Thursday, October 4, 2012

Apple Cider Making

Another annual family event - apple cider making.


 A couple of my brothers had gleaned about 40 bushels of apples from a friend's orchard.



This week my whole family got together to make cider.



First the apples are washed and cut in half.




The apples are dumped into a hopper and chopped into a coarse mash.




Our cider press has two baskets. One can be filling with apple mash while the other is pressed into cider.




Nothing beats a drink of fresh cold cider.



The cider is strained and poured into jars and containers. Frozen cider keeps the fresh cider flavor, but because of freezer space, I can most of our portion of the cider. Canned cider tastes more like apple juice.



Do any of you make cider?

22 comments :

  1. When the children were all home, we made much more. And, like you, freezer space was at a premium, so I canned it. Our cider/juice was pretty potent, tho. I usually had to add some water for the comfort of those drinking it. Too, much and...

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  2. My Grandparents had an apple orchard in Ohio. Since we lived in OK when I was growing up, we didn't get it very often but one of my favorite fall memories was fresh apple cider from Hartley Apple Orchard! It was frozen in gallon jugs and when it was almost thawed we would shake it up vigorously and pour. Lots of little tiny ice crystals in your glass! Yum!
    Gail

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  3. I was so hoping to make a cider press this year, but I'm stuck without a chopping hopper. It's another year of apple juice instead of cider, but I much prefer cider. Enjoy it!

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  4. Thanks for the interesting post!

    My family just started making apple cider every year! Now, I would like to learn to make apple cider vinegar from all the apple trimmings. Have you ever done that?

    Now you can have an idea for a new blog post!

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  5. I like cider, but do not make it. We did however recieve a generous supply of apples from our neighbor which I made into applesauce this year. I just quarter, cook and put the mash through the food mill. Adding cinnamon is a must in our family and then package and freeze the sauce since I have not space to store canned foods. We had fresh apple pie this week for Mr. D's birthday. Mmmmm.

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  6. Yes! My family is getting together this weekend to pick and press apples. :) We have trees around our neighborhoods we ask every year to glean and most people are happy to have the apples cleaned up.

    We spend all day Saturday picking and pressing (we don't cut the apples first, just throw them in the cutter and we don't have your professional-looking set up: we wash them with a hose in large camping coolers!) and then Sunday after church we can it. No way we could store it all in our freezers - last year was our biggest yet and we canned 183 quarts!

    Fun to know 3000 miles away there's someone else doing the same things... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jami-
      I remember seeing your cider making pics from other years! It is fun to know that other families enjoy getting together to work (and have fun) together!
      Gina

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  7. I just did the same this past week except with out all that gear..lol I canned ours, but left it unfiltered so its pretty pulpy... which is what we like any how... Love that press by the way and thanks for sharing


    Jeannie

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  8. Our cider trip is coming up in one week! Three families; we split a bin (850 lbs.) and the orchard provides the grinder and press set-up.

    I freeze most of mine - we actually purchased an extra upright freezer on craigslist to freeze cider in, among other things. But, here's an oddity - we like the taste of canned cider when making hot spiced cider better than the frozen-and-thawed cider. So I can about ten gallons for drinking hot, and freeze about 30 for drinking cold.

    We love the cider slushies, too, when it's about half thawed. I've been known to cut the gallon jug open so that we could have it more icy.

    The tastes of fall...
    dep31
    www.domesticendeavors.net

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    Replies
    1. I love slushy apple cider too! In fact, a local orchard sells homemade slushy cider!
      Gina

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  9. What's the difference between apple cider and apple juice. You apple cider looks like its being made by pressing on apples.....isn't that the same thing as juice?

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    Replies
    1. I need to do some research on cider vs. juice. I'm really not sure what defines the difference. I think juice is cooked but several of you have brought up good questions.
      Gina

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  10. I loved reading about this it brought back some great memories. I was able to drink fresh cider when I was a child growing up in Michigan. Yummy
    We always had fresh doughnuts to go with it.
    Blessings, Roxy

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  11. I'm confused... what's the difference between apple juice (freshly squeezed apples) and cider?
    I always thought that to be called cider it needed to ferment...?

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    Replies
    1. Suzi -
      I'm confused too! I think juice is heated, but I'm not sure! More research needed!
      Gina

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    2. http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/cider_juice_difference.htm

      Apple Juice and Apple Cider:
      What's the Difference?

      Apple Picking

      Apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. It takes about one third of a bushel to make a gallon of cider.

      To make fresh cider, apples are washed, cut and ground into a mash that is the consistency of applesauce. Layers of mash are wrapped in cloth, and put into wooded racks. A hydraulic press squeezes the layers, and the juice flows into refrigerated tanks. This juice is
      bottled as apple cider.

      Apple juice is juice that has been filtered to remove solids and pasteurized so that it will stay fresh longer. Vacuum sealing and additional filtering extend the shelf life of the juice.

      The flavor of cider depends on the blending of juice from different apple varieties. The term "flavor" refers to the palatability of a distinct apple juice flavor and the aroma that is typical of properly processed apple juice. Cider makers are most particular about concocting a blend that will create the desired flavor and produce the perfect balance between sweetness and tartness.

      Cider needs constant refrigeration because it is perishable. It will stay sweet and unfermented for up to two weeks. Cider can also be frozen, but be sure to pour off an inch or two from the container for expansion during freezing.

      A Nutritious Alternative: Although a glass of cider a day cannot guarantee good health, the sweet juice is a good source of potassium and iron. Apple cider is pure and natural with no sugar added. A 6 ounce glass has only 87 calories. Apple cider, like other juices, fruits and vegetables contains no cholesterol. Pectin, contained in apple cider, has been shown to keep serum cholesterol levels down.


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    3. Thanks Elaine for sharing this information!
      Gina

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  12. So much fun! Last year my sister and my husband made a cider grinder and press with plans from Whizbang Applecider grinder and press. Works great. This year we made about 15 gallons for drinking, freezing and making apple cider vinegar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have wondered how the Whizbang press works. Glad to hear it has been great for you!
      Gina

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  13. I just loved it. This is something I have yet to try and it's so encouraging to see you doing. Thanks for sharing.
    Many Blessings,
    Amy

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  14. We do not have a cider press but we make lots of apple juice using our steam juicer. We can ours because of freezer space as well. This year we canned ours in half gallon jars to save space in the cellar. Enjoy your day and God bless.

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  15. We've had cider pressed in the past from our own apples, but this year we will press our own. My husband created a "masher" from a NEW garbage disposal unit attached to a stainless steal sink used only for this purpose. He made a work area that has a mess lined sink to rinse the apples and an area to quarter the apples. You then put them into the disposal and a 5 gallon bucket underneath catches the mash. I think he's a genius! ;)

    ReplyDelete

I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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