Yellow Sun Cider
Welcome to the latest blog from us here at #twitterVforce – and from the messages that I have been receiving, a very anticipated blog.
Yellow Sun Cider
This all came about in the Autumn of 2015 when I teamed up with my local cider producer Nick Edwards at Ciderniks in my home village of Kintbury to help out with the years pressing of tonnes & tonnes of apples – general chat turned to V Force (as it always seems to do with me) and an idea sprang into both of our minds at the same time.
How about making a cider and name it with a V Force theme?
Various ideas for names were thrown into the hat from Vulcan Cider to V Force Cider but to me that was not quite punchy enough.
Cue stage left and a very good friend John Wood @bombbayjohn (he of Avro Vulcan 60 glorious years, XH558 volunteer and cake eater).
A quick message to John et voila ‘Yellow Sun’.
Why Yellow Sun?
Well, it was the name of the very 1st British Nuclear Bomb that was designed to be carried by the trio of the RAF’s V Force Bombers – Vickers Valiant, Avro Vulcan & Handley Page Victor and was developed & assembled locally here in the ‘Nuclear Triangle’.
Here is a Yellow Sun Nuclear Bomb with outer casing removed. This particular one is at Newark Air Museum (@NewarkAirMus) and sits proudly near Avro Vulcan B Mk.2 XM594. Many thanks to Howard Heeley (@DTEPHoward) at NAM for the photo.
A few pictures of ‘Yellow Sun’ with Yellow Sun will no doubt soon follow.
I could write a whole thesis on Yellow Sun but to make my life easier have a click on the link below to read all about this ‘Bucket of Sunshine’.
Apples, apples, apples – tonnes & tonnes of them awaiting the press, all gathered and gained from various locations.
Apples get placed into the ‘muncher’ (my description) where they are smashed to a pulpy apple mush)
The pulped apples then get built into ‘cheeses’. A slotted wooden square gets a layer of sacking, then the pulped apples, then another wooden square and so on and so forth until you have a good layered cheese
Squeezing time – a hydraulic press then squeezes the cheese and the juices start flowing. The smell in the cider shed by this time is outstanding, the heady aroma of apples really is mesmerizing.
Pure apple juice straight from the press
The pressed remains of the apple pulp are then removed from the sack cloths and placed into black plastic bags awaiting collection from the local Pig Farmer so he can give his porkers a tasty appley treat – though he has to get it quick before it starts to ferment or else we would be seeing rather wobbly & raucous pigs!
The apple juice is then pumped into 1000 ltr tanks where it is to stay for 12 months whilst the magic happens. Nothing is added to this elixir as there is plenty of natural yeasts floating around the cider shed that sets off the fermentation.
It had to happen – Cider shed ZAPPED by #twitterVforce
Onwards to August 2016 and the apple juice had now been transformed into cider. Time for blending to acquire a new cider especially for #twitterVforce.
This folks was not an easy task (as you can guess). It took hours to perfect, and the result was that we went back to the very 1st blend that we did (sound familiar gents?).
And in the traditional fashion, the blend is a closely guarded secret.
Now the serious bit, you may think that its all a matter of blending, tasting, fettling & more tasting however, you are wrong.
As you know, all alcoholic drinks contain varying amounts of alcohol. So how do you measure this?
This is where Chemistry comes in in the shape of an Ebulliometer.
As we all know, water boils at varying temperatures depending on atmospheric pressure, temperature & weather conditions. This device firstly measures the current condition allowing you to then ‘bring to the boil’ your product and by then using a guide looking like something that would not seem out of place on an engineers desk, measure the alcohol content precisely.
If you need to know more about this process have a look at the video below by following the link. The clip shows wine testing but it is exactly the same process for Cider
Blending day with yours truly, Warwick from The Catherine Wheel, Newbury and Cider Maestro himself, Nick Edwards.
The last 12 months have been a great learning curve for me in the art of cider making & I am heading back this Autumn to start the process all over again.
Yellow Sun cider will see its deployment on Monday 19th September 2016 at The Catherine Wheel (@cathwheelnew) after a days journey by barge from Kintbury to Newbury.
If you are passing Newbury please do pop in for a pint.
You can also purchase Yellow Sun Cider & others (the Cider Vinegar is stunning) via Nicks website:
You can also follow Nick on Twitter: @Ciderniks
Now here is the good bit …………..
For ever Pint/Bottle sold we will be making a donation to the Vulcan To The Sky Trust, so not only will you be getting Cider but you will also be securing the future of Avro Vulcan XH558.