Whats It's All About
Why is the Keeved Cider wine called Keeved?
Keeved cider is fermented using the ancient method of keeving or cýf (old English for a barrel). This a very old method which is probably as old as cider making. The earliest written reference we can find, however, dates from the 1600s. It is essentially a very old way of eliminating pectin from the cider without using modern enzymes (pectolase). In addition, however, it produces an amazing cider with a beautiful fruity and crisp taste that is not achieved using modern methods.
The late season, low nutrient, apples are picked as late as possible from the tree, all the way into December if possible, and stored until the temperature is between freezing and 5 degrees C. The initial fermentation must be so extremely slow that nothing appears to happening at all. The low ambient temperature, low nutrient apples and the use of wild yeasts, that naturally grow on the apples, help to keep the rate of fermentation down. The pectin slowly coagulates in the must, into a ‘gel’. This is given buoyancy by trapped yeast emitting carbon dioxide. The gel then eventually floats to the surface of the cider, forming a cap, that contains the trapped pectin.
The cider is then drawn off the fermenter and allowed to ferment until the majority of the sugar has gone. It is then bottled and capped and the cider finishes fermenting in the bottle. This is called bottle conditioning as all the gas is trapped in the bottle, carbonating the cider. The cider is then riddled to collect the dead yeast in the neck of the bottle and disgorged to remove the yeast, as per the traditional champagne method. The clearing process uses no finings and so is truly vegan friendly.
- Keeved cider is a Sparkling cider carbonated by bottle conditioning but cleared using the traditional champagne method of riddling and disgorging.
- It is made using the traditional keeving method of pectin elimination.
- All the apples are sourced locally to Thorpe Thewles, picked and washed by hand, making this a truly artisan product
- We refuse to pasteurise the ‘must’ as fermentation and washing are more than sufficient controls and it would kill the wild yeast necessary for fermentation.
- No sulphites are added at all and so it is classed as sulphite free – the sulphite level is vanishingly small i.e. less than 10 µg per litre
The cider is dry but fruity as all the sugars are fermented out in fermentation.