It's hammer time!

With the beautiful sunshine apon us once again it’s been a real pleasure the last few days working up at the yard. Everything seems to be going in the right direction, the yard is looking tidy, the cider we racked off 2 weeks ago has finally started to clear and is tasting great. I’m really looking forward to our own version of Steve Watkins’s Tricky cider and it won’t be long.

The best news of all is that we have managed to carbonate cider in a bottle! You’d think that if we could put fizz into kegs, we could put it into bottles, however it’s not as easy as it sounds. A major issue is that the bottle has a large surface area and the cider ends up too warm to hold the CO2. Our solution is fairly straight forward in the end, instead of chilling cider by passing it though the carbonator, we’ve circulated the cider through the chiller and back into the holding tank until it reaches 2degC. The addition of a variable thermostat and using glycol instead of water as a coolant along the way. A lot of headaches over fizzy bottles, but persistance pays off in the end, finally we can send some samples out!

And here’s some alternator news incase anyone was wondering what the outcome of welding the pulley to the shaft was… it came loose when I was towing a horsebox, with a very patient horse inside. I had to make some technical roadside adjustments using my engineering hammer. Fortunatly the landy is quite happy to drive along without power steering, alternator or water pump so chumps like me can do stuff like this and get away with it!

Matt Gillett
April Fowl's Day

The farm chickens seem hell bent on hanging out in our yard, a gentle toe punt up the chicken derriere serves only to delay their inevitable return. Major consolation that the big bull outside does not share a desire to hang out and drink cider!

Pasturised cider for tomorrows Kegging, we have switched to Glycol and a new variable thermostat in our chiller. The hope is to hit the magic 4degC for maximum bubbles. We have been struggling to produce the fizz in bottles, fingers crossed this will solve all our problems. Will find out tomorrow….

Matt Gillett
Racking off!

Great news! We have finished racking off all our cider. This should allow things to clear over the next couple of months and we will be in a position to sell our own version of Tricky’s traditional cider. Lots of cleaning, lots of fettling the reluctant pump but it’s done!

Matt Gillett
Tricky Cider Blog 19/03/2019

So.. Freddie and I have finally decided to create a record of what we’re doing, some of the crazy things that happen to us on a daily basis, we think you might enjoy reading about. Lets start with this, yesterday’s clearout of the old Tricky cider yard. By way of background, we took over Tricky cider in Jan 2018, in Feb the snow had something to say about the roof on the old yard, and it fell in covering most of the rotoplast fermenters in roof sheets and big chunky fally down bits of wood. Fortunatly we already had a new home in mind, across the road at the home of the Batchelors, Higher Willand Farm.

We’ve moved into what used to be the old cow shed, in need of a little tlc, but full of character and plenty of space to make our cider! I’m sure you will see more of it’s charms in the coming posts.

Yesterday started with welding up the alternator on the Defender… Brand new alternator can you believe it, the front pulley came all loose, so after tightening it, welding the nut on the front and it still span round I decided to weld the pulley to the shaft in a giantic last-ditch cheapskate effort. A large part of the business these days is about getting about and getting things done without spending any money, hopefully someday this might change!

So we did 5 more runs to the old yard yesterday, picking up the last of the kegs and anything else we thought looked useful! We like the look, I hope you do too, anyone need any fishing rods?

Matt Gillett