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Old 07 September 2014, 23:49   #181
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we are up to 150 gallons of juice so far
I love this time of year
just getting the harvest in and all the apples and half smoked salmon
lots more apples to be picked
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Old 22 September 2014, 14:15   #182
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Indian Summer

..is still in play here. I got over 200kg of fruit from the first pick and finished the first pressing with 120L of juice - Primo! SO, despite the jays and the so-so care regime, it's turned out not too bad. Still a good sized crop of cider fruit on the trees, but it's beginning to fall so I think the "early autumn" idea is bang on. If I don't make a hash of the vinification, I should end up with the same quantity of cider as last year. I seem to have a bumper crop of pears (on a pair of tiny espalliers) so not sure - should I try to do something alcoholic with them? They're dessert pears but I could add some cider apple through them to increase tannin...

Earlier in the year Pikey Dave recommended 29mm Crown Caps as an alternative to champagne corks and cages. I was able to source them locally in the event and they are holding up well. I reduced the pressure by 30% or so and it was a much easier bottling. If the caps hold pressure over the winter - I'll use them for the entire batch next spring.
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Old 23 September 2014, 13:15   #183
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Willk,
I was wondering how you get the apples out of your trees, we spread a plastic tarp under the trees and use a long aluminum pike pole to shake the branches. After all the apples are on the ground we grab one corner of the tarp and pull it until the load of apples dumps in a pile then pick them up and remove any leaves.
The apples are going to be ground up later the same day so a little bruising just helps.

We mix the pears with apples for a tasty drink.

We went over 300 imp. gallons so far
no frost yet so more apples to be picked

The bears got into our carrot beds and ate their share.
I hung a electric fence wire across the remainder carrots so it looks like we will have some too.

It is harvest time , the last of the peas and beans got picked this weekend.
Project this week is to pick all the Concord grapes.
best wishes
hank
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Old 23 September 2014, 13:31   #184
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Now that's an interesting house colour for a Donegal home ......


Quote:
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If I don't make a hash of the vinification, I should end up with the same quantity of cider as last year.
Maybe I'll even get to taste a drop this year????

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Old 23 September 2014, 14:28   #185
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Willk,
I was wondering how you get the apples out of your trees, we spread a plastic tarp under the trees and use a long aluminum pike pole to shake the branches.
Well that certainly works!

I'm even sneakier - I planted my trees so I had control from day one. I used mostly mm106 rootstock which produces a shortish bushy tree - easy to pick by hand if one keeps them pruned back a bit. I've a few m26 specimens too, which are dwarf trees with prodigious cropping ability.

As I don't have to combat bears, I age my apples for a couple of weeks after harvest to allow the starches convert into sugars, so no bruising is important - not a fan of patulin! At almost 55 North, we need all the sugar possible - I have to add some to keep alcohol levels high enough to preserve the cider.

@tonymac - that's my shed. They're not all white. Not sure about you and the cider. Like they say, it's an acquired taste...

...i.e. you have to acquire some to taste it
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Old 24 September 2014, 10:30   #186
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hand picking is out for us
most of the trees we "pick" are almost 100 years old and have been pruned by our furry monsters Ursus Horribilis
The first branches are way out of reach
on some trees I need a ladder and the pike pole to reach the top apples
cheers
hank
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Old 26 September 2014, 13:13   #187
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another 3 pressing for us yesterday and 45 gallons --almost 350 gallons so far
somebody placed an ad in the local paper asking if anybody had apples that needed picking to give them a call
driving up our valley I see that a few of "our" trees were picked
looks like we got competition
I'm not complaining we get lots
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Old 26 September 2014, 16:36   #188
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Quote:
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As I don't have to combat bears,
try living in Glasgow
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Old 08 October 2014, 23:24   #189
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3 of us picked a truck load of Spartans and Cox Orange Pippen apples today.
We have wooden sides up to the cab roof on a 2006 Ford Ranger's pick up box, and it was loaded to the top.
we figured there was a Ton of apples on the truck , the springs were flat on the rear.
we only pressed 1/2 of the load today and will finish tomorrow.
We are over 500 gallons.

I think the furry monsters didn't like my electric fence that we smeared peanut butter on the wire .
we made some interesting trades for some of the juice

cheers
hank
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Old 09 November 2014, 17:35   #190
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Quote:
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....we made some interesting trades for some of the juice
Right, like what?

I was making kickbacks all summer with last season's "electric lemonade" - not sure how that will work out next season

This season's juicing was wrapped up today. And so a year turns - now for the wind and the snow and then pruning and feeding and weeding and spraying....

.....I think I'll do a bit more RIBbing next year
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