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Secret Cider Society Returns!

We’re pleased to announce that Secret Cider is returning next month.  We’re kicking off again on the 28th April with one of SCS’s favourites Hornbrook Kitchen.  Tickets are £30 each which includes 3 delicious courses each one paired with a cider chosen by Barny.  Tickets are limited so click here to to book! 

From the Cider Works

It’s still all quiet with this year’s cider, but it’s always worth the wait!  We use this time of year for experimenting with our small batch ciders and firming up new collaborations.  As you’ve probably gathered from our posts, Barny spent some time earlier in the year in Baltimore. As well as attending CiderCon, the world’s largest cider gathering, he also had to earn his keep, strengthening our collaborations with Dan Kopman, our partner in crime for our St Louis Dry Hopped Cider. Now CEO at  Heavy Seas Beer in Baltimore, Dan will be  visiting the Cider Works next month to move forward with future collaborations. Since the Dry Hopped was awarded the Golden Fork Award by the Guild of Fine Food, we’ve got high hopes!

Spotlight On Cider Apples

Here at Sandford Orchards we’re very proud that we only use Devon cider apples in our cider.  But what makes an apple a cider apple and why is it so important when making cider? Well, for a start as their name suggests, cider apples are only grown for making cider, they’re certainly not good to eat!

It’s basically down to acidity, tannin levels and sugar levels. For cider production it’s important that the fruit contains high sugar levels to encourage fermentation and to raise the final alcohol levels. Cider apples therefore often have higher sugar levels than dessert and cooking apples. The tannins and acidity are what give ciders the depth of flavour and ‘body’.

Cider apples tend to be split into four categories.  We use apples from all categories in order to get the best depth of flavour, and different blends of apples are used to create our different ciders.

  • Bittersweet (low level of acidity, high level of tannin)
  • Bittersharp (high levels of both acidity and tannin)
  • Sharp (high level of acidity, low level of tannin)
  • Sweet (low levels of both acidity and tannin)

There are many different Devon cider apple varieties such as Slack Ma Girdle, Billy Down Pippin, Fair Maid of Devon, Golden Ball, Sweet Hangy Downs, Spotted Dick to name a few, we use at least 70 varieties of apple, in our cider and last year planted over 22,000 new cider apple trees to protect the future of Devon cider.

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