Pomace and Hereford Cattle
Before buying the belt press in 2004, Dunkertons, when based in Pembridge, Herefordshire, used an old electric flat-bed hydraulic press. Ivor found this rusting in a farmer’s field and bought it for scrap value. Once renovated it provided reliable service for twenty-four years. In fact, I can’t remember it breaking down.
To extract the juice from the apple pulp (pomace) the pomace is built on a trolley. The layers are wrapped in cloths and separated by ash slats. This construction is called the cheese and weighs about half a ton. The cheese was wheeled across to the press. The press would slowly be lifted against the oak blocks at the top. All the time the juice would be pouring from the layers. It took about fifteen/twenty minutes to get to full pressure. The half ton of pomace would produce about seventy-five gallons of juice that would be pumped off to a fermentation vat.
The cheese would then be wheeled along on rails outside to be dismantled layer by layer. Some varieties of cider apple made a very sticky pomace that was difficult to shake of the clothes. All the pomace needed to be removed to ensure that the juice of the next cheese would flow freely.
The pomace was heaped on to a trailer and when the trailer was full to overflowing it would be towed to another part of the farm. The pomace could then be fed to the sheep, cows, pigs and poultry. It was a tasty treat for the animals who in the autumn would mainly be on dried feed.It was necessary to make sure that the pomace wasn’t kept too long as it would start to ferment. There was one time when one time when it had been kept a little too long, the cattle got rather lively and broke out of their barn. We had to wait until they had calmed down to get them back in!
Thank you to Robert West for sending this memory