Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Making Cider!

We had about 30 bushels of apples that we picked from neighbors homes. They were glad they didn't have apples on the lawn to pick up, and Vet2Be was happy to press them into cider and sell it. All the money went into his mission fund, which he hopes to have fully funded by the time he is 17.

Here is the flyer we send around--ours had real names and our address on it, though! We ended up pressing cider until 7:00 pm, instead of ending at 4:00 pm because we had so many apples.

We were able to borrow a press from a very nice person in our town who lives about a mile away. It even has a motorized grinder on it. We were pretty excited about that. We were also able to borrow a grinder from Happy Valley Ranch. They have a wonderful grinder. We attached it to an old fish-tank stand that was really sturdy. Sorry I don't have a photo of it, we were so busy that day that I was glad to get the photos I did!

The cider press we borrowed.

What the inside of the fruit grinder looks like.

Some of the things that we did that were really helpful (we didn't realize at the time, but it really made the pressing easier).

1. Put the press on a pallet. When you are pressing cider there is always some spillage of either cider or crushed apples. The slats on the pallet let the 'stuff' fall through onto the ground.

2. Do it on the grass. The slush and extra water ends up in the grass, not on a cement floor which would get very slippery very quickly.

3. Set up a tent or pavilion above the press. We didn't do this until it started raining. We didn't expect rain on Apple Day, but we never know what the weather will do! A pavilion would keep the rain off or provide shade so that they apples wouldn't brown in the sun.

4. We have some stainless steel food service pans that hold about 4 gallons, they slid right under the cider press which made it very easy to collect the cider. Pouring from the corner into the 2-liter bottles was really easy, too.

Since we didn't have a real pressing bag, I went to Wal*Mart and bought their laundry sorter. Here is a link for a similar one from Target. It cost $15, the real pressing bags were $7 each and I would have had to drive about 45 minutes to get to the only store that has them. The mesh laundry bags held up very, very well and fit inside the pressing bucket perfectly. You can see the blue bag in the photo above, it is behind the press on the pallet.

Here are some of the kids that came to help press the cider. The one with his mouth open is Vet2Be's friend, KidChef. He made apple pies to sell that day. He is saving his money to go to Scout Jamboree spring 2010.

We pressed about 30 bushels of apples on Apple Day and got about 50 gallons of cider. We found a few more bushels of apples that we missed and will do them next weekend when Hubby is home. We sold most of the cider and ended up putting about 8 gallons in the freezer for our family.

We have been saving and collecting 2-liter soda bottles this year. I sanitized them before we put the cider in them. They are free (except for the time it takes to sanitize them) and I don't feel bad about throwing them away after we drink the cider.

No comments: