My boys have pressed cider with our friends every year for 6 years now! But this year they broke a record: 120 gallons!!!
The best part??? We didn’t have to buy any apples! It was a very good year for apples around here!
We brought home 22 gallons this year! I canned 10 gallons and froze the rest…
It turned out brilliantly! I love the way the jars of cider look in the sunshine! And it is so easy to do!
To can cider all you have to do is heat it to 190 degrees for 10 minutes, pour into hot sterilized jars with 1/4” headspace, top with prepped lids and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes for quarts and 15 for 1/2 gallons. Super easy!
Making cider however is a whole different ball game. I’ve had people ask how we do it, so here it goes… (these are pics from last year. It was raining too hard and they were too busy to take pictures this year!)
First you need LOTS of apples!
This year’s apples weren’t nearly so pretty!
Then you wash them.
Then they go into the grinder part of the press to get made into mush! This part is messy and lots of work!
Then all the pulp gets moved over to the press to get squeezed… (they are doing both jobs simultaneously in the above pictures)
After the pot is full of cider, you pour it through cheesecloth to strain out any remaining pulp.
Then pour into clean containers, leaving plenty of head space if freezing. Do not use old milk jugs! You can not clean them out well enough!
The hardest part??? Clean up! Do this job outside because you want to clean up with a hose! Everything is a sticky mess! But it smells fantastic!!!
What do you do with all the left over pressed pulp??? And there will be LOTS of it! Spread it over your garden. It makes wonderful mulch!
Then take your cider home and chill it… It will need to be frozen and/or canned as soon as possible! It turns to vinegar before you know it!