Todd's Cider 3.0
If people seem interested, I plan to post about this season's cider here...
1.0 Starting at a very young age, I "helped" on my grandparent's farm. One of the jobs was cider making. I worked my way up from being a not very helpful "helper" to being one of the guys that made it by the time that I was in high school. With our small Number 7, Palmer press, with a Hocking Valley 95 (1895??) screw , it was generally a one person job. We put the sweet cider in used, 1 gallon glass jugs that had previously held Coca Cola (r) concentrate. We charged a deposit on the bottles, and got most of them back from repeat customers. We wholesaled the cider in 4 gal Coke cartons that our bottles came in, as well as selling it, retail, at our Tainter Hill Farm stand on Rt 146.
2.0 When I got off active duty with the Marines in 1974, I started a full time farming gig that lasted for 5 years, before my part time farming career that continues today. My grandfather had switched to part time farming, and he could no longer sell un pasturised cider wholesale, so cider making had dropped to a few days a year. I continued to make it but only a few times per season, and eventually, when the press broke, not at all. It was never very profitable, as people didn't want to pay much for the cider (although they complained bitterly when we didn't have any..... go figure). Not being a wood worker, I rebuilt the frame of the press in steel, although we still used the old wooden "racks", so the cider was still "wood pressed". We stopped making it at all for a few years, because the old orchard had been sold, and the new, much,much, smaller orchard had not come into bearing.
3.0 I have pulled out the press, which was put away "right", so it is in good shape. I never painted the steel, so I have ordered "food grade" paint from a wine making supply company. I have also ordered food grade lube and cleaning compound. My next step is to clean the racks (they are actually clean out of storage), and dip them into melted food grade wax. I'll post pix, if my daughter takes them. I plan a "family cider day", this fall, where our grandchildren, and all of their 2nd cousins can learn the cider making process. Depending how much we make, my son in law, an accomplished home brewer, may make some hard cider. I may retail a little at my tiny road side stand. Simply Apple (IMO, a really great product) is 4.99 for a little less than 1/2 gallon. I plan to charge $6 per 1/2 gallon (plus deposit), and see how it goes. Half gallon "growlers" are easy to buy, and a lot of my potential customers will have one to turn in, so at least this season, they are what I will use. I'll only run the stand a little this year, because I was sick when I would have been planting corn, but hopefully next year it will be a normal season. I am feeling well enough, that I am ordering a few more "cider apple" trees to plant next spring, knowing that they will take a few years to bear.
Update 14 Sep. I've got it all put back together, the steel is painted, and everything is clean. Our Honeycrisps, Macs and McCouins are picked, but I am waiting for some golden delicious and jonathans to blend in.
post edited by tmiles - 2017/10/15 16:29:45