Worley's make a delicious keeved cider using heritage cider apples. Find out about the ancient art of keeving and our Special Reserve celebration cider.
Cider apples from the Somerset Levels
We source our apples from one of the best apple growing regions in the World – the Somerset Levels. A warm, silty plain with perfect growing conditions – plenty of sunshine and plenty of rain. The apples we use are cider apples, not dessert apples. They are generally not too pleasant to eat – often floury, overly-sweet, tannic, bitter and sharp. Some can be small and mean, others fat and knobbly, and none of them are fruit-bowl-ready.
Our apples for Special Reserve are selected and pressed when the temperature is cool. After a few days a change occurs as the pectin in the juice forms a gel. This rather peculiar layer of material rises to the surface of the juice, buoyed by tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide produced as a slow fermentation starts to take hold. It looks like a thick, brown cap, and in French cider making is called 'le chapeau brun'. It looks pretty revolting! A slimy gel that sometimes oozes out of the top of the container.
Bottling and conditioning
At this stage the juice is ready to siphon off. You can't see from the photos, but the golden juice is sandwiched between the brown cap on top and a light sediment called the 'lees' that rests on the bottom. The juice is gently pumped into a fresh container and left to slowly ferment for at least a couple of months. The fermentation is slow because most of the yeast's nutrient has been removed by the keeving process, and the winter temperatures by this time are (hopefully) nice and cold cold. The cider is ready to bottle by about March the following year for a medium sweet cider.
The whole juice
At Worley's Cider we only use fresh-pressed apple juice in our ciders. We're committed to making high-quality ciders using natural (wild) yeasts to ferment the juice. We never use apple juice concentrate to make our ciders. We make lots of other ciders as well as the Special Reserve. We make still, draught ciders and bottled sparkling offerings – all from fresh-pressed apple juice and all delicious. Please contact us for further details, or visit our website www.worleyscider.co.uk We'd love to hear from you.