RG 2004 February

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8289401_8cd6453906_s.jpg This page is part of The Cidermaking Year by Rose Grant

February, 2004


Scratter Woodworm

Having been impressed by Andrew's high falutin chemistry, I wondered if he or any other Group member, knows of a treatment for woodworm that is not toxic to humans. I have an old wooden scratter mill that is riddled with the little perishers. I would like to put an end to their little game, without jeopardising my cider.


Thank you all for your suggested remedies. I have taken the mill to pieces and already used the most powdery parts for firewood, so the useful parts that are left could be put in my chest freezer. This could be stage 1, followed by the soak in metabisulphite. I like that idea, as it will also kill any other ancient undesirables in the wood! I can't imagine that any would be left after that, to benefit from a stage 3, euthanasia by Vodka, but I will bear it in mind. What I have come to realise is that the wood worm is especially partial to oak when it has been continually soaked in apple juice!

Thanks again, Rose.

I was sad and indignant to hear of the problems that some have had with licensing, especially since I am hoping to follow in their footsteps. I know a chap in west Dorset who sells his cider at farmer's markets and he did not seem to have much trouble getting the license. However it does cost him £5 a time as he has to apply for each and every market that he goes to. I had the impression that it was just a matter of red tape, so was aghast to hear of your outright refusal. Is this another post code lottery? What a load of nonsense it is. If only the licensing were as straight forward as the excise duty waiver for small producers, it would be more realistic. I am determined to get there somehow. Having seen how people here enjoy real cider when they taste it, having only experienced the supermarket stuff, I know there is a market out there. I feel as if I'm on a mission to get proper 100 % juice cider more widely appreciated. This year I only have 70 gallons to dispose of, but my orchard crop increases year on year so I have got to get organised fairly soon. As you know Roy Bailey successfully sells his cider wholesale. I am hoping to be able to do this, at least to begin with. The problem of course is that it could mean a lot of legwork finding favourable outlets. Your experience at your local real ale pub, is far from encouraging! Dont let the beggars grind you down. Rose

Someone mentioned the Parliamentary Cider group. Can you explain their function? Are they connected in any way to Ukcider, or are you hoping that one of the members might also be following topics in our group? It would be nice to know who these MPs are. Then perhaps some of us could do some lobbying. Rose.