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Archive for November, 2008

Apple Cider!

A few weeks back we went to Larriland Farm in Montgomery County to do some apple picking.  When we got there there were only Stamin and Granny Smith apples left to pick which wasn’t a bad thing as the kids love Granny Smiths and the Stamins also had a tart flavor to them.   Over the past few weeks I’ve been taking the apples, slicing them up and then dehydrating them using a L’Equip dehydrator.  It takes a few hours (actually the slicing takes about 20 minutes and the dehydrating takes a few hours) but the effort is well worth it.  The apple chips are awesome.  I highly recommend it.

Another thing I’ve been meaning to do with the apples is to make home made apple cider from them.  This was a little harder since I had a hard time finding explicit instructions on how to make the cider and then when I did find instructions they sometimes conflicted in some of the information.  In the end here are the steps I used to make the cider:

Equipment:

  • Food Processor with puree blade
  • Hand held food processor (to more finely puree the apple pulp)
  • Muslin cloth
  • Bowl
  • 1 gallon glass jug
  • 1 large pot
  • Candy thermometer
  • Funnel

Obviously the first step is to clean the equipment really well.  That goes without saying.  I then used 1 Tbps of bleach in 1 gallon of water to santize the gallon glass jug.  After pouring out the bleach solution I rinsed out the jug thoroughly with hot water and closed. 

I cleaned, cored and sliced the apples into 8 pieces.  Then I fed the apple pieces to the food processor and pureed them as well as I could.  I then ladled the “mash” out of the food processor into a tall plastic cup and used the hand food processor to continue pureeing the “mash” even more.  Once the “mash” was finely pureed I put it into the muslin cloth and closed tightly.  I then squeezed the muslin cloth as hard as I could, over and over, until I had extracted as much of the juice as possible.  The juice went into the glass bowl.  I then poured the juice into the large stock pot. 

Once all of the apples had been processed I then inserted the thermometer into the cider and turned on the stove.  Now this is where I get conflicting information.  I’ve read that I could pasteurize the cider at anywhere from 145 degrees Farenheit (for 30 minutes) all the way up to 200 degrees Farenheit (for a very brief period).  The links at the bottom of this post show the various sites I’ve found with regards to this.  In the end I decided to go all the way up to 200 degrees F for a very brief period (as soon as I hit 200 I turned off the heat — gotta love a gas stove).  I then took top off the jug, put the funnel in and poured the pasteurized cider into the jug.  It’s now sitting outside to cool off (the temperature outside is about 45 degrees F).  As soon as it’s cooled a little I’ll put it in the fridge.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to tasting this first batch.  If things go well then next year I may try to do more.  And if that goes well then I’ll consider the idea of getting a cider press.

Links to Apple Cider information:

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