Cider making


This is a record of the cider we made in 2022.

We picked and pressed the apples on the 1st October. We collected 3 wheelbarrows full of apples. 1 Lady Sudeley from the West Farm Orchard. 1 green eating apple and 1 green cooking apple from a neighbour’s garden.

We set up with a bin full of water to wash the apples, a table with knives and chopping boards to chop the apples, a garden shredder to shred the apples, and a 6 L cider press to press the pulp. We had a bucket for cut apples and another bucket for rotten or otherwise unsuitable apples on the table. We shredded the apples into a bucket. The apple juice was drained from the press into a large bucket. We set the cider press up on scaffold batons to raise it up off the ground so the bucket could go underneath. Each variety of apples was pressed separately into their own bucket.

We produced seven 1 L bottles of apple juice. Three bottles of green eating apples, two bottles of green cooking apples, and two bottles of Lady Sudeley. The bottles were plastic fruit cordial bottles so they could be frozen.

We produced six demijohns (1 gallon, ~4.5 L each) of juice for cider:

The whole process to press the juice from start to finish took from ~09:30 to 15:00, with an hour break for lunch in the middle. The pressing without the equipment setup took about 2 hours. Cleaning up at the end took the most time, washing everything to get rid of the sticky apple juice and pulp.

We produced two kilner jars (~750 ml each) of vinegar, 1 pure Lady Sudeley and one pure green cooking. We added Willys organic apple cider vinegar with the mother at a ratio of 12:1 juice to vinegar to start the fermentation, and left the jars open covered with muslin. The Lady Sudeley batch grew a scoby on the surface, but also grew mould after about two weeks, so it was thrown away. The green cooking batch was left in a dark place until the 1st December, then filtered through muslin and transferred to a sealed kilner bottle. During the fermentation it grew 4 separate scoby layers, with the first three sinking to the bottom, which maybe means it was fermented for too long. Alternatively, maybe the jar was disturbed multiple times, causing the surface tension to break and the scoby to become submerged.

The cider demijohns were kept in a room with a temperature of ~18-20C until the 1st December (61 days). We bottled ~28 L of cider in total. All the demijohns produced good cider.

Packets of yeast used for cider
Demijohns with recently pressed juice
Bottles of fresh juice to be frozen
The cider press
Vinegar ready for fermentation