We had an enormous apple crop from our MacIntosh tree this year and we kept harvesting and harvesting until we had almost 80 pounds of apples. Absolutely organically grown--which includes all the critters that love apples as much as humans do. So it was 80 pounds of apples that had to be washed and cut up and all that before it could go through the cider mill to become...cider.
That took a fair amount of time and I was still processing apples in the last few minutes before I was taken to the airport for three weeks of research and teaching in England and Scotland. Going through security was a breeze compared to all that apples processing!
We ended up with 5 gallons of gorgeous and flavorful juice and we made it into apple cider. Hard cider, I mean. It did its first couple of weeks in an ale pail, off-gassing merrily. Then it went into a glass carboy where it stopped off-gassing fairly soon and just sat there, fermenting quietly.
We bottled it yesterday and got almost 50 bottles of what will be a very dry hard cider with a kick like a Buncombe county mule. It'll be ready to drink in about a month and will continue to get better for a few years.
We drank the last of the 2010 bottling a couple of months ago and it was very good indeed.
I also made an experimental batch that was 1/3 apple juice and 2/3 elderberry juice. It is ruby red and pretty tasty. There's only a gallon of that, though.
What have you been doing? What have you been eating? How have you fared this summer and fall?
the very welcoming front doors of a local brewery