Who doesn’t like a crisp sweet glass of apple cider? Especially with a homemade powdered cinnamon doughnut? Yum!
Fall is here, and there is an endless supply of apples. We don’t always get so lucky. Some years the frost kills the apple blooms and we have no apples to turn into cider, apple sauce or apple butter. It was the case last year unfortunately. It seems Mother Nature has made up for it this year though. I’m collecting apples faster than We can use them up.
When I first met my husband farmer Jim, I had never made cider. I bought it from stores or farmers markets before I met him. I have to stay, making it yourself is satisfying. Not just the taste, but also the pride in being able to say, “Hey, I made this and it is really good!”
The first step is of course to pick or buy apples. Really any apple will make cider, but there are some varieties that are considered ‘cider apples.’ Here are a list of a few good ones to use if you are buying apples (or apple trees or grafting sticks):
The next step is to grind the apples.
Now it is time to press the apples.
We feed the dregs to the cows and chickens.
If you do nothing else to the cider, it will start fermenting quickly due to natural yeasts. Sometimes this turns out really good, but if you want proven results, or if you don’t want hard cider you need to drink it quickly, or pasteurize it.
To pasteurize, heat the cider to about 155 degrees for about 10 minutes.
You can store it in a cleaned water or milk gallon container. Make sure you clean the containers with bleach and water.
Keep it in the refrigerator.
Now you can either drink it up, or make hard cider (I’ll follow up in another post with step-by-step instructions on how to make hard cider).