Today i made my first apple cider ever. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work went into it which somehow makes the cider taste better.
Apple cider, for those who wonder what the difference is between apple juice and cider is that apple cider is pressed apples which have the skin, stems, core, seeds and anything else still on the apple. Where as apple juice is just the fruit part of the apple and then it is pasteurized. My apple cider came from all the apples that i hand picked from my grandfather's apple trees. I picked them and stored them and today i took them to my uncles place where he has an apple press.
First you have to grind the apples because the more an apple is chopped up the more juice you will get out of it. The apples are poured into the grinder and they fall into a bucket. The bucket is slided forward and stops directly under the press. A board is put over the bucket and the press is turned down squeezing the cut up apples, which are called pomace. You can see the juice coming out and it runs down into a collection pan which is then strained and pumped into jugs. And thats all there is to it! There is no need to boil the cider or strain it again, some do this but it is not necessary. Some add sugar if the apples are too sour but this year the apples i use were very sweet and the cider came out perfect.
Out of 3 bushels of apples, (60 pounds is roughly a bushel), we got a little over 8 gallons of cider. A few gallons i will save to turn into hard cider which is when you let the cider ferment its sugar into alcohol. If you let it ferment even longer you will end up with apple vinegar. I made the cider especially for everyone at Thanksgiving and i hope they enjoy drinking it as much as i enjoyed making it. I think everyone should try to make cider once in their life, but thats just my two cents.