Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Cleaning Out The Barn And More Work For The Cider Mechanic.

I have been cleaning out the barn today.  We still had 7 big round bales of straw left over from last year.  I verbally bartered and sold the bales.  We no longer have loose bedding and the cattle now live on top of the slatted tank.  I saved one round bale of straw for beds for future pigs.  

There was quite a lot of spoilt straw so that got barrowed away to use for future compost projects.  I noticed the gnawed boards on the ground and got number one son to give it a run of the tractor spike, in case any ratty friends had decided to take up residence in the back of the barn.  

Then I did push my trusty (got that from John at Going Gently) wheelbarrow, and proceeded to shovel (long handle Celtic shovel - English one had a day off) and use the four prong pike to pick up the waste straw.  Fido the terrier was nowhere to be seen.  Typical mizzle day in Ireland.  Even your beloved tripe hound decides to have a lie down on top of the tiles, in the kitchen, over the warm pipes from the range.  

The barn is now swept clean and free of straw detritus and old ratty and his wife have hopefully left for foreign shores.  Never, (we will fight them on the beaches) will any big bales of straw or little bales ever live in the barn again.  

My back is killing me and the tractor clutch in the Ford 3000 looks like it is broken. It will cost about 150 Euro for a new one   At least number one son will fix it for a few tinnies of cider!   Anybody know how to make some cider with supermarket apples and any tips how to make it?  Ta very much!



20 comments:

  1. Tried turbo cider once, just cheap superstore apple juice, add sugar and yeast and ferment to an alcoholic drink. But the basic apple juice was just as expensive as the cheapo plastic bottles of cider. Didn't turn out very well either.

    There's some good cider-making kits though, I had more success with them, easier than beer. Might be worth a try.

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  2. I knew you would know, Cumbrian. Bought 2 more apple trees this Autumn for missus birthday. That makes 4 apple trees and a pear tree. Have you ever tried the scrumpy? I remember once paying a fiver at Glastonbury music festival (1989) for a gallon container full of Scrumpy complete with chunks of floating wood. It did the job and I had a cracking head ache next morning! Thanks!

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    1. Yes, I've tried the scrumpy from a place called kingsbury episcopi (no, not kidding, look on google maps) a cider farm with the original wooden equipment from probably the 1800s, Julian Temperly is the owner / operator, trading as The Somerset Cider Brandy Co, he re-introduced cider brandy-making to the area. His cider (they don't call it scrumpy) is made in the traditional way, it's a really interesting place to look round, everything's on display and working. There's 3 grades, sweet, dry and medium, the medium is just a mix of the sweet and the dry, dispensed by the gallon into your own container from big wooden casks (make sure it's glass, the stuff eats plastic) and the last time I was there was £1.80 per gallon, but it'll have gone up now. God only knows what the % ABV is, but it's good stuff for cleaning drains or stripping paint, it has a greenish tinge, be very careful with it (as you found out). I also had the mother and father of all hang-overs after a session on the stuff.

      Hope the apple trees are productive, there's a big old apple in the back garden, I've never had an apple from it, it developes a few small green fruits then drops them before they get any bigger, what the birds don't get the slugs do. House was built early 60s, I think it must have been planted then.

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    2. Yes, I have visited similar cider places in the English West Country. They are great places to visit aren't they?

      We had 5 apples last year from our 2 apple trees. We planted them 2 years a go. Hoping for a better harvest this year.

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  3. Look after that back Dave..,,,,look after that back x

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    1. Thanks John. There isn't much protection on the back is there? Thanks for your concern!

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  4. Have a look at me recipe page old man, there's a link to my humble cider making attempts.

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  5. Have a look at me recipe page old man, there's a link to my humble cider making attempts.

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    1. Much appreciated kind sir. Will check that out. Thank you!

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    2. God only knows why its duplicated my comments?

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    3. God only knows why its duplicated my comments?

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  6. Have a look at Future Forest website they have half a doz cider apple varieties, they are based in Cork. Cant you get your son onto ginger beer, quick and so easy to make.

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  7. Hi Anne. Yes I know Future Forests in Kealkil,here in Bantry. They are very good and always give good planting advice. I think they won a medal at Chelsea Flower Show a couple of years a go. Thanks!

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    1. Do you make ginger beer Anne?

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    2. Yes Dave, used to make it much more than we do now though, I would often leave it to become really alcoholic, we also make various home made wines, the favourite is elderflower champagne.

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  8. Always enjoy reading what your day has held. Lie flat on the floor to ease that back and put some epsom salts in the bath, Mr Dave ;o)

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    1. I am really pleased you enjoy reading the blog, CT. Will take your advice for my old back. Thanks!

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  9. Oooo Dave, I echo John, look after your back. Hope you had a nice hot bath this evening and take a hot water bottle to bed. I like Irish mizzle, we get a lot on our hols, always seem so much nicer than Yorkshire drizzle.
    Twiggy

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    1. Hi Twiggy. You also have a back that gives you jip. So you know what it's like, don't you? I like how all the English/Scottish, Welsh, Irish are all different. I once visited Top Withens above Haworth and sample the Wuthering mist on the moors. Very windy today.

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