The apples and pears are blooming and nearly ready for harvesting, so the Cider and Perry making season is almost upon us. There are lots of Cider and Perry Festivals and celebrations going on including one on Saturday and Sunday 1st & 2nd November at The Roast Ox Inn, Painscastle.
Cider is made from cider apples, which are a bittersweet fruit; there is an abundance of varieties, used singly or mixed to produce the different flavours of cider. The apples are then crushed, and you may have seen the old circular crushing mills, which have a circular trough and a stone wheel, which is attached to a centre post and a yoke, which was harnessed to a horse. The horse walked around the stone trough and the apples were placed in front of the revolving stone wheel and shovelled out after having been crushed. The resulting pulp is then made into a "cheese" by placing the crushed fruit pomace onto a hessian mat, the corners are folded in, and a square wooden trellis is placed on top this is repeated until the press is full and the "cheese" made. Wooden bars are placed into the capstan on top of the mill and screwed down to crush the juice out of the cheese. The juice is then bucketed into casks where it will ferment and stand to mature and so become cider.
If you know of any Cider and Perry festivals or events please let us know so that we can publicise them on The Best of Hereford Events pages.