Fermentations, Ruminations & Meditations
Cider Batch 312
March in the Cidery was exciting since we got into the rhythm of pressing and bottling with our upgraded equipment. After going through several hundred years worth of apple pressing technology in the last five years, beginning with a little wooden hand-crank press, we took the bold step of investing in a Good Nature Squeeze Box. It looks like a big blue accordion and is all about the hydraulics. Although we aim for a simple life on the land, we are loving the efficiency and mechanical prowess of this press. Human ingenuity can be marvelous and this press allows us to extract much more juice per pound of apple. Plus, the crew gets cold pressing the fruit on wind-chilled winter days and the Squeeze Box makes the job fly.
Batch 312 of the 500 ml ciders was bottled by Janet, Jeff, Chris and Eli on a series of chilly days when spring was almost in the air but the sun was still shy. We're trying to figure out which gloves the crew can wear to keep their hands warm and their fingers nimble enough to handle the bottles. The soundtrack alternated between Nirvana and Bob Marley on this bottling.
The production barn was also re-organized this month to make room for the bourbon barrels where our new Fire Barrel Cider is aging. When the barrels came from Drew Zimmerman of retiring Red Barn Cider, we also inherited a tank of Skagit-grown heirloom cider that needed a home. Because we value the complexities of the traditional cider fruit and are hustling to grow and source as many of these bittersweet and bittersharp apples as we can find, we seized the opportunity to blend it into Batch 312. This blend includes those bitters along with Jonagold apples that bring aromatic, apple sweetness.
Wayne and Peggy continue to hand label all the bottles and to mark the batch numbers. We hope you enjoy these early spring bottled ciders and we'll update when April's blend is ready to go.