Today we blended.
This is where we take all the different barrels that we’ve pressed from all the different gardens and orchards, and blend them into a product that matches what we’ve made in previous years. In this case, we need to replicate Craft, Golden Valley and Ethical Director. For those who don’t how we do this, it’s basically to blend a good quality full juice traditional cider – about 800 litres, and to take half of that, and that is Craft. There is nothing added to this. It’s cider that was created by fermenting apples and nothing else. It’s quite strong, at almost 6% ABV. We then add to the remaining 400 litres of this using other barrels until we have a total of 1000 litres. That is then split in half. The first half is let back slightly to reduce the alcohol from about 6% to 4.5% ABV. That makes Golden Valley. The second half is sweetened with fresh apple juice and that makes Ethical Director, also about 4.5% ABV.
What makes this complicated, in this context, is because our Apple – 5135-286 – went into the first 800 litres. This means he was moved a 10th time to get him into the IBC for blending purposes.
Of course then he was moved out of the IBC and into the Craft barrels (11th move)
But here’s the complication. A part of him stayed in the IBC and was included in the blend for Golden Valley and Ethical Director. So a part of him has also been moved to the GV IBC and to the ED IBC. So is that move 12 and 13? Or is that all part of move 11?
The Craft barrels and the Golden Valley and Ethical Director IBCs will sit and marry for a week before the IBCs go to Miles to be bottled. That will be move 12 (or 14).
What we can now be sure of however, is that Apple 5135-286 will have a presence in every bottle of cider we sell. In every litre of loose Craft that is sold, in every bottle of Golden Valley and in every bottle of Ethical Director.