Thanks for signing up to the mailing list. At this time of year we get inundated with requests for information about how we run the project. We currently don't have time to respond to individual requests. However most queries about how we operate including what varieties of apples we accept (any!), do we pick-up (no) and drop-off timings (see our events page HERE) can all be answered on our FAQs page HERE.
To save you the time we've copied them below. If that still doesn't answer your question then drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As Dan & Joe have day-jobs it may take a few days to respond. Thanks for your patience.
We find find our Twitter @mosscider and Facebook page HERE the quickest and easiest way to respond to you, our loyal donors fans, friends and followers. Especially on days when we're down at the cider house.
1. What do I get if I donate apples to you?
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'. You then get 50% of this 'wet weight' back as juice or cider.
Bring us 20kgs of apples (your dry weight), that's 10lts of juice (your wet weight) from this you get 5lts of juice/cider.
Your donation will be broken down into 500ml brown glass, crown-cap bottles (always in stock) at a refundable deposit of £0.50 per bottle.
2013 Donors: Cut off date for deposit returns 31.12.14
2014 Donors: Cut off date for deposit returns 31.12.15
We’ve had people bring us as much as 160kg in the past which equals 40lts of juice, or two 20lt bag-in-boxes, that’s a whole lotta cider!
Your apples will be processed with others from across the region. This gives us a more balanced juice and means we can maximise space in our containers.
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.
2. Can I join in on the juicing?
Yes, we love our donors and the wider community getting involved. Check out our events pages for more details of juicing workshops. Children must be accompanied by and adult.
3. Why do I only get 25% of my dry weight?
We like to think we're offering a pretty good service. We’re turning your apples into cider or juice forfree*! We have invested a lot of time, effort, energy and cash into buying equipment to process your donation. Plus there are our overheads of rent, utilities and rates etc.
4. Where can I buy your cider?
We currently sell monthly at www.themosssidemarket.co.uk and in various bars, restaurants and shops across Manchester. Look out for newsletter updates, Facebook post and Twitter for the latest outlets.
5. I’ve made an apple donation so when will my cider be ready for collection?
Usually around March-April the year after you make your donation. It takes about 6 months to ferment, mature bottle and label.
6. How long will the cider last?
Your cider is a living product, it will bottle condition and get better with age, like 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 tell us and we’ll prepare it for you so that it lasts for 12 months from time of bottling. 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 at £0.50 per bottle as a refundable deposit.
By request you may have your donation split into a 20 litres bag-in-box for a non refundable bottling fee.
20 Litres = £10
A bag-in-box once opened will remain fresh for up to 3 months. We know some donors like to break down their donation in different ways as you may want to keep some back for yourself for a summer party or allow it to mature until Christmas... it's great mulled. So a couple of bag-in-boxes could be a good option for you. But, you might want to give some bottles away as presents too. We're flexible, you decide. We'll double check that your total amount adds up to your entitled wet-weight.
PLEASE NOTE: You're cider will come labelled 'Not for resale' if you'd like to sell-on our cider let's chat.
9. What should we do with the empty bottles?
We’d like to think that you might bring them back to us. For each of the bottles returned we’ll give you back your £0.50 deposit. Original labels must still be on the bottles and there is a cut-off date for returns from the 2014-2015 season on 31.12.2015. No deposits will be returned after this time.
10. Will I be able to sell the cider you make for me?
No. Your cider will be labelled “Not for re-sale”. If you'd like to sell on our cider please call us and we'll see if we can help you.
11. How do I get my cider?
We will notify you via email (and follow up with a text if we don’t hear from you) when it is ready and on which days you can come and collect it.
12. What times are you open?
The cider house is only open on select Fridays and Sundays during September to December or by arrangement. It is usually best to call ahead on 0161 818 9993.
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.
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.
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?
Only if we have time and resource available. It’s always best to check with us and please bear in mind that we may charge a pick-up cost to cover travel expenses. You would still need to travel to us to pick up your finished cider.
18. Why we dont't climb up the trees?
Our own Health and 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’d love some pears to experiment with this year. We’re not too fussy about variety at this stage but preferably when they are hard and not 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, shapes and sizes of apple from Crab to Cox and Bramley to Braeburn they all go in the mix. 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 are a start up company and currently do not 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 email@example.com
23. Can I have my own custom labels e.g. for my wedding?
Seeing as our founder Dan is a graphic designer by day, if you ask him nicely we’re sure he could knock you something up for a small additional fee.
*FREE: When your bottles are returned to us you will receive £0.50 for each one, hence... FREE CIDER!