Just got a family cider press from grandma, how do I make cider?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I just received an old cider press from my grandmother, except my gradfather passed away last October and grandma does not know how to make cider. It is in good shape, just needs some cleaning, it has a large screw assembly that pushes into a wire basket(about 2 to 2 1/2 gallon size) and a spout on the bottom. Very heavy cast iron unit, probably about 75-100 pounds. Anyway, I am going to clean it up and use some of the apples from our nine trees, I always have way too many to process into sauce, dried, jelly, butter, and juice. So how do I go about making it. I was told to chop up the whole apples into big pieces, line the basket with a couple layers of cheese cloth, and press them into cider. Strain the cider and keep refigerated. Is this the way, or am I missing something. Should I use something other than cheese cloth? Just chop them up with a knife? And can I can the cider for future use? I do water bath and steam pressure process.
Thank You, Craig
-- craig swasnon (email@example.com), October 01, 2001
You are getting close. Are you sure that is a cider press? It sounds like a lard press but you can make cider with a lard press. I have a apple grinder on mine. I don't think you will do much good by just cutting them in big chunks. I keep the different kinds of apples seperated and when we get the cider made we put it in a freezer as quick as possible. When you thaw it you can even tell what kind of apple it was. Mighty good about Xmas.
-- Mel Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 01, 2001.
I agree, it sounds like you have a lard press. You can't just cut up your apples, you won't get much juice. You really need to "grind" them up in pulp. You then line the press with cheese cloth and press gradually until juice starts running. Wait until it stops and then tighten it some more. As far as storage goes, just freeze it. It won't keep in the refrig. too long unless you want hard cider. By the way it takes a huge amount of apples for cider but nothing like homemade cider!
-- Karen (email@example.com), October 02, 2001.
Yes, you need to grind the apples. We have a Happy Valley press with a grinder attachment. After the apples our ground, my husbands lets them sit for an hour or so....he says it helps get more juice. Depending on the apples, we get from 2 1/2 to 3 gal of cider from a bushel.
Mac will give you too sweet of a cider. We will generally blend 2 to 3 different apples but use Macs as a base.
I can about 100 qts. a year and also make vinegar.
The pomace from the apples can be given to the animals. When they are tired of the pomace, it gets put out for the deer.
-- Cordy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 02, 2001.
I agree with everyone else. You can't just cut up apples they must be ground up. The more ground up they are the more juice you will get. I read an interesting tip about this one time where a man used a new (I wouldn't use an old one but I'm picky) garbage disposal that he rigged up in some kind of wood frame he could position over the tub, then plugged it in and started putting the apples through. Seems like you might have to cut them in half or quarters depending on how large they were. He said the resulting slurry when pressed released far more juice than he had ever gotten with his crank grinder and easier because you plug it in instead of cranking it. Having said that the cranking is really part of the fun. Hope this helps.
-- Sara Perry (JPerry1218@aol.com), October 04, 2001.