Thursday, October 11, 2007

Live Brew Blogging

UPDATE: 9:19 PM. I am home! We started the cider at about 12:00 and finished at about 8:00 with a set up, lunch, and clean up included. I took this photo with my cell phone and it shows the entire process.

1: Wash and sort the apples. This happens in the way back where you see the cooler.
2: Chop and bin. This happens above the press and grinder in the big white bin in front. near the end, we realized that you didn't really need to chop the apples in half, as the grinder could handle them.
3: Grind them. You can see the garbage disposal to the right of the bin. It was powered with an extension cord with a switch. It was very stable and we used a long stick to mash the apples into the grinder. What came out was just pulp not unlike apple sauce. That pulp plopped into one of those blue buckets.
4: Press. You can see the press one step below the grinder. In this photo it is open but swing it shut and it is ready to go. We ended up using cheese cloth to make the holes smaller because it was just oozing out pulp. It is very hard to use! Physically that is. It does have gears but it is not really geared down, so you just have to crank really hard!
5: Bottle. The bottle is on the far left and it has a funnel with a sieve and cheese cloth to get just the juice into the bottle for fermentation.
6: Trash. Throw the used pulp, now it in a dry woody state, into the trash can.

Then do over! Once you have no apples left, pitch the yeast and put in place the fermentation lock. We ended up with 12 gallons of cider. We are doing 5.5 spiced and 6.5 regular. We are all exhausted but had a great great time. I will let you know how it comes out!

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