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Cider Day!!!

October 19, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted lately but I had been prepping for Cider Day!!!! That involves moving the press (it must weigh 300 lbs!!!), cleaning it, testing it, procuring apples, cleaning all implements, buying beer (bribes helpers) and then the day comes.

We got our apples from the orchard down the street at around 9:30. Bob it turns out was a hunting buddy of Terry's dad. He had alot of Macintosh, so that was the base. Add JohnnyMac, Delicious, Chieftains and two other sweets and there we were. 10 bushels of apples in Terry's SUV and room enough for us.

Then I final cleaned the press and started the motor for the chipper….it didn't work….not at all and I had 10 bushels of apples and no chipper…..oi!!!!. Gary from the Essex Wine Review came then and was concerned why I wasn't happy….I forced the motor to tun added oil and then it ran but I was filthy. And I never uttered a bad word!!! It worked the day before and the week before flawlessly. Its always something.

Well I needed a beer!!! So I had a few and realized that we didn't have enough beer. Now there was my 2nd crisis.

It was great that Gary really enjoyed running the press…I bet he's sore today cos he worked really hard. So he left with Wanda then came back with his car and ….more beer…good man!!! He did decide to honour my west-end heritage by building a wall of beer bottles along the deck, just like its done in the old country. I dismantled the wall this morning btw.

The Suave and sophisticated ones came at ~ 4 and we were done at ~ 6:30. Then we tested my last batch which was Krausened (raw juice added instead of sugar prior to bottling to give natural carbonation) . They liked it and then an old boy I found….4 years old….acid was gone, colour was dim but to me it tastes like apple brandy…everyone liked the newer one…it was just fresher.

So what did all the hard work get us….80 litters of cider….thats it. 4 carboys which I hit with SO2 and will hit with yeast tonight. Let it sit all winter then hopefully it will go thru Malolactic Fermentation in the spring (a good thing as it rounds out the cider and gets rid of the really sharp malic acid…most reds and Chardonnays go thru it btw). Its spontaneous so we'll just have to wait.

Potential alcohol is 6% so no chaptilization is req'd (added sugar to boost alcohol) so with the secondary fermentation, the final product should be ~ 6.5%. After the SO2 added yesterday(it killed all the wild yeast and bad stuff) there will be no more chemicals added. It now up to the wine and beer gods to make it.

So was it fun…yes..will we do it again…yes…will we try grapes…yes…pears…yes…plums….yes and Sambo…no slivo as distilling is bad…the revenuers will get ya…..peaches…got to try again and of course apples…..next year I'm going for 12 bushells so it will be 100 liters. Gary start working out!!!!

Tootles

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