Help talk:Contents

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Where to ask

People seem to find their way to this page, perhaps by clicking "help" and then "discussion" which would seem quite reasonable. And you might well get an answer here too, if you remember to look back and read it.

But as Ray has said below "To get a more immediate response to any questions and to meet a much wider spectrum of folks infinitely more experienced and knowledgeable than amateurs like me, why not join the ukcider email group? They are a very friendly and helpful bunch of folks."

A link to the ukcider mailing list joining up page is here:

But if you have a problem with email discussion groups in general or googlegroups in particular then do go ahead and add your question in below. You might also want to check the Cider_makers_FAQ too, just in case the advice you are looking for is already written there.





I have just bought a house with an old orchard in Long Ashton. Old records show that the orchard at one time had a fir quantity of trees. Currently there are only 5, noidea what variety etc but they do produce an excellent crop.

If I wanted to start making cider what do I need ? Is there a book that anyone could reccomend ?

Any suggestions gladly accepted.


Hello Will,

Welcome to ukcider and congratulations on your recent aquisition. Real Cider making on a Small Scale seems to be the most recommended starter book, but the best thing you can do is to join the free ukcider email list where you can get expert help and advice as well as reading the wiki here. Good luck with the new orchard. --Andy 08:45, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Spanish cider in the UK

Hello this is nick here innkeeper at the Dartmouth Arms in north London

purveyor of fine English/welsh cider.

I have just opened a spanish bar also in north london but am having

trouble sourcing Spanish sidre. i wonder if anyone knows of any importers


Hi Nick, I've forwarded your question to the list. The only Spanish cider I've seen in the UK myself is at the La Tasca chain of tapas restaurants, but it isn't Sidra Natural, it's the sweet fizzy stuff. Andy

Bramleys / crab

Can anyone tell which would make the better cider when mixed with desert apples. This is my first attempt at cider Thanks Richard.

A Hi Richard, Many folks will have their own views about this, but personally I'd go for the crabs providing they are really ripe. Crabs contain high levels of both tannin and acid (which makes them bitter and sour), whereas Bramleys contain high levels of acid and low levels of tannin (so they 'just' taste sour). Tannins add body and flavour to a cider, which is why most true cider apples have high-ish levels of tannin when compared to dessert or culinary apples. Cider apples could be described as being closer to crabs than anything else. I've recently made my first batch this year using mixed windfalls and have chucked in a few handfulls of very ripe and very red 'John Downie' crabs, and the colour and taste so far (after a couple of weeks) is far superior to a batch I made where I'd mixed in some Bramley windfalls that I'd been given.
Whichever you decide upon using, add them carefully, as dessert apples are also surprisingly often quite high in acid. Keep testing the juice, either by taste or some narrow range Ph papers. For more detailed information, have you visited Andrew Lea's website? Check out the sections on acid and the good web resources listed. Bottom line is that it's all down to personal taste and experience - and what you are used to drinking...
To get a more immediate response to any questions and to meet a much wider spectrum of folks infinitely more experienced and knowledgeable than amateurs like me, why not join the ukcider email group? They are a very friendly and helpful bunch of folks. Let us know how you get on. Good luck. --Ray 10:08, 24 September 2006 (BST)

Dear Ray, Thanks for your excellent reply. I will now go and raid all the crab apples within cycling distance.As for the Bramley's I was given, well there,s alway's storage,juice or freezing.I plan to press my first gallon this wednesday.Thanks again Richard


Hi there.

I have just been told to avoid food or drink with wheat in them but am having difficulty in finding out wether cider contains any. I particularly like olde english or scrumpy jack - so if anyone out there knows the answer I would be very grateful!

Many thanks from Liz

All ciders should be Wheat free in theory, although many commercial ciders derive some (or indeed most) of their fermentable sugars from sources other than pure apple juice. I understand that corn syrups are generally used to bulk out the juice by most commercial producers. - Mark

Hmmm - isn't there a danger in that - some - cider makers used to use wheat straw as part of the cheese? I don't know if its current practice, but I've heard it referred to by some oldtimers - JonS

Woolpack, Banbury

just found this site while browsing, and wondered how to have my pub added? we stock thatchers gold but have recently added Biddenden cider from Kent on hand-pull.At 8% it's to be taken seriously, but is so smooth it's almost like a wine. We are in the good beer guide(short-listed for north oxon pub of the year 2008),we're right in the town centre opposite the famous cross, and always maintain we have the best customers in town! any advice on being included, or recommendations of other ciders/perries would be greatly appreciated. yours sincerely Angela Kirtley the Woolpack, Banbury

moved to User_talk:Woolpackbanbury