Hubby brews beer. Quite excellent beer, if I’m allowed to brag. Last year, he ventured into new terrain and made hard cider. Mmmm…it’s so good. So, since it’s that time of year again, we set about grinding and pressing apples a few weeks ago.
First step….buy apples from the local apple farm….or a few local apple farms as it may be so you can get lots of different varieties. He has particular favorites that he is always on the hunt for. The apples you like to eat, or the apples you like to use to make pie, are not the same apples that you want to use to make cider. Also, we have friends with old apple trees and we have no idea what kind of apples they are. We harvested them last year, and the result was quite tasty.
Step two: Grind lots of apples using homemade grinder made with heavy-duty kitchen garbage disposal.
Step three: Press apples in homemade press using muslin cloth squares which I sewed last year. And put juice into carboy to sit around for awhile. Hubby uses commercial yeast as opposed to relying on the wild yeast, so he has to add something (blanking on what exactly) to stop the wild yeast fermentation, and then he adds his commercial yeast a day or two later. Last year, he used champagne yeast, but this year he went with some beer yeast.
He probably won’t bottle it until the Spring. Last year, he fermented each varietal separately, and then blended them when they were bottled. Not sure what his plans are for this year. Definitely good stuff though!
Edited to add: He also added that he will rack it a few times before he bottles it. His experience last year was that it gets better the longer that you let it age. And the stuff that he adds to stop the wild yeast fermentation is some sort of sulfite additive.