Short video: cider making in western England

A gent name of Kevin Redpath showed up in the comments introducing a video about an orchard called Sheppy’s in western England, available at this link:

In pre-industrial times, “Farmers paid attention to producing good cider, because without it they could not attract a steady workforce. The ration for a strong man was 4-6 pints a day, and half again as much at harvest time.”

40 acres produce 700 tons of apples – that’s 35000 lb or about 875 bushels per acre. Named varieties include Coates Jersey, Yarllington Mill, Tremletts Bitter, Kingston Black.

There’s interesting video of a PTO-mount tree shaking contraption that vibrates the apples out of the trees, and a collector that sweeps them up off the ground. They also show a belt press in operation – it’s different than I imagined it, and doable with bike power I think, but we’ve got a pretty sweet setup at this point with our bike hydraulic platen press, so I doubt we’ll go there anytime soon.

Primary fermentation takes place in giant oak tanks. They also show an automatic counterpressure filler, where the cider flows in along the outer surface, and there’s a central stainless dip tube that seems to tell the machine when to stop the flow. That’s the opposite of our design, where the cider enters through the central tube, and the gas escapes at the perimeter.


One Response to “Short video: cider making in western England”

  1. Ryan Grimm Says:

    Your math is a bit off:
    700 tons is 1,400,000 pounds…it’s more likely the 35,000 pounds (17.5 tons)!
    700 tons is the size of a fair ship!

    Lots of blog to read, thanks!

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