Todd's Cider 3.0

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tmiles
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2017/07/31 09:20:22 (permalink)

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
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    tmiles
    Filet Mignon
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    Re: Todd's Cider 3.0 2017/10/15 10:28:11 (permalink)
    We had our family cider day, yesterday, 14 Oct. All of Mom's great grandchildren were there. Mom passed a few weeks ago, but she was there in spirit. We had a great time, and made over 11 gallons of sweet cider. It was about 50% Golden Delicious (old style with russeting), with Macs, Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonathans, Liberty, and Delicious blended in. If we can buy some apples, we plan to make a hard cider blend in a week or two. I'm looking for Harrisons, Ashmeads Kernals, and Wolf Rivers, but they are hard to find, as most of the folks who grow them, use them in their own blends. I'll have my own, starting next year, when trees planted a few years ago start to bear. I'll have some Goldrush apples in a few weeks, which are reputed to make a nice hard cider, but they are great eating too, and IMO, it is too cold to make late season cider. Late season cider is really, really good, but cold and miserable to make, because getting all wet at 40 degrees is no fun at all!!!One good thing about making cider in the cold is that it does not attract yellow jacket hornets (wasps?). They dont seem to sting, but they were swarming around the press area, and I don't like 'em.
     
    Rather than package the cider in growlers, I got 1/2 gal plastic jugs (milk jugs) from Freund Supply. By using them we were able to freeze some cider for Thanksgiving. Freund also has a program for custom, self designed, labels that are not terribly expensive, considering that they are color, and available in small amounts.
    post edited by tmiles - 2017/10/29 20:55:16
    #2
    chickenplucker
    Double Cheeseburger
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    Re: Todd's Cider 3.0 2017/10/15 10:34:35 (permalink)
    It's still hot in Georgia but your post made it seem like fall. Thank you.....
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
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    Re: Todd's Cider 3.0 2017/10/15 12:35:24 (permalink)
    That Hocking Valley 95 was manufactured by Hocking Valley Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Ohio. Lancaster is about 35 miles south of our house. The area just west of Lancaster is still a big apple growing area.
     
    #4
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