ALL THE ANSWERS TO ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ABOUT OUR BUSINESS. IF YOU THINK SOMETHING'S MISSING OR CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR, GET IN CONTACT.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS - AKA "THE CIDER HOUSE RULES"
Firstly bring your apples to us. Sorry we don't pick or collect apples ourselves but can work with a 3rd party to make this happen, see point 17.
BRING THEM TO...
For the 2018 season we are pressing in Furness Vale. Please bring your fruit to Unit 8, Furness Vale Business Centre, Calico Lane, Furness Vale, High Peak, SK23 7SW. IMPORTANT Please check our Events Page to see when and where we are, as we will not be pressing every weekend!
We are also doing 2 drop off dates at Hulme Community Garden Centre. See our Events Page for details.
WEIGHING YOUR FRUIT
We weigh your apples when you bring them to us. We call this your ‘Dry Weight’.
We estimate that we can extract 50% of the juice from your donation we call this your 'Wet Weight'.
FREE CIDER OR JUICE IN RETURN - WE CALL IT "THE 25% RULE"
Say you bring us 100kg of fruit...
We guarantee that we can extract 50 litres of the juice from these apples.
You get 25% of that 50 litres bottled for FREE on the same day, which is 12.5 litres or 25 x 500ml bottles of cider.
The above example also works for our juice but the bottle size is typically 1 litre.
For the 2018 pressing season we are placing an upper limit for fruit donations, which will be a maximum of 200kg per donor. This is for a number of reasons, such as the capacity limitations we have (see note 25 below) and that donors later on in the season regularly miss out as we reach capacity before their fruit is ready to pick and donate. If you plan on bringing us more than a car full, then please let us know in advance of your planned arrival. We may ask you to come at a pre-arranged time.
PREVIOUS DONORS & BOTTLE DEPOSITS
PLEASE NOTE WE NO LONGER ACCEPT BOTTLE RETURNS. PLEASE RECYCLE ALL GLASS AT HOME.
THE STYLE OF CIDER WE PRODUCE:
Your apples will be processed with others from across the region. This gives us a more balanced cider/juice and means we can maximise space in our containers. We cannot guarantee you will get your juice back. Our cider tends to be dry, tangy but highly quaffable. It's best served chilled and mulls really well at Christmas time. We add a small amount of sugar to most batches during bottling this usually helps any remaining yeast cells to re-awaken and 'condition' the cider in the bottle. Hopefully giving each batch a nice sparkle and bubble on the tongue. As our cider is a living product you may find some sediment at the bottom of each bottle, so pour carefully and serve chilled.
We can only process cider for you if you are 18 or over, please don't be offended if we ask for proof of age.
1. What do I get if I donate apples to you and is there a minimum amount?
We'll never turn a good apple down, but if you want cider or juice in return you'll need a minimum of 12 kilos. That would get you 1.5litres back for free of either juice or cider.
2. Can I join in on the juicing?
Yes, we love our donors and the wider community getting involved. Just sign up for a session on our volunteer page HERE.
3. Why do I only get 25% of my wet weight?
We like to think we're offering a pretty good service. We’re turning your apples into cider or juice. We have invested a lot of time, effort, energy and cash into buying stock and equipment to process your donation. Plus there are our overheads of rent & utility bills that also need to be paid .
4. Where can I buy your cider?
See our stockist list here: themossciderproject.org/stockists/
5. I’ve made an apple donation so when will my cider be ready for collection?
As long as stock levels are good you'll walk away on the day with your juice or cider.
6. How long will the cider last?
Our cider is a living product, it will bottle condition and get better with age, like a good wine. There is currently no regulation for a best before date on our bottles.
7. I don’t like cider. Can I have juice instead?
Yes, we have a pasteuriser so if you are donating apples and you would prefer juice in return just let us know. If you catch us at the right time you may even get a fresh sample straight from the press.
8. When you have made the cider what bottles do you use and how much will it cost?
By default your donation will be returned to you in 500ml brown glass, crown capped bottles, this is non-refundable.
9. What should we do with the empty bottles?
We request that you recycle your bottles at home. We currently do not have the facilities to safely store and wash your bottles effectively.
10. Will I be able to sell the cider you make for me?
Nope. Your cider will be for personal consumption only. If you'd like to sell on our cider please get in touchand we'll see if we can help you.
11. When do I get my juice / cider?
All being well, you'll get what is owed to you on the day you bring in your fruit.
12. What times are you open?
Our opening times can fluctuate, please check our homepage, social networks and events page for up to date timings.
13. Will you collect my apples or can I bring my apples to you?
We would prefer you to bring us your apples when they are ripe and ready, see point 17.
14. How do I know my apples are ripe?
Most varieties are ready when they come away from the tree with a simple twist of the stalk and their pips are dark brown in colour, not white. Apple trees will often drop some of their crop naturally but you’re likely to notice if you have a pile of apples under your tree, especially during bad weather and strong winds. In fact one of the best ways to strip your tree is to give it a really good shake on the day you want to pick and bring your fruit to us.
15. Do you take fallen or bruised fruit?
We’ll accept all fruit as long as it is not rotten. If you have a lot of fallen apples we’d prefer you to keep these aside so that we can wash and sort them separately from your best looking apples. If you have dogs, cats or other pets that rome about in your garden or are picking wild apples where animal faeces could be present please do not bring us these fallen (windfall) fruits, that's just plain gross!
16. Can you prune my trees for me?
This is currently not a service we offer, although if we get enough requests we may consider running a workshop with the help from a trusted specialist.
17. Will you pick my apples for me and how far will you travel?
We sometimes have volunteers that can pick on our behalf. The charge for this is a further split on your share. The picker will get 50% of your share of the juice (12.5% WW). So we encourage you to drop off as you'd still need to collect your portion of juice or cider.
18. Do you climb trees to pick fruit?
Our own Health & Safety guidelines stipulate strict rules governing this and we simply cannot afford the insurance premium for our staff/volunteers in the event of an accident. In our experience, a good shake will get most of the apples down that are ready... We can’t stop you from climbing your own trees though! Or come and borrow one of our extending apple picking poles.
19. Do you accept pears?
Yes, WE LOVE PEARS! We make an apple and pear blended cider every year. We’re not too fussy about variety at this stage but preferably when they are still firm and not too mushy.
20. Do you accept crab apples?
Yes please! Crab apples are good for the tannin levels we need for great tasting cider.
21. What types of apple do you accept?
We accept ALL TYPES AND VARIETIES OF APPLES, of every shape and size – from Crab to Cox and Bramley to Braeburn – they all go in the mix. Even the scabby potentially moth eaten ones. Even better if you have a nice rare local variety like the humungous ‘Withington Welter’.
22. Why is it sometimes so hard to get hold of anyone on the phone?
We simple don't have sufficient resource to man the phones 24/7. We also have other commitments that do not allow us to be at the cider house full time. We will call you back so please leave a message or alternatively you could email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
23. What happens if the cider goes bad?
Sometimes we make bad cider. It’s not an inevitability but it occasionally happens when dealing with the living organisms that turn fresh-pressed apple juice into tasty cider. Now that we ferment in larger vessels, when things go wrong it has a big impact.
We try our hardest to avoid contamination and have strict procedures in place including full HACCP reporting and we're registered with our local environmental heath officer (EHO), but despite our efforts, a bad batch may have succumbed to any number of issues, infections and/or other factors.
In the event of a bad batch all that may happen is that in the following year we're not in a position to be as generous as we have been this year. Bascially, until the spring of 2019 we won't really know if we've made a terrible batch, watch this space before bringing us fruit again.
24. Can I have my own custom labels e.g. for my wedding?
Yes, this can be arranged. However your cider or juice will not be able to be picked up on the day you drop your fruit off.
25. Do you have limits on what you can produce?
When we reach our limit on cider production, 7000 litres, we revert to only producing apple juice. Due to the complexities of pastuerisation we are unable to process the same level of fruit as a typical cider pressing day. Therefore we reserve the right to limit the amount you may donate. This will be in discussion with Moss Cider staff on drop off days and we may have to send you home with excess fruit or can offload this to other cider makers/projects outside of Greater Manchester. This may mean that for a portion of your drop off you will get no cider or juice in return.