Fringe Box



Scrumptious Cider Making Made Simple – Free Talk at Merrist Wood

Published on: 4 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 4 Mar, 2013

For anyone wishing to discover the secret of producing very drinkable cider at home in an effective and economic way, a free talk at Merrist Wood in Worplesdon on Monday, March 18, could hold the answer. 

Raise a glass to cider making and go along to a free talk at Merrist Wood college, Worplesdon, on

Raise a glass to cider making and go along to a free talk at Merrist Wood college, Worplesdon, on Monday, March 18. Picture from

countryfile letter

Dr Nevin Stewart’s letter that was published in the Countryfile magazine.

Dr Nevin Stewart, a retired industrial chemist will be giving a ‘real time’ demonstration of cider making together with fellow co-operative members. They will be using a method proven to give a high yield of juice along with giving the opportunity to sample the very pleasing results.

For centuries, apple juice has been obtained by a pulp and press method. Apples pass through a shredder and the resulting pomace is put through a press. Homemade or mass manufactured, the required kit is large, heavy and expensive.

In the autumn of 2011, a group of Guildford neighbours (later named the Scillonian Road Cider Co-operative!) enjoyed an abundant apple crop. A lack of funds led them to develop an inexpensive method of juice extraction using domestic juicing machines. They discovered that the method, termed “juice and strain” proved to be low cost, clean, efficient and suited to use in a domestic kitchen.

On up to 100kg (220lb) of apples, the juice yield was higher than that of a small press, and the apples were processed in a shorter time! The resulting cider was named ‘Onslow’s Dry’ – an acknowledgement of Lord Onslow’s 1920s restrictive covenant which prohibits the sale of alcohol in Onslow Village, and reflecting the dryness of the cider as essentially all the juice sugars convert to alcohol.

This novel method is currently attracting international interest. Dr Stewart’s full article detailing the co-operative’s experiences has recently been published in New Zealand. His story is now “rolling out” in Australia in two gardening magazines publishing in February and April thereby spanning the antipodean apple picking season. Also his letter on the subject is February’s prize-winning star-letter in the Countryfile magazine.

The demonstration and cider tasting will take place at 7.30pm at Merrist Wood College on Monday, March 18. The evening is free and open to all. There will also be a charity auction of tried and tested secondhand juicing machines and an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to Guildford YMCA to support their valuable work with needy young people in Surrey.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be “in on the ground floor” of this significant development in cider making which promises to open up this enjoyable pastime, and product, to all.

Tickets are not required but numbers are limited so please call Chris McSween at Guildford YMCA on 01483 448784 to leave your name and phone number (a message can be left on voicemail) or email her at

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