Fall Cider Making

We planted a very small organic apple orchard with dwarf trees when we moved here twenty plus years ago. There have been a few years when conditions have been right and we’ve had apples to press for cider, although never very much.

This year we hit the jackpot. Spring blossoms arrived without freezing or getting washed away in rain storms. The pollinators showed up and did their job and regular summer rains kept the trees happy. We have a bumper crop of apples, so many they weigh down the branches until we feared they would break.

I have been happily munching on my early MacIntosh apples (also great for baking–apple pie and apple bread. Yum.) and we pressed cider from the Burgandies and Jonathans. I wish I had taken pics of the trees but I didn’t think of it. We did a first press and still had a lot of apples left, so this morning we did a second press. In October we’ll do a third press from the remaining late apple trees. Every press is sweeter than the last. One thing I love about our cider is that it’s complex because we mix varieties, unlike the commercial growers who use one variety and therefore their cider tastes of one note. We freeze our cider in half-liter HDPE containers, just right for thawing and bringing back a perfect fall day in the dead of winter!

Setting up for cider making on a foggy morning
Squeezing the apple mash

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