Friday, July 16, 2010

Yeast Goddesses

A quick note to sing the praises of yeast, a paean to fermentation.

I was up early this morning, in the quiet. I was puttering around the kitchen, considering the relative merits of tea or coffee when I heard this odd popping sound.

Very soft, but somehow distinct.

I have fairly good hearing--especially considering my love of metal rock and opera--so I tracked the sound to the white pale in front of the old desk.

The cider--last night's labor of love--was merrily bubbling away, popping and off-gassing in the airlock.

Such a nice feeling. After the apple prep and the pasteurization process and the expensive yeast, it was a bit of a relief to hear that fermentation song.

Ah, I sing a song of fermentation, of the flesh of fruit and the active yeast!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Juicing the Pippins

Actually, I was juicing the MacIntosh and pseudo-Cortlands. I used a hand-me-down Krupps juicer, which did not like the peels. Next year I'll know to peel the apples in the first processing. It was the first time I'd used the juicer and when it gets clogged it kicks like a mule.

But I tried to stay calm and unafraid--it's also pretty loud--and zip through those apples bag by bag.
Here are the 1/2 gallon Ball jars (they are now in the fridge). I'm too tired to do the next step, so will pick up the extra juice to make 5 gals tomorrow and put juice, honey and yeast into the ale pail to ferment.
I'll try to do some pics of that, too, and take you with me on this adventure. Until then, here's my bread box, spattered with apple guts:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


The apples are processed and ready to be made into juice. Which will happen tomorrow.

In a flurry of angst and confusion, we visited the fella at AVL Brewing Supply and told him what we were doing.

Easy-peazy was the phrase he used several times.

We can only hope.

The good news is that we can add to however much juice these apples make by adding juice from the grocery store. And we can sweeten and feed the yeast with the honry from our late bees.

I am going to attempt to document the process here, so that you may gain confidence from my utter lack of experience in the hard cider department.

Hang on. Scrumpy's coming.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Too Busy Eating to Write About It

Dear gods, y'all! Are you filling your fridge and belly with all this great produce?

Do it!

For dinner tonight we had rainbow chard, onions, carrots, green beans (more on Slenderette later) and yellow peppers that were sauteed in garlic and OO. On top were some poached mahi-mahi.

O. My. Goodness.

Do you have farmers' markets near you? Gorgeous produce coming out of your garden? A little of both?

Well done, you.

This morning we did another harvest of the MacIntosh apples, too. These (and the little Cortlands) are destined for the juicer and the happy world of hard cider. Scrumpy. Gosh, I love that stuff.

I got the old juicer out today. It was a gift from a friend who was moving cross-country and I've never used it. But until I have a portable cider mill at my disposal, this will have to do.

Bon appetit, y'all! Enjoy the utter perfect freshness of it all, while you can. Autumn--and her Sister Winter--are on their way.