Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cider Pressing - Bringing the East Coast to the West

Me filling the jugs of cider.  Look at our cute red tractor hayride in the background!

Making apple cider controls our life right now.  I picked so many apples that they are starting to rot in our garage and it's crunch time.  Making apple cider is a tedious process and so far, we've done it 4 times this season and made over 30 gallons.  Justin says he has only one press left in him, but if he wants to drink more than one measly gallon of cider each month this year he better get a better attitude because he wants to drink it every day! 

The cider press, with the jack and cider bucket
Cider making seems to be more of an east coast thing, kind of like maple syrup collection, so we decided to bring that over since I'm pretty sure maple syrup will never be made in Utah.  First, we cut the apples because all of them come from untreated trees and many of them have worms nestling in the cores.  We chop them open to cut out worms and organize them into apple type so we can formulate our cider better. 

Justin shoving apples down the garbage disposal
Then we take what we want to use and throw them into the most awesome food grinder ever, which is a white plastic tub with a new, never been used for anything else, totally clean garbage disposal, which crushes the apples up and poops them out into a giant pot(sorry for the illusion, but that's exactly what it looks like) which is where the apples get oxidized and turn brown. 

Close-up of the cider flowing out of the hole in the base of the drum.  You can see it pooling off to the right.
Then they get poured into a fine mesh fabric and wrapped up in our cider press.  After a mesh bag is filled, we throw a pressing plate on top and repeat the process until the drum of the press is full, usually about 3 bags.  Then the top plate is set on the top and the hydraulic jack is inserted at the top, secured and as soon as the pumping begins, the cider starts to flow.  We mix it a little, filter out any small pieces that get through and put it into plastic jugs to freeze for the winter.  It really is the most delicious drink.  
Pouring the cider into the jugs.  I'm sure the water down the cider you buy at the store because ours is so rich and tasty compared to others I've tasted.  We treat it like liquid gold.  Yum!

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