- Lots of Apples
- More Apples
By Guest Author: Steve
Steve scores a whopping 10 of 10 on the silliness scale (which we’ve just made up). Here’s what he has to say about his Silly Cider:
About 4 years ago we discovered we had an Orchard in our garden. Apparently an Orchard is 5 or more apple trees, and after counting them a few times we definitely had 5 trees! Â After consuming a number of Â apple based puddings I realised that I was missing a huge opportunity to combine the fruits of the trees with my love of cider drinking. As usual I talked about it and then did nothing …. Â however my wife had been listening to my ramblings and decided to buy me the cider making apparatus for my birthday, now the fun begins.
Cider making is not easy – it is very labour intensive. The first year I made cider I did most of the work myself, this resulted in 10 hours of back breaking work, getting wet from head to foot, having apple pulp dripping off the ceiling and my nose and the end result being cider so dry that it would even have extracted water from theÂ Atacama desert.
My second foray into cider making involved my family and a production process that Henry Ford would have been proud of, it was a lot more fun with the involvement of family although I am not sure they will be visiting near apple picking time again.
- Buckets and Buckets of Apples
- Apple Juice
How we did it:
- I grew some apples.
- Last year my parents picked a load of apples, washed them, chopped them into pieces and we froze them (the apples not the parents) – about 10kgs
- This year, my parents decided that they were busy so I invited my parents in law over for a weekend of fun …
- A team of people (parents in law and my lovely wife) picked apples, washed them, chopped them and handed them to the master cider maker ..
- I took the chopped apples, placed a quantity in a bucket and with the magic of an electric hand drill + blade I pulped them to a messy mash
- The pulping is repeated by adding more apples, until a “bucket of pulpy apple mush” (technical term) is ready for the apple press
- The apple press is an aluminium work of art about half the size of a household bucket, I place about half the “pulpy apple mush” into a muslin bag and squeeze it in the press
- A note on using the muslin bag, this was an improvement over a previous attempt to make cider where the pressure on the “pulpy apple mush” resulted in “drippage” of the said mush off the kitchen ceiling (also my glasses, face and what used to be a T-shirt).
- The juice (after straining through a sieve) finds its way into a large (25 litre) fermenting vessel (aka “plastic bucket”), the process is continued until the fermenting vessel is full.
- But what about the frozen apples I hear you ask? Â The freezing process helps enormously to break down the cell walls of the apples and you get 100% more fluid from the same volume of apples, and they are easier to pulp.
- In an attempt to make the cider less “tart” we added about 6 litres of apple juice from cartons, took a “specific gravity reading” and sprinkled it with yeast
- We put the fermenting vessel in the corner and left it for 4 months.
- 4 months later … the moment of truth …..
- I tasted the cider … and … it tasted like … cider , oh joy !
- The bottling/decanting Â process consisted of Â a tube stuck in the plastic bucket and pointed at the tops of approximately 25 litre bottles
- I have asked a number of people to try the cider, most of them are still well and all of them actually had nice comments to make on the cider , such as “lovely bottles”, a “great colour, reminds me i must drink more water”
- I missed out the boring stuff such as
- make sure everything is clean and sterile
- don’t stop the pulp blades with your fingers
- yes it does hurt if you trap your fingers in the cider press
- ensure you have a good supply of willing (or silly) relatives to assist you in the cider making!
What we thought of it:
Gert Lush, nice bottles, lovely amber colour, amazing – it tastes like cider