Saturday 3 March 2012

Update from the garage of 146...

My word, January and February passed pretty darn quick! Now that we are into March I have finally finished the task of cleaning and cleaning (oh, and cleaning) everything in or even near the cider garage. I am also meant to be racking ciders off to mature. After all, its not been so cold a winter.

Well, having ploughed my way through cleaning the Voran, the kegs (of various sizes), the mill and a variety of tools and 'things' I am generally ready to put the cider into storage. Aha. But the cider isn't ready for me! Not one of them. Hampshrie Heritage is sat at 1.005, Wild West is at 1.005. Eastern Delight, which was the last to be complete in early January is at 1.005. Before storage, I really want to let them reach 1.000; normally they finish at around 0.995.

So. They stay put for now. At least things are clean and ready. The sad part is that until they are ready and mature I have no cider for sale.

On the bright side, I have used the opportunity to have a sly snifter of each and can report that:

Hampshire Heritage - is a fairly deep cider this year with some full tannin in it. The acid is much milder than last year, which is no surprise. More West Country than I had expected it to be, it will be interesting to see how it matures.

Wild West - is much, much better this year. Very rounded tannins and the addition of the bittersharps balances the taste out very nicely. I hope it doesn't get too dry though.

Batch 15 - This is a special competition batch of cider. Guess what? Its still at 1.007 and tastes very juicy (which isn't surprising as it was pressed very late!). However, the balance is just right - there is acid present as well as pretty good tannins too.

Eastern Delight - This is still too youngh to try, although it has progressed well and is down to 1.005. I will report back once I have had a glass to see how it is:-)

So, on the whole everything is looking good. It just has to finish fermenting! And at least the tanks are ready to be filled.

One more thing to note - the first beer festival of the year is the Winchester Beer and Cider Festivel. I was concerned it was going to be too early for me, but I have nicked 20 litres each of Hampshire Heritage and Wild West which now accompany me in my office (which is warmer and will let them finish quicker). So I shall take them to the ball on the 16-17th March...

So, although the cider won't be on general release until May, you will be able to get a sample or two locally... well, maybe at Reading too...

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