Craft cider & apple juice
How it all happens
Step 1: donated apples are washed & graded
Step 2: we mill the apples in the scratter with a mix of varieties, which helps make a good flavour
Step 3: into the press - layers made into 'cheeses'
Step 4: juice flows! Apple juice is bottled & pasteurised. Cider goes into vats for fermentation - either with natural or added yeast.
Dates for your diary:
3rd to 5th June 2021: cider bottling. Let us know if you would like to join in (& taste some!)
Mon 23rd Aug 2021: apple & pear drop-off opens.
Saturdays in Sept & Oct 2021: volunteers welcome to join in pressing & bottling juice.
Stowford Farm, Bayswater Road, Oxford. OX3 9RZ
In 2021: for every 10kgs of apples you deliver, we'll give you 1x750ml bottle of apple juice or 1x500ml bottle of cider. An apple-pear mix will be new this year.
We can also give you all your juice for £1.80 per bottle - this is fully pasteurised, bottled & good for 2 years. You will need to provide labels.
Or, you provide your own containers & take the juice away to drink or ferment - £1 per litre.
Apples & pears need to be ripe on delivery. If in doubt, follow these simple steps:
Colour - most dessert apples turn yellow/red when ripe. Pears go from green to yellow.
Taste it - does it taste good? Easy if you’ve got dessert apples. Cooking apples remain sharp when ripe.
Twist it - ripe fruit should come away from the tree with a twist of the stalk.
Test it - ripe fruit has dark brown pips - cut a few open to check.
Please separate any windfall (fallen) fruit - we press that first.
Bring 'tree ripe' fruit rather than 'store ripe', an easy mistake to make. The fruit needs to be fully ripe on the tree before picking - tree ripe. Fruit in the shops is 'store ripe' & has been picked weeks before it is ripe - this doesn't make good juice (or such good eating either).
Fresh from the gardens of Oxfordshire
Oxford Farmhouse is a social enterprise - a CIC - Community Interest Company, which is one of the new forms of charity structure. We take unwanted apples & pears to make craft cider & juice with the help of volunteers from many different backgrounds. Give us a call if you'd like to find out about joining in.
We started with small scale production for our own use, just experimenting to make sure we had a good product. In 2018 we went public and have been excited by the volume of apples that have been donated, the people who've helped, and the delicious apple juice. Typical responses to the juice have been:
'The best I've ever tasted!'
The Great Taste Award judges liked it too, awarding us a star for our apple juice in 2019 and 2 stars in 2020 (no one received 3 stars this year & only 7 others were awarded 2 stars).
Our first cider is now available as well - a traditional still, medium-dry cider.
'I absolutely loved it!'
Our craft cider is made using traditional methods & the minimum interruption to the natural process, unlike most mass produced ciders that are reduced to concentrate & then reconstituted using sugar & water. We waited to get the flavour right before releasing in Dec 2019, & it was a great hit at the Christmas Markets.