Cider Making

 

Here at Killymuck farm the old orchard has been slowly replaced and improved with a mix of heritage and commercial apples. Varieties such as Brown and Scarlet Crofton, Lough Tree of Wexford, Bardsey along with commercial varieties of Katja and our home grown crab apples all make up the apple mix for the cider produced each autumn. The apples are collected depending upon the variety and stored for three weeks before they are crushed, pressed and the juice added to the fermentation barrel. Pectinase is added on day one and then the juice is allowed to ferment without any addition of chemicals. No sulphites are used in either the process of or in the cleaning of the equipment – just a liberal dousing of boiling water is sufficient to sterilise the equipment. Each month the juice is siphoned to a new barrel and after twelve weeks it is ready to drink, usually in time for Christmas, although it will benefit from a slow winter fermentation in time to celebrate the early work in the orchard. It also forms part of the tradition of Wassailing when the health of the orchard is promoted though dance, song and of course with drinking of the amber liquid.

As noted from one recipient of the cider

"I really enjoyed the Cider. Very different from typical commercial products and the absence of preservative was apparent and much appreciated. I can easily see your cider being enjoyed as an artisanal Irish product. It has a lot of potential."
Michael Mullan, former Head of Food Technology, CAFRE.