BBC Radio Solent’s Lou Hannan...
As you may remember, I moved house six months ago and, although I’m still getting used to the new place, one of the things I already love about it is the garden. I have a bumper crop of apples.
I’m definitely no gardener but there is something deeply satisfying about seeing the fruits of the land ripen ready for harvesting.
The downside? What do I do with all these apples?
Chatting to Alun about it on our radio show, I decided the way forward was... cider.
I mean, how difficult can it be?
A few tips from listeners and a YouTube tutorial later, Al came over one afternoon last week and we set to it.
The village I live in has a community apple press so we borrowed that and then set up a little cottage industry, chopping, mulching and pressing.
Anyone witnessing the action in my garage would have thought they were watching The Chuckle Brothers’ more incompetent siblings.
As the juice filled the container, we discussed what to do next.
Back to YouTube we went, only to discover we’d missed a crucial stage in the process by not washing the apples and cutting out the brown bits.
Hey, only we’re going to drink it and a few germs won’t kill us, surely?
Into the house we went and began the process of adding Brewer’s Yeast – we had no idea how much so guessed and added five crushed tablets – some Vitamin B1 – which is extremely difficult to find, by the way – and loads of sugar – I have a sweet tooth.
The container I’d put aside for the home brew was obviously way too small.
So, as I write this, I’m looking at three plastic jugs, a used milk container and random bottle that I found, in order to create cider magic.
It’s funny how a process like this looks so easy when you watch a 15 minute video on the internet.
Within 10 days the demonstrator promised ‘delicious cider’.
Admittedly, it’s only day three, but mine is currently looking like the sludgiest of pond water and about as appetising.
However, I won’t be beaten. I will persevere and, who knows, this time next month I might be boasting about the award-winning Alun & Lou Special Brew.