Hello everyone, welcome back to my blog again. I hope you are still finding it informative and interesting. Your feedback and ideas are really great so please keep them coming!
My new business idea
So I have already told you about how I want to work for myself and that I am currently trying to explore as many avenues as possible. Well my latest idea is to start making my own cider and potentially sell it commercially. I have always had an interest in food and drink and actually thought about opening my own pub at one point, in fact I think if I had the money I would probably do that now! Anyway, I live in the countryside and there are a lot of nice pubs selling artisan beers from local, independent companies. One thing we don’t have though is local cider. Any of the pubs you go in sell the usual well-known brands but no cider that is independently produced. On a recent pub crawl I decided to do some market research and tried to find out whether there is a market for locally produced cider in the area. It turns out that there is a desire for it and as far as anyone knows no one is planning on starting a company of their own. Another good point is that in the nearby counties there are beer and cider festivals held throughout the year which would be the perfect avenue for testing out my cider and getting the brand on the market.
Although I want to keep to the traditional roots of cider making I also want to experiment with flavours and create something different whilst always making sure to use locally grown and sourced produce. One of the recipes I would like to try is pumpkin and apple cider. I think the flavours of pumpkin would work really well with the sweetness of the apples and a hint of spice would add a warmth to it. I would want to keep the flavours subtle though so that the drink is still refreshing and works well served cold, over ice. Another flavour I have come up with is pear and honey. I think this would create really luxurious caramel flavours that would make the drink very moreish. Other flavours I would quite like to work with are elderflower, plums and mint but I haven’t decided on the exact combinations yet. I want the apples and pears to sing in these recipes but at the same time I think a little hint of another flavour would really take the recipes to the next level. Everywhere you look you can find pear and apple ciders or overly sweet and fizzy mixed fruit ciders but nowhere have I seen genuine flavour combinations that true cider drinkers could really enjoy. I want to create something that traditionalist cider drinkers will respect but that is not so strong and cloudy that regular cider drinkers cannot enjoy it either. I think a texture that has a hint of fizz to keep it refreshing but not too fizzy so that it just ends up like pop or sparkling wine is a good bench mark.
I guess one of the main reasons for this venture is because I actually have several fruit trees growing at the bottom of my garden and plenty of room for some when the need grows which obviously makes this business idea a lot more practical and lucrative than if I had to source the fruits from somewhere else. So I have the fruit but the one thing I need is a cider press, the most essential piece of equipment in the cider making process. I have done a lot of research online on the types of cider presses that are available and the different price ranges that I can expect. One notable website I looked at seemed to have a very good range of cider presses for sale but unfortunately the pricing was a little too high for my budget.
So another thing I found out from my research, was exactly how to use one of these machines. First of all you need to take the fallen fruits from a fruit tree and place them in the hopper at the top of the press, the apples need to be as ripe as possible for this. Next you need to turn the crank on the side of the press which grinds the fruit into a pulp. Once there is a enough fruit pulp you take the cider press plate and place it on top of the fruit and press down on it so that the liquid from the pulp drips through. Voila! Well now you have what some people call cider and what others call fresh apple juice but what really turns this into cider is the process of adding yeast to the juice and leaving it to ferment which over time causes the liquid to turn alcoholic.
Buying a cider press
Anyway, back to me finding a cider press for sale! After doing a little more research online I managed to find a cider press for sale that although used seems to be in really great condition and an excellent price. Before I take the plunge and decide to buy it though what I would like to know is, do any of my blog friends have experience in buying such an item and do you in fact know of somewhere that has a cider press for sale that you think would be worth considering? Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated, thanks!