Archive for October, 2012

Cider Pressing

Dave was excited to start pressing apple cider at our new farm this year.  We wanted to walk you all through what it takes to make apple cider (which by the way should always be 100% smooshed apple)

 

The first step of the process is that Dave dumps the apples into this elevator which transports the apples into the cider room and to their final destiny.

 

The elevator dumps the apples into the bin of this menacing looking machine.  Its job is to simply chop the apples finely so that they can be easily pressed into cider.

This is what the apples look like after a trip through the grinder.

And now…behold…the Squeezebox SX200.

She’s a beauty, is she not?  So, this is how the cidermaking happens…  Dave has a foot pedal that engages the pump on the tank that holds the chopped apple.  He fills each bag with the apple, being careful to fill each bag equally so as not to put strain on the machine.

As the apple fills the bags, the cider is already starting to drip out of the bags.  The pan of the cidermaking machine is covered with a cheesecloth to keep any errant chunks of apple out.

Now, this is the beauty of this machine.  You notice that Dave filled the right side of the Squeezebox.  The left side was compressed.  Dave pushes a button and the right side starts to squeeze while the left side, which Dave had filled earlier with the chopped apple, begins to expand.

And now, the exciting part.  All Dave has to to is push yet another button and the whole left side starts to lift.

 

And…wham!  Apple pulp emptied!

This is all that remains of the apple.  You can see little bits of apple skin, but it really doesn’t taste good at all.  All of the apply goodness has been extracted.

And that is how our cider is made.  After the cider is squeezed, it is run through a silver box that treats our cider with a UV light.   The cider temperature is only raised by a few degrees, so the cider still tastes fresh and cool, but is void of any bacteria which keeps the FDA and our customers happy.

The cider then runs into a big plastic holding tank when then gets bottled into containers.  I don’t have a picture of this since I took pictures at the beginning of the day and bottling happens at the end.

For Dave, this is the perfect cidermaking operation for him.  The only problem is it takes a long time to set up and a long time to clean up.  The quick part is actually making the cider.

If you have any questions about the cider or the cidermaking process or would like to see more detailed pictures, just let me know.

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