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Cider Day

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by lukem, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Today was our second annual cider making day. Shook the tree this morning, picked up the press from our relative, and made 31 gallons of fresh apple cider. 90% of the apples were from the one tree in our yard, but we got a few from our neighbor too.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    This is my 4x8 trailer loaded with cider stock.

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    smokinj likes this.
  3. JDC1

    JDC1 Feeling the Heat

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    After pressing, what is the rest of the cider process?
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Wow, we think we're doing well making a couple of gallons. All we have is a small ancient press to work with. We have fun, use our own apples, and love the cider. We do pasteurize it carefully, so the taste is still great.
    I'd love to have a grinder/press like yours!
  5. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    That is a really nice press. Just regular cider? Come on now. Are you sure there is nothing being made with a little more authority to it? I won't tell the feds. :coolhmm:
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    We do ours pretty old school. Passed down from many generations of family. Filter througha t shirt, pu in milk jugs, and freeze. We don't paturize it. I know there is smae risk, but never had a problem.

    If we give it to friends or family we advise them to heat if before drinking.
  7. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    If only. Maybe next year...
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Nice! We've thought about getting a cider press but so far have not sprung for one. Might have to soon though as we have some trees just starting to mature. Nice tasting apples they give too. Picked some today.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Nothing illegal about hard cider. I've got a 5 gallon batch ready to bottle right now that is sitting at 6% ABV and I didn't add anything but yeast to plain ol' cider to get there. It's when you distill or somehow condense the alcohol with something other than yeast that you can get into trouble.

    With proper yeast and a healthy dose of sugar by table sugar, honey, molasses, etc. you can get over 10% ABV with just yeast and still be legal. That's some stout hooch and you won't taste much apple in there. If you need more booze then just skip the cider and buy whiskey.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Awsome press but with that many apples eletric sure looks good!
  11. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Four guys and an hour and a half. 31 gallons. Had my first jug the other night. Pretty good stuff.
  12. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

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    I slightly recall reading somewhere that distillers pay taxes based on the alcohol content of the beverage. The higher the proof, the more $$$ they lose in profits. If taxes were paid on home brews, it would probably be okay. They would take the fun out of it. :coolhmm:

    Jay, couldn't you rig a cider press to a splitter? Vertical of course. Dennis would have to run it though...
  13. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    What kind of apples? I just planted (last year, I've got a long way to go) 1/2 dozen cider varieties and another 1/2 dozen eating/cooking. That $2.50 autobiography of John Adams is going to end up costing me a lot of free cider.
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I'm really not sure what kind they are. The trees a probably older than me. I have one early transparent tree that we make apple sauce and pie fillings out of.
  15. scottperkins

    scottperkins New Member

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    you could make some automotive ethanol fuel with this.... Yep that's right
    fuel for gas engines.... Of course only if times get real rough....

    Oh almost forgot, use this for turning dirty water or sea water into
    drinking water as well.

    If you dont recognize it, this is a lost cost Presto pressure cooker
    or pressure canner.

    Attached Files:

  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    They look like Jonathans to me.
  17. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    I love seeing pictures of apple presses.

    Is that the mill for grinding the apples to pulp above the press in your picture?

    Ground apples press a whole lot easier than whole ones, found that out several years ago..........

    We'll be pressing ours in a couple of days time with some friends, we'll have a day together.

    We planted our cider orchard about 5 years ago, to complement the existing apple trees.

    I'm spending the day today cleaning out the barrel and the press.

    Hope to get about 30 gallons of hard cider to share round ;-)
  18. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Yes, that's the mill. It was made in 1865. Not sure if it purpose build to mill apples or what. It does a good job though.
  19. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    We sorted and cleaned our press today, and got milling the apples as soon as we were ready!


    The mill grinds them to a pulp, which goes into the press (which is home made and uses a car jack for the pressure):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We have got about 5 gallons of juice so far, some we'll drink now, and some will ferment into hard cider.

    We have a really good harvest this year, and I suspect we'll be pressing more apples next week.

    The late harvest cider apples make the best tasting drink.

    Usually the most alcoholic too........ ;-)
  20. scottperkins

    scottperkins New Member

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    What about the little white plastic press with the screw handle off to the side.
    How well does that work ?
  21. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Nice setup. That bottle jack has to be easier than the screw I used. Cheers!
  22. dave360up

    dave360up Member

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    Woodchip,

    What kind of cloth are you using to pack the chopped apples in for pressing? I imagine it has to be tough to withstand tearing during pressing. I would like to try pressing apples myself. This has been an amazing year for apples in my area. Every tree has apples, even old trees long overgrown by forest.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's a clever setup. Nice use of the jack! What varieties are you pressing? I'm particularly wondering about the green apples.
  24. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    Loads of questions to answer so here we go!!!

    The sheet for the prees was originally a white cotton tablecloth which I cut up (yes, it was one of those "could I use the tablecloth, honey" moments)..........

    When mashed up, the apples release a lot of juice without using much pressure from the jack, and a steady increase in pressure gives a better juice than trying to go to max pressure at once, which might tear the cloth.

    The little press is usually used as a tabletop press indoors, it works quite well, but only produces about half a gallon per pressing, but yesterday it was in use as I wanted to press a few kingston black apples which are a prized cider variety over here, I wanted to keep the juice separate.
    It also goes out when I do cider demonstrations at apple days, held here every year on 21st October.

    The varieties in my little orchard include kingston black, dabinett, tom putt, tremletts bitter, phelps favourite, elmore pippin, longnet russet, wisley, and a few modern varieties like gala, spartan, golden delicious and falstaff.
    There are also loads of wild apples along the roadside hedgerows here where people have chucked apple cores out of windows over years.

    The green apples in the mill were from our golden delicious apple tree.

    I try to pick the apples and allow them to soften once they are off the tree, this allows them to release the juice more freely.

    My press is based on an old farm press from 1810 which we use on apple days at Barrington Court every year.

    This is a picture of the 1810 press from last year:

    [​IMG]

    And this is my press this morning, with juice still flowing slowly after I folded the sheets double, giving a higher pressure per square inch onto the pulp :

    [​IMG]

    Ask as many questions as you want, the more people who turn spare apples into juice the better, it tastes so much nicer than shop bought stuff!

    Hard cider is easier to store, no preservatives except alcohol........... ;-)
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nice. Wish I had that a couple weeks ago. Our Spartan went nuts this year. One tree produced about 200 lbs of apples! We also have some Golden Delicious that are just at that green stage now. And some Kings + Shays.

    What process do you use to make hard cider?

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