Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cider Time

Looks like cider time is upon us again. We pressed our first batch from mixed summer apples the 10th of September, and subsequently have pressed twice more, for a total of approximately twenty-six gallons under airlock, representing five different variations:

  • 'Primitive'—not treated in any way, but simply allowed to ferment away with whatever yeasts (et cetera) it brung with it. I think I'll call this one 'Rabid Raccoon.'
  • Raspberry—sulfited, pitched with Pasteur champagne yeast, and with a pound of raspberry puree (thank you, Prince...) added. A beautiful rose color at the moment, which seems to change subtly day-by-day.
  • Standard—Sulfited, pitched with Pasteur champagne yeast. 
  • Modified standard—Sulfited, pitched with Nottingham ale yeast
  • Cider-Perry blend—Approximately 60% mixed summer apples, 40% Asian-type pears from our tree. Sulfited, pitched with champagne yeast. Splitting the difference between the apple s.g. of 1.050 and the pear s.g. of 1.040. Six gallons. 
We hope to keep this pace up for the rest of the fall, entering 2011 with a full cider locker. We've had good results this season by making each pressing into three 'cheeses,' filling each bag partially and using all three at once—instead of maxing out the press-basket with one single bag. More juice flows in less time with less effort, making the whole process that much faster. Apparently peasants the world over have known this for millennia, and it only took me twenty years of pressing cider to figure it out.

Stay tuned. We'll see what happens...

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