We picked the apples from the trees last week, like I told before. Since the tree we have that actually makes any apples makes a very sour ones and I knew about a colleague of mine who has a tree that makes very sweet apples and that he was drowning in them, I asked him if
Then we headed with my tiny car filled with apples to a pressing station/ juice station. I'm not sure what that place is called in English. But here those kind of places can be found where you can have your own apples or other fruit shredded to a mash and pressed so the juice extracts. In this place we went to the apples are placed in a manger where a band conveyor takes the apples to a shredder. The mash from the shredder goes to a cloth that a worker folds over the mash and these cloth bundles are piled and placed under a press. The juice pours to containers. There is very little left from the apples after the pressing, there is just almost dry pulp left inside the cloths.
From almost 100 kilos (220 lbs) of apples we got 70 liters (18.5 US gallons) of juice. Our fermenting vessels only can handle 30 liters each so we also had some juice to drink. We did not want to save up too much of the juice though since we did not have it pastorized so it only stays good for few days. The combination of the sweet and sour apples were really good, the juice was sweet but with some excellent taste too.
There are a few steps on the fermenting process that require some preparation. The fermenting vessels need to be thoroughly cleaned and desinfected also all the tools and utensils need to be cleaned and desinfected. That I think is the most annoying part.
There is some difference between cider and wine making. Cider is not as strong as wine so to the cider needs to be added less if any aditional sugar, to the wine sugar needs to be added. The more sugar there is the more food the yeast has and therefore more alcohol there will be. We bought from a special wine store an apple wine set which contained whole bunch of ingredients from the yeast to some enzymes. Most of the ingredients were added to the juice and strirred in and then the vessel was closed with an air lock. Other difference between wine and cider making is that from the wine the fermenting process is killed before it's poured into bottles. The yeast in the cider is left alive so pressure will form in the bottles making the cider sparkling when the bottle is opened.
For the cider we did not get a set, mainly because the store didn't have any and there is basicly only one ingredient besides the juice needed to make cider, which is yeast. We also bought pectolase to clear the juice a bit. The yeast and pectolace were added to the juice and closed with an air lock.
And now we just wait for couple of weeks to a few weeks until the fermenting is done. I will post another post when we get to the bottleing phase. Lot of information about wine and cider making can be found by googling, we are no way any experts. We have done wine and cider only one time before and most likely are doing lots of things wrong.