Our traditional methods of cider making
The fruit is hand-picked from the orchard floor during October and November and transported to the cider making barn where they are then carefully tipped into the top of the ‘Red Devil’ scratter mill. The mill is powered by a 1950’s Massey Ferguson tractor using a method of belts and geared cogs to drive an oak bladed drum. This drum turns at high speed and has approximately 40 stainless steel blades protruding that chop the whole apples into small pieces. These pieces then drop onto two cylindrical ‘contra rotating’ hand made stone pitted rollers that squeeze the chopped apple to form a ‘pulp’.
The pulp is then shovelled by hand from the catch box of the scratter mill and pressed in antique 125 year old twinscrew presses. The pulp is shovelled onto the press and wrapped in cloths (originally horse hair) approximately 3 feet square and 4 inches high. These ‘cheeses’ as they are called are then stacked one of top of another to form a stack about 10 cheeses high on the stone press. A heavy wooden board is then placed on top of the stack to spread the weight. The twin screws are then tightened to put pressure on the stack and the juice begins to flow until every drop is squeezed into a catch barrel (approximately 30 gallons per pressing).