After harvest is over and the orchard has been put to bed for the winter, we enter the distilling season. All our fermenters have been filled with apple cider and are pretty much finished fermenting. 3000 gallons of hard cider at 6% alcohol equals a little over 7, 50 gallon barrels of 100 proof apple brandy. This takes us into January running the stills every day starting at 4am and finishing somewhere around 3pm. This is our year 7 since starting in 2009.. and we will be doing our first bottling in time for sales in December 2017.. Nick
There are only a few sour cherries on the trees this year.. I was about to go out and put the netting over the trees, when I decided that the labor of doing so was not worth the few cherries I'd save..It's a very long and frustrating job to cover every tree with netting. Sooo.. the birds will have the few that are there before they even ripen. lt's hard to do it!! it's mostly robins.. and it's always a battle with them, they act like they''re the rightful owners.. and pay no attention to me.. when I do net the trees I feel such relief! Aw well.. so it goes.. the birds get their way this time.. Nick
Terry and I have both been carpenters in past lives.. so working together on this project we instantly revert back to our crude carpenter banter, we take 10 o'clock coffee breaks, something we seldom do while working in the orchard.. and we actually get it right most of the time when one of us hollers out a measurement with 9/16th in it^$%%^$%.. Yeah.. we're that good!!
We are building a new cellar for the brandy barrels. The old one is getting too small and as we keep getting more and more barrels every year, I get more and more afraid of fire.. Being our 5th year of accumulating barrels, We have over 1500 gallons now in oak and it not only represents a big chunk of work and expense.. It's five years of aging that we would never get back.. So the new cellar is built with fire safety in mind.