in this type of press, the juice runs out the front into a receiving
bucket and the juice poured from the bucket into jugs. As the number of
increased here at the farm, there appeared a definite need for a more
efficient means of
storing the juice for bottling. After an arrangement (defying
description) for pumping the juice into a tank, Alan bought a plastic
immersible sump pump for the receiving bucket that would pump the juice
into a 50-gallon tank (shown below),
which simplified things immensely. Storing
the juice into a tank also allows for better mixing. Below are
Melanie and Ethy drawing juice from the tank and stacking jugs on the
table. Melanie is monitoring the
flow of juice into bottles at the spigot.
that the half-gallon jugs are not quite full. That extra inch or so at
the top, approximately a half-cup's worth, allows for expansion
the plastic jugs are stored in the
freezer and (naturally enough) frozen. Otherwise, the caps would pop
off, which would make a delightful mess indeed. We've
switched from gallon jugs
to half-gallons because many of our friends and customers are unable to
a gallon of cider (nor are we) before the quality of the juice
deteriorates and/or ferments into hard cider.
for the Cleanup
The sump pump can
be sterilized between cider pressings and pumpings with scalding
water. The tank can
also be cleaned with hot water through a highpressure washer, as can be
the press and all its parts. Everything is then covered with clean
the next pressing.
Below left is one of the cheeses dumped
from the tub, still in its nylon press bag, and ready to be
included with the rest of the cheeses in the cart, at right. The cart
has been waiting outside the cider room to be taken to the compost
heap. I've read of some cider makers who are also breeders of apple
trees who spread this pomace out on a protected part of ground
and check for promising
seedlings later. Many also feed the pomace to cows and other stock.
and geese love it. So do the deer around here who make regular
forays to our compost heap during late fall and early winter for
discarded apples and pomace. I can see them from the study window
during the early mornings and evenings, heading south through the grain
field – thankfully on the other side of our electric fence.
Notice the size of the (fairly
chunks in the cheeses loose in the cart. In
two of the souces on cidering that I've read for this piece, it was
recommended that the ground apples end up the consistency of a slurry,
a near cousin to apple sauce. This consistency produces, they say,
the most juice. I've always thought that we should be getting more
juice from our apples and so mentioned this consistency problem to our
two cider masters.
ignited a controversy.
worried about the seeds being
ground along with the apples if we bought a heavier grinder. Apple
seeds contain a trace of cyanide and, though the amount of cyanide
ending up in the cider would be miniscule, she was concerned about it
affecting the taste. She was also worried about what the
heavier motor would do to our old-fashioned cider press. She could see
it eventually being shaken to pieces. Her Dad thought this through and
decided to try speeding up the grinder on our
press rather than getting a new one. Increased speed might make for
a softer pomace without crushing the seeds – the
grinder now, he says, is set at the lowest speed.
narrative on that experiment, however, will have to wait for next
January and still very cold,