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Fruit and Cider Talk from Calais, Vermont. Maintained by Terry Bradshaw, fruit guy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions at Lost Meadow Cidery:

*//**/Frequently Asked Questions at Lost Meadow Cidery:/*

*How long are you open?*

This year, September 12 - October 31. Weekends only, 10-6.

*How long have you been doing this?*

Cider, 15 or so years, more if you go back to when I was a kid. Here in
this garage, since 2005, opened for 'business' in 2006.

*Do you make any money at this?*

Hell no. It's a hobby I would be doing anyway, so I figured I'd set it
up right and offer the goods to the public since this kind of cider is
hard to find.

*Where do you get your apples?*

Apples come from many sources. All sweet cider apples are purchased from
commercial Champlain Valley orchards. Our primary source grows over 40
varieties which contribute to the unique and changing blends we produce
throughout the year. All sweet jug cider apples are tree-picked, whole,
sound fruit.

Fermenter's fruit comes from our own orchard, local feral trees, and
regional orchards that specialize in superior cider fruit. We go to
great lengths to source the best fruit for (hard) cidermaking, and feel
that our product shows it.

*Do you use drops?*

Never for the sweet cider. Some fruit for fermenting blends are
windfalls or intentionally shaken at harvest, with strict mill
sanitation between the two types of fruit.

*Will you squeeze my apples?*

No, I have enough trouble fitting my fruit into the schedule without
messing with squeezing other's fruit. I've also seen enough contaminated
fruit come down the driveway that I'll not take any chances, thank you.

*Do you have an orchard?*

A little one. No, you can't pick any apples there.

*Are the apples organic?*

Some are. Some apples come from certified organic or transition
orchards, some from unsprayed wild trees. 'Conventional' apples come
from orchards that use advanced Integrated Pest Management practices to
reduce chemical inputs to a minimal level. In fact, I manage the farm
that produces the majority of our fruit, and feel confident about all of
the apple products from it.

*Is your cider pasteurized?*

No, we do not pasteurize our cider. Because we are a retail operation,
we are not bound by 21 CFR sec 101, the FDA Juice rules that require
pasteurization and HACCP implementation. We do take food safety very
seriously, and operate a strict food safety program to ensure that our
product is safe and healthy.

*What's with this food safety business? I've drank unpasteurized cider
all my life.*

Cider made from bad fruit under unsanitary conditions really can carry
some nasty stuff. The 'bad bugs' have recently evolved to survive and
multiply in the acidic juice environment and really aren't to be messed
with. That's why we run a clean ship and use good fruit.

*But doesn't cider give you the shits?*

Apples are very high in fiber, and a glass of cider is loaded with it.
In this soluble form, it will have a cleansing effect- all things in
moderation, until you're used to it.
Do you make hard cider?*

Yes, as a hobby. NO I DON'T SELL IT.

*How much for your hard cider?*

NOT FOR SALE. I'll help you make your own, though.

*What's fermenting stock?*

Fermenting stock ('Cidre') is made from specific juice blends intended
for making hard cider. These blends are selected to provide a juice with
balanced sugar, acid, tannin, and flavor profile suitable for making a
quality finished cider. Varieties used change with the season and
consist of a base, usually a blend of Liberty, Cortland, Gala, or Golden
(Delicious and Russet) and a bittersweet/sharp component such as
Foxwhelp, Ellis Bitter, Yarlington Mill, Chisel Jersey, Dabinett, and
some local crabapples. Blended cidre juice is filled into the customer's
container only. Carboys and other supplies can be had from Local Potion
in Plainfield, VT and Vermont Homebrew Supply in Winooski, VT. For a
basic cider customers only need a clean, sanitized fermenter and airlock.

*How do I make hard cider?*

Easy. Get me a carboy, airlock, and stopper, pick up a pack of wine
yeast while you're at it. Get on my cidre reservation list, I'll send
you home with all you need, including directions.

*Do you add yeast to your cider?*

Didn't used to, but the mill is kept so clean I have a hard time keeping
a wild ferment going these days. I use a basic white wine yeast like
Premier Cuvee or Cotes des Blancs.

*Do you add sugar to your cider?*

I don't, you can.

*Enough about cider. Does this road go any farther?*

Yes, it comes back out in East Montpelier like a big jughandle.

*Can I drive it?*

If you have to ask, no. I'm not buying you a new exhaust.

*Interested in bartering?*

I'm always looking for syrup, meat, and other goodies. Let's talk.

* *


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