On Saturday afternoon, we put the old apple press to work.
Our target was 3 gallons of cider for this first attempt. I read somewhere online that one would need 12.5 lbs of apples to make 1 gallon of cider. We picked about 40 pounds from the orchard down the street and felt like we had enough.
We started chopping the apples in half and then french fry cutting the halves to get them ready for the press.
After pressing with all our might, we learned that the apples needed to be processed even further to get more juice.
We employed a 3 three pronged attack (food processor, stick blender, and regular blender) to prep the apples for more productive pressing!
The regular blender didn’t work all that well, so we stuck with the food processor and the stick blender. We turned the 40 lbs of apple fries into mush in no time.
We put them all back into the press and watched the huge flow of cider spill down into the kettle.
I added 2 cups of sugar to the cider and pasteurized it by heating it to 170°F for 20 minutes. We felt it was our best option to kill any unwanted critters.
We cooled it in a kiddie pool ice bath, added some pectic enzyme, some yeast nutrient, and two packages of proofed Champagne yeast.
Sunday morning, it was fermenting like crazy. We’ll see how it turns out.
Need an apple grinder or some kind of way to mill apples into a nice mush quickly and easily.
Need to fix the bottom of the old press. There are a few leaks – we had a temporary fix with plastic wrap…but that’s not ideal.
We were only able to press 2.75 gallons of cider. We may have a larger yield next time, but maybe we should pick a few more pounds of apples.