankful for the kit that I rented from Orchard Link
  • There is something lovely about the sound of bubbles passing through an airlock, yeast going crazy, alcohol being made
  • The environmental health team in Teignbridge council are lovely
  • Logos seem simple but getting that perfect expression takes time and a few arguments with whoever is creating it for you
  • Craig at the Bree Louise is a great supporter of real cider
  • Bag-in-a-box boxes are really hard to make (or maybe I'm stupid)
  • It tastes better the longer you wait
  • Racking twice is better than racking once
  • I need to make more next year

My trees are a bit bigger now and it looks like lots of apples have set, roll on cider-making season!!

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