Architecture practice based in Scotland
September 2020
Cider - Apple Season

The cider season for us, starts at the end of Summer. We currently don’t have our own orchards so we wait patiently for apples to start ripening around Edinburgh and Fife so we can begin the harvest. This positive connection with the season and our environment connects us to the world around us which we are usually sheltered from whilst sitting in the architecture office.

At first the days and evenings picking apples are warm and pleasant and things seem to come easily, however as you feel the season progress we really notice everything, from the change in weather to the smell of already fallen fruit on the ground. The cold sets in and suddenly the apple picking isn’t quite so joyful. 


In our minds though we welcome the cold, it protects our precious juice and slows the fermentation bringing complexity and giving a sense of control I know a lot of wine makers would enjoy. In Scotland it is probably a little too cold and our juice did almost freeze a few times last season, but this brings it’s own identity to the cider.

We wait patiently through the winter with little or no activity in the juice, looking for a sign that spring is on the way. As the temperature rises the cider awakens and fermentation starts again,  as with anything that has been in hibernation it can often be a little grumpy to begin with and careful techniques such as racking can introduce a little energy to help get things going. 

Before we know it, the weather is warm and the fermentation is coming to a fast crescendo, where for us, we bottle just before it’s finished. As the temperature rises further we notice it’s perhaps too warm now. We really need a cellar deep in the ground to keep a steady temperature throughout the year. Eventually we may be lucky enough to have this, a space away from the seasons but filled with cider which represents that year and all the highs and lows which that may entail.


Photography by Amelia Claudia

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