Sunday, September 12, 2010

How to Press Apples and Making a Little Hard Cider

Autumn harvest is happening, and besides the pumpkin and butternut squash, the apples are ready here on The Farm. And do you know what that means? It means fresh pressed apple cider! Doug Stevenson, the Farm manager, stopped by the ETC last week to press some of the apples he had picked with our little press. It’s a pretty simple machine, with an electric motor to grind the apples and a hand crank press.

Doug was kind enough to leave some of the cider behind for the hostel. As the innkeeper here, I’m always trying new ways to produce our own food. With Doug’s gifted apple juice, I thought I could try making a little bit of fermented cider. Inspired by fellow Tennessean Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation, I filled two pint canning jars with the golden goodness, laid some cheese cloth over the top, and screwed the canning rings on the top. Without the flat canning top, this leaves the juice open to wild yeast floating around in the air. I’ve been stirring them a couple of times a day, whenever I think about it.

It’s only been about three days, and the cider already has a bit of a bite. It’s fizzy from the carbonation released by the fermentation, and I can taste just a hint of alcohol. I’m loosing some to evaporation, so I’ll probably go ahead and drink it pretty soon. I’ve got just enough for me and a couple of friends to enjoy a bit with dinner tonight…hmmm…maybe some roasted squash to carry on the autumn harvest theme?


  1. Something that I have read about, and really want to make and taste, is hard cider. I want to learn more about it.

  2. I really enjoyed this video. I have read about hard cider in stories, but have not seen how it is made, until now. Thank you. One day I would love to do this in real life.

  3. Another skill I plan to one day learn! Thanks for posting this, Merry! My heart is there with you!

  4. "With Doug’s gifted apple juice, I thought I could try making a little bit of fermented cider."

    I'm just wondering, why are you trying do fermented foods? I read in this article ( that fermented foods are really healthy, is this true?