One of the pleasures of cidermaking is meeting the enthusiastic newcomer. As the winter goes on we often hear from them and the question is something like ‘is it alright to try my new cider?’
Our usual response is ‘give it a bit longer to mature.’ We know there’s no point in saying ‘wait until you hear the cuckoo’ because you know darned well that they won’t be that patient.
The taste of your first batch is like watching your grandchildren in their first Nativity Play. You never forget.
Your first reaction may that it’s not the best you’ve ever tasted. But it’s yours and you take another sip and you begin to appreciate that ‘it’s not bad.’ Then you offer some to a friend who will be polite however much you encourage them to give you an honest opinion.
You watch their eyes and their lips. If they grimace you might feel obliged to offer them a glass of a well-known brand. If their eyes light up and they take another sip you are now on the slippery slope to becoming a serious cidermaker. You won’t yet appreciate the implications for your house, your family and your friends.
You’ll start taking an interest the varieties of cider apple and the term ‘specific gravity’ will be come part of your vocabulary. You’ll want to know more about the wild yeast versus cultured yeast debate and unlike everyone else you’ll be looking forward to the end of summer and the beginning of the apple harvest.