Growing fruit here is dubious. Warm spring weather is often precede the last freezes. It is very common for most, if not all, fruit blossoms to be frozen off during their pollination phase. Because the abundance of fruit this year, I decided to make cider. I got the apples from a friend. Luckily Ben, his wife, and two daughters all helped pick apples from their three trees. We don't know what variety they are because the trees were planted by a previous owner.
Here is what I started with:
|Ratcheting press with cribbing|
Emptying the press after each pressing was easy. The ratchet was loosened until the screw could be hand loosened and then the press housing separated. The pressed apple-cake sprang back a little and then was just transferred into a bucket to be moved into the compost pile.
I pressed from approximately 10am till 5 pm and got about 4 gallons of cider. I heated the cider to 170F to pasteurize it then let it cool. It was less than 100F at bed time so I poured it into a sterilized glass carboy, added 4 pounds of dextrose and a couple of packets of champagne yeast. The specific gravity was 1.086, this is used with the after fermenting specific gravity to calculate the amount of alcohol in the cider. I let it further cool overnight then moved the carboy into the crawlspace to finish fermenting.
|6 gallon glass carboy with frothing yeast on cider|