Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hard Cider? Proves to be TOO hard... for me.

We've got four apple trees in the back yard. Last year we were so busy getting the property horse ready, that most of the apples just fell to the ground. So this year I thought I'd try to make some hard apple cider.

I borrowed a grape press from my buddy Charles, of blackberry liqueur fame. I had everything all set. My amateur wine making kit, all the supplies, and my champagne yeast ready to go. A few friends from work even came out to see how it was done - Libby and Jane.

This first part we actually did right. I made a 10% meta solution in a spray bottle to clean all the gear. Meta is available at all wine making stores.

Cleaning The Cider Gear from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

Now here's where we made the fatal mistake. We just cut the apples into chunks, when what we really needed to do was to grind them into a pulp. Evidently, there is a special piece of gear for this that looks like a big sausage grinder.

Cutting Apples from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

I'll put our results up so you can see what not to do. After the fact, some people told me that if I had made a pulp, we probably would have got at least 5 gallons of juice.

Filling The Press from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

Pressing The Apples from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

We were very excited at this point, thinking the juice would just flow out. Um, not so much.

Did We Get Any? from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

So we just added some more apples thinking we just needed more pressure for the juice to pop out.

Apple Pressing - Take 2 from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

I will say that the actual set up and operation of the press was done correctly. Just use pulp or grapes, and you'll get tons of juice.

I did get a cool tool out of the deal. I got this fruit picker at Home Depot. It works great.

Harveting The Apples from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

We did end up with enough juice for a great pork loin that Jane made later. And we had a few glasses of cider left over to drink. But over all, very disappointing.

Fail to make cider from ron upshaw on Vimeo.

Live and learn I guess. Next year, we can try again, but make sure we have the grinder.

We did have a great time after with some food and a bonfire.

See You Next Time...