WANT TO FIND OUT
HOW WE MAKE OUR
AWARD WINNING CIDER
RIGHT HERE IN CORNWALL?
If you are a proper cider drinker you might want to know how it actually gets from the trees of Kilkhampton to your favourite pub or local shop!
We might not give you all our family secrets but we can give you an idea how it gets there. Let Davver show you how…
You can find Davver and Den out picking from Cornish orchards all over North Cornwall (but not too far from their roots in Kilkhampton).
Picking fresh wind-fallen apples from early September right up to late December. You must be careful as they have enough sugar-early on in the season to make a good cider.
There is a fine line between too much acid in your apples early in the season and not enough sugar to ensure a good fermentation.
Apples are a fantastic fruit to use and there are over 2,000 varieties, so plenty to choose from. You can make cider from just about any blend of apples, with a small amount of knowledge.
There are so many Cornish orchards that have been left to their own devices, and have become overgrown, that it can be a lot of sweat and tears at first. But when all the hard work is done and you taste your own cider, it makes it all worth the effort.
I find it such a shame for this fantastic fruit to just fall on the ground and rot away, so here we are making the most of our Cornish grown and handpicked apples.
The wash run and wash bay have been created to clean off any dirt, insects, mud and leaves from the Cornish handpicked apples. Ours is all hand built by Davver and Den using locally supplied materials.
It has been modified over the last 2 years making sure it runs smoothly, without wasting too much energy and keeping water usage down to a minimum.
We can wash up to 2 tons of apples in just under 30 minutes. Impressive ay!
So, onto pressing our beautiful, sweet handpicked Cornish apples. Over the last season Davver and Den have been perfecting the process and we’ve found the best way to get the most juice from our apple pulp.
Our press can hold 12 large trugs of apple pulp. First, we place a press cloth inside the press so the apple juice can flow out easily. The pulp is then put in 4-inch-deep layers, with a squeeze board between each layer, right up to the top of the press. 4 large half round wooden press blocks are placed at the top and then the pressing begins!
This year we added a hydraulic pump to the press, which has made the whole process a lot easier.
And next comes one of the best part of this process – watching the apple juice flow out in abundance!
We can get over of 140 litres of sweet Cornish apple juice per press. Once every drop of juice has been squeezed out, we clean the press out and the process starts again. The left-over dry pulp is then fed to our hungry sheep who absolutely love to fill their tummies with it. “Waste not, want not,” as Den often says.
After the hard work of pressing we pump our juice directly into 600ltr bulk food grade containers to ferment into our Davvers Cornish cider.
We fill them right up to the top, leaving as little air space as possible, closing it with an airlock cylinder. We use this to force the air out and replace it with a layer of carbon dioxide. This naturally protects the cider from getting infections and turning bad.
And then we sit back and take a break (for about ten minutes) and watch as the apple juice starts its natural process of fermenting all the sugars out and turning them into alcohol.
Davvers cider is left to settle and clear for as long as possible. This could be up to six months before racking off and bottling, ready to go to the pubs and shops of Cornwall and beyond.
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We sell-out quite a lot. Honestly. People just keep buying our cider and we can’t always keep up with demand.
Probably best to get some now…..