I’ve been wanting to make apple cider for almost as long as I’ve been wanting to render pork lard and finally got invited to make cider with my friends Cinda and Wally.
Wally built his own cider press and the boxed garbage disposal that he uses to grind up the apples. It’s simple and brilliant. The apples are ground tout suite and then slide down a length of pipe into a waiting 5 gallon bucket.
The press he made from hard wood and laminated Formica onto the surfaces that would touch the apples. Wally places a frame on the bottom of the press, covers it with cheese cloth and then pours the ground apples in. He folds up the cheesecloth and places wooden slats over to hold it in place. He then repeats another layer of apples in cheesecloth.
He then places wooden blocks and what appeared to be a car jack to achieve constant pressure and “press” the juice out of the apples.
After this he ran the juice through cheesecloth one last time to filter out any remaining sediment.
In the end I got about 2 gallons of cider from roughly 25 pounds of apples. I started one quart as hard cider by leaving it on the counter for a few days until it started to bubble. At this point you can move it to a garage for a week or two to become even more alcoholic, then cap it and move it to the fridge to stop that process.
I’m also making a ginger bug to carbonate some for the kids. We’ve drank quite a bit fresh and the final gallon I’m saving to spice and take with us when we go chop down our Christmas tree with Grandma.
Thanks Cinda and Wally!