The Cidermaking Year by Rose Grant

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The story of Cider by Rosie and news from:

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Rose's first post to ukcider

Date: Tue Oct 28, 2003 11:06 pm Subject: My Introduction

Hello Everybody. Pleased to make your acquaintance. My name is Rose Grant. I have been making cider as a hobby for many years, here in Dorset. In 1990 I started a one acre orchard of mixed cider varieties on M25. Gradually I have been able to use my own apples. This has been exciting since I have been able to experiment with single varieties as well as blending. This year I have been able to progress to my first 50 gal barrel as well as demijohns. I think I will be glad of some advice from you, my new friends! For a start can anybody tell me where I can buy those nice 2 litre glass jars as used by Westons?

introduction by Andy Roberts

January 2006

This section of the ukcider wiki is devoted to the writings of Rose Grant, a Dorset cidermaker. Rose introduced herself to the group in October 2003, and immediately set about picking the brains of others, sharing her own knowledge and growing expertise and delighting readers with her lyrical writings depicting the struggles and joys of developing a one-woman enterprise in rural Dorset.

In late 2005, after reading one of Rose's inspirational emails I wrote to her suggesting that they really deserve to be featured on a weblog of her own, like a 'Diary of a Dorset Cidermaker'. Not feeling inclined to undertake such a commitment, instead she agreed to allow me to edit and publish selected writings here, on the grounds that "the page could be of value to aspiring cider producers, especially if like me, they are gearing up from cider as a hobby to small scale real commercial production. I am happy to share my woes and joys along the way if it would help other people to get into the production of real cider. "

We certainly do expect such an audience to benefit in a pragmatic way from the tips, tricks and clear descriptions which Rose provides as her journey takes her through the process of equiping her ciderhouse for an annual doubling of production, building and installing ingenious adaptations of traditional systems, observing each season's trials and sucesses for future years. Additionally, a warm and positive rural storytelling is offered which I believe a much wider readership will eagerly wish to follow simply for the sheer pleasure of reading it.

Comments and questions

Unlike most of the rest of the wiki, these pages are for one person's voice rather than an exercise in collaboration so please don't attempt to rewrite or add to Rose's words but if you find any spelling, formatting or punctuation errors which really bug you then please go ahead.

If you wish to comment or ask questions then again, pleased don't annotate the writing directly, instead create or add to the appropriate discussion page (see tab at top between "article" and "edit") or send a message to the ukcider mailing list.


The Current Year 2009


Do come in and have a good look around:

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

Cleaning Up the Cider House, Cider Friends and Friendship, Rabbit Damage, A Windy Wassail


December 2008

Late season

November 2008

Water Hydraulic Press, Perry vs Pear Cider

October 2008

Mid Season, Machinery, New Forest Cider weekend, Keeving Weather

September 2008

Mad September, Square and Compass

August 2008

Stickers and Posters Campaign,

July 2008

Slack Ma Girdle,Summer Topics, Stickers and Posters, Top real cider pub, Top worked trees

June 2008

Welcome Lulworth Skipper,Extra deliveries and fuel prices

May 2008

Relaxing before Putley, Putley Awards, Little Rosie, May Queen Festival, Bath and West Show

April 2008

Joys of Spring, Earls Court Exhibition

March 2008

More Orchard Work, Threatened STRONG CIDER tax increase, Mechanical Harvesting, Not so Free Houses, ukcider stickers and posters

February 2008

Cherry Norman, Putley Big Apple, MDPE tanks for cider, Halogen lamps for reading litmus papers

January 2008

Top grafting, Orchard work completed, Wassail week, Calcareous soils, Sulfur


December 2007

Tidying up, Varnish, Process improvements reflection, Winter orchard work, Knight's Treatise

November 2007

Ni to the rescue, Hand scratter, Keeving time, festival video, Excise duty in Ireland, 1000 signatures, Keeving completed

October 2007

New Forest Cider Weekend, A sad day, Beauty in the Orchard, Halfway Point, Apple Day, Old Scratter Wanted, Nehou, Redstreak

September 2007

Tom Putts are falling, process improvements, 13 layer cheese, sterilising equipment, blackberry indicator, 2nd load

August 2007

Pomace pump, Vigo, management team, Square and Compass, Sold out!!

July 2007

Slowed down, Positive Displacement Pump, This year's crop

June 2007

Progress, pub cycle challenge

May 2007

Rushed off my feet, Campaign for small cidermakers, Bag-in-box cooler, Blossomtime festival, Contact and Supply

April 2007

More deliveries and a fast turnover, Powerstock Cider Festival, St George's Day, Redstreak

March 2007

Cidermakers' holiday time, first deliveries, sales drive

February 2007

Racking and Bottling

January 2007


Photo features

Blossomtime celebration

The May day event in Rose's orchard was also a gathering of cidermakers blossomtime celebration pictures

Years gone by


December 2006

Vigo 1500 mill, Porter's Perfection, End of term, Tree holes, Intermediate Bulk Containers IBC, Press racks

November 2006

Keeving, Trouble with Mill, Elevator simulation, Weekend Off, SG 1070, Kingston Black, Yarlingtons

October 2006

Apple Day, pump metal, whelmed, half way, busy season.

September 2006

Started, The old orchard, ST EM, Tom Putts and Cider Lady's Finger, Elevator, Layer Thickness, New Routine

August 2006

Special Keg, Labelling, Wasps, St Em update, Ice, badgers

July 2006

Apple mugs, Organic cider, Festivals, cider miles and delivery, Orchard for sale, Welcome to Steve Hughes

June 2006

Champagne bottles, Use of Sulphite, Pressure test, juice quality

May 2006

May Queen, Pomace hopper, Cider by Rosie, Hydraulics, Cider bar, Potted history, blossomtime celebration pictures

April 2006

Bag-in-box filling, Swanage, Perry Pancakes

March 2006

Installing the new press, tanks and elevator, Linden Lea, "Cider by Rosie"

February 2006

Sucralose, Amazing Enzyme

January 2006

Cornish Orchards, New press arrives in giant pieces, Mouse, biofuel



disposal of pomace


Cold, Useful tools, Harvesting, Pig's perks, Suntans, Stowford press, Bramleys,


The trees, Ikea, Fruit Flies, Spiders?, French cider, Welcome


Measuring Alcohol percentage, Vintage cider, Mill for sale on eBay, Ray's Press, Stainless steel nails, Wasps


Rum barrels, Lottery, plums, Hygene in the cider house


Bramley cider, First year sold out, Speed of throughput


Ashmead's Kernel, Deer, Big Apple


May festival, cutting back the tip


Powerstock festival, Picking and storage, community orchard, May Festival


Bottle suppliers, Pumps, Vigo Mill from ebay, Aluminium vats, Thomas Hardy and planting




Greg's Pit perry, Mark's Vigo press





Spring water bottles, Sheeps' nose


Apple washing, power steering, apple and cider weekend, Somerset cider apples, apple pictures, Big Apple at Marcle, PH test papers, Nepeta


Westons organic, Sweet Alford/Le Bret, My new press, Press Racks, Pressing results, Bushels, Royal Somerset




Press cloths, scratter varnish


Aphids, Ladybirds, Nurseries, Damson, Leaf curdling, Best ever cider, canker


Stoke Red


Blosssom, grafting success, contacting MP


Oak Barrels, books, single varieties, magistrates licensing


Woodworm, licensing


Wassailing, grafting



Tom Putt, apple varieties, chalk soil


Waste disposal units for milling cider apples
Barrel Press

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