Haye Farm Cider remains dedicated to making the very finest and most

delicious-tasting cider true to the traditional methods of making cider. This

begins with collecting the apples from our orchards. Once the apples have

been picked by hand, either as windfalls or from the tree, they are dropped

into the mill for a light crushing by a set of Cornish granite rollers. This

breaks up the apple and helps the juice run. Once the apples have been

milled the resulting pulp is placed onto the large wooden press and the

“cheese” built. This involves binding barley straw around the edges in rings

and on occasion within the cheese itself. The straw acts as a natural filter

and keeps the apples in place when being pressed. The cheese usually

consists of 7 of these straw rings and typically contains 2.5 tonnes of

Haye Farm apples. The cheese is then pressed. The pressure reaches 88

tonnes per square foot and without the straw the apples would simply

squash out of the sides! This pressure reduces the cheese to about one third

of its original height.

The cheese is then pressed over a period of about 5 days. After the first

pressing, the pressure is taken off and the outermost layers of pulp and

straw are cut off with a hayknife and piled on top (a process known as

“paring the cheese”). Pressure is again applied and repeated until juice

stops flowing. We normally hope to fill 2 whisky or port barrels per cheese.

The remaining dry pulp or pomace is fed to our sheep and cattle, which love

the delicious combination of straw and apple.

Once in the oak barrels the apple juice starts to ferment. This is an entirely

natural process and nothing is added to start the fermentation. The apple

skins contain natural yeast which turns the apples’ sugars to alcohol. The

barrels are watched carefully and kept topped up to the bunghole (with

more apple juice - and never water as with some other cider makers). This

prevents air, albeit the sweet air of Cornwall, reaching the juice and spoiling 

the cider.