I don’t really like cider, but with the bumper apple crop this year, it seems criminal to let them all just rot on the ground. So I’ve bought a book and am going to have a bash at making my own.

It’s not like I’ve never liked the stuff, I used to get drunk on a bottle of Merrydown and two cans of Skol when I was first starting out. Before we has such a huge range at the Cambridge CAMRA Beer Festival, I also used to get Tim to take me through them all to see what was what. Having said that, I’m not a big fan, but for some reason, I have this mental urge to make some.

I’ve been scouring the hedgerows while out on my bike, looking for the odd tree here and there. Two on the Lolworth to Childerly bridleway; two just outside Longstanton on another bridleway; three in the verge on the road out of Swaffham Prior and quite a few down Commercial End in Swaffam Bulbeck. I knew that I was going to have to work for my apples, but then I hit the motherload.

Childerly orchard...While in Childerly on the trail of some damsons, I came across their orchard. It contains more apples than you could shake a bloody big stick at, far more than I require to brew a few batches of cider, that’s for sure. So I popped into the estate office and asked nicely if I could have some, they essentially said, knock yourself out and thanks for asking. So earlier this week I dropped buy and picked six fermentors full in about an hour, all without the aid of a ladder and from only six of the thirty odd trees.

Tomorrow and possibly Friday, I’m going back before work to pick some more. I’m also going to to book a day off work and the Abbey apple crusher and press and spend a day extracting the juice. I just hope my book turns up in time, so that I can at least have a decent attempt at getting the blend of apples right. Who knows, I may even have a crack at an apple and bramble concoction, that will be dry hopped with brambling cross.

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