You’ll never believe this but I have to share it with you all. We’ve lived in this house for 5 years and in the past three weeks, we’ve found two apple trees on our property. Not little sticks-with-two-leaves kind of trees, but enormous have-been-there-for-a-hundred-years kind of trees.
In my defense, we have 6 acres and the fence line is somewhat overgrown. One of the trees was found almost in the ditch on the road (OK – this is a relatively small tree) and the other was found on the back fence, crowded by all kinds of scrub. This isn’t a small tree. The trunk is bigger around than I am. We’ve also collected windfall from one of the neighbours who has different apples. We now have a lot of apples.
I can only make so much apple crisp or pie and I’m not a great fan of applesauce but I love cider! And – it just so happens that we have a cider press we got at auction about a year ago. I’ve never made cider but I have made beer so I have an idea what the process is and I have buckets, carboys, pressure valves, bottles and all the assorted bits and pieces necessary for brewing in the kitchen.
Now the thing about buying items at auction is you may or may not get all the original parts. Pieces from different machines may end up together in a lot and we discovered – after much cranking, and cursing, that the hopper/grinder we have is for grapes. Not apples. After much trial and error, we’ve discovered a relatively good way of prepping the apples for the press and slowly, we’ve figured out how to do this.
We’re now at the stage where we have one primary fermenter active and a second will be added to it shortly. One batch will be a sweet, still cider and the other will be drier and sparkling. It should all be ready in time for Christmas!