Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This Cider House Totally Rules!

For the second year in a row, I've had the great good fortune of being invited to a friend's cottage to pick apples and press some cider!
There are quite a few apple trees growing near the cottage, so the group went out on Saturday afternoon to gather apples.

The best way to get the apples down, was to climb up the tree and give it a good shake.

A hook over a sturdy branch and apple pickers work well too.

Once our baskets were full we brought them back for cleaning, sorting and pressing, most of which happened on Sunday.
After the apples have been cleaned, sorted and the really rotten and wormy bits cut out, they go into the hopper for grinding. This sweet set-up has a DIY electric grinder, set over a hand turned grinder for maximum crushing action.

The crushed apples go through the grinders into a big, plastic garbage pail set underneath.

Once the pail is full enough, the crushed apples go into the press.

The wooden blocks are assembled....

...and the pressing begins!

Mmm....delicious cider! We all got to take some home and we filled a giant carboy that our gracious host plans to turn into hard cider.

Some of the cider crew.

In between pressings there was time to take in the beautiful view.

What a fabulous weekend with a truly wonderful group of folks!


Craig said...

Great post Amber. Glad you and the ADG could make it up.

TechChik said...

Hi Amber! I'm jealous! :)
I've been looking into planting a few apple trees for future cider use. Any idea on which varieties are best?

Amber said...

Oh my gosh, it was such a beautiful weekend and sooo much fun. Thank you thank you for having us Craig!!

TechChik, from my limited knoweledge of cidering, the best tasting cider comes from using a number of different varieties. You can use any kind of apple, although there are specific kinds breed especially for cidering.