Monday, October 26, 2009

In-cider information

It's cider season in Whatcom County! Our neighbors had 33 crates of apples from their trees this year, so we pitched in to help turn them into cider.
Check out this clever work table! The top is made from wood slats, so you can dump your apples or other produce on it and hose them right off. We are definitely going to build one of these for Seven Trees.

Running the crusher is a two-handed job for some of us....a good upper-body workout.
There are little metal teeth inside the hopper that break the apples down enough to make extracting the juice easier. Once the press is full, a wooden board goes on top and a giant screw is turned to force all the juice out. The disk of apple-squishings is called a cheese. The cows got to eat a few wheelbarrows full of the spent apple pulp, which is also known as pomace.

Naturally, we filled a couple of carboys to start some hard cider brewing. We added campden tablets to kill off any wild yeast first. The old-fashioned traditional way is to let the yeast already present on the apples do the fermenting, but this can be unpredictable. We didn't want to take any chances, so we'll use Nottingham ale yeast on one batch, and a wine yeast on another. The ale-yeasted batch we'll bottle carbonated, hopefully with none exploding while they finish fermenting.
We also canned up quite a few quarts to have over the winter. The short processing time pasteurizes the cider, but it still tastes a million times better than anything from the store. Below is a short movie of the crusher in action.


Robert said...

You might want to look at Herrick Kimball's cider setup. He sells a how-to book, also.

Seven Trees said...

That's an interesting set-up, well thought out! The guy has a lot of great ideas.

Jim C. said...

great photos, looks like a success! thanks for linking to our site. We hope you find the content and news item interesting.