Wednesday 15 May 2013

Cariad's Marvellous Cider

I am just getting ready to start racking my ciders - this is simply moving the cider from one container to another, which will then be left to mature before it can be sold. Why? Well, its all a bit yeasty at the moment, so that needs to settle out. It still has a little fermentation to do too - which is best done slowly and off the main bulk of the dead yeast that falls to the bottom of the tank as 'lees' once it has finished its job.

People who read this may be familiar with the usual blends - Hampshire Heritage, Wild West and Eastern Delight. This year I have made several others though, and I hope to introduce these before they are released.

The first, and I guess it is an appropriate time to do so, is my daughters cider: Cariad's Marvellous Cider. This is limited to 400 or so bottles and is a single variety Egremont Russet cider. Single varieties are not the best a cider can be - let me put my cards firmly on the table to start with. However, Egremont is my favourite apple (when grown well) and, knowing this my daughter, Cariad, decided to hijack a bin of them for her own cider. These apples are out of Hill Farm Orchards; just down the road from me and producing some fantastic fruit (except for all the Braeburns they grow!).

Now, she didn't press them all - in fact, she only helped me press about 5 litres with a makeshift press that I could get alongside her. Why? Well, this is a part of the reason for making a cider with her name.

You see, my girl is physically disabled. Google Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1 and you will quickly see why Cariad, my 9 year old teenager, is a very special girl indeed. And in order to make life as fun and 'normal' as possible, I aim to give her as much independence - including her zeal to make her own money. So - here it is! Last year, she made jam and chutney which her nan and grandad sold at their markets. This year, it is dads' turn... she figured she could make more money out of cider!

So, while I have done my very best to make sure that this is an excellent, full juice example of the Egremont Russet the spirit of the drink is all hers... and for that all the money will end up in her Disney bank account (and you should see some of the crap she spends it on... or is that just a fathers perspective?!)

Part of the reason for posting this now is that Cariad is currently in hospital getting over a chest infection... which has turned out more severe than I have seen for several years! These things can be very serious indeed and I have to say a massive thanks to the Physio's who are so important to her recovery... and as it turn out like cider. I am not sure Cariad will allow me to just give them a bottle though!!! :-)

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