We’ve done it! We gathered up a whole bunch of granny smith apples on Saturday morning (for free!) and turned them all into wonderful cider.
So, here’s how the process works:
Start by washing your apples. I used the bottom section of the 55 gallon tub I used to make my chicken plucker, filled it with water and Courtney and I sat around while the kids were napping and inspected all the apples. We sorted them into two buckets, one for good apples and one for those that had a moldy/wormy spot. We rubbed each apple with our hands to knock off any dirt, etc.
Halve or quarter all of the apples. This is so that they fit into the grinder.
Grind away! The grinder will chew up the apples as fast as I can feed them in there. It is amazing.
The ground up apple pulp is collected in a food grade bucket.
Another view of the grinding in action.
Filling the pressing bags. The bottom three inches of a five gallon food grade bucket acts as the form.
Tie the bag with a piece of kitchen twine.
Loading the press. Put a bag in the bottom, then a pressing disc, then another bag, and so on. A lot of juice will come out into your catching basin before you even begin pressing, so have that in place first!
Start pressing. On the ground is the scissor jack from our mini van. You start with that and once there is room, switch to the 6 ton bottle jack.
The final product. One sip and you’ll know what the “Wow” factor is all about on this fresh squeezed cider. It is comparable to nothing else I’ve ever had. Courtney and I drank a large pitcher of it over the next few days. The rest was split between a few half gallon Ball jars to make vinegar with the balance put into a fermenter to make hard cider.
Other Apple Grinder/Cider Press Posts:
Apple Cider Vinegar (future post)
Hard Cider (future post)