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Posts Tagged ‘hard cider’

Yakima Press Company is proud to present The Colonial Cider Mill. This double tub cider press is handcrafted in the USA. The frame is made with laminated hard Maple from the east coast, with lots of heavy-duty cast iron components. This Cider Mill is built to last generations, just like the apple presses it is modeled after. Check out Yakima Press Company‘s website for more information and photos.

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Check out Yakima Press Company’s Cider Press. This double tub fruit press can pump out gallons of fresh cider with each press. Loaded with cast iron parts that are made in the USA and a hard maple wood frame this press will last for generations. There is no better cider press on the market.

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The Kingston Black apple is another variety of apple that is best suited for cider making only. With its bitter taste it isn’t much of an eating apple like so many of the apples grown in the United States. In  fact, most cider making apple varieties don’t even look like the larger Red Delicious or Fuji’s that everyone  loves to eat. Most cider making apples are smaller and tend to grow in clusters of 3 or more. If you are looking to grow cider apples or if you are looking for a variety to buy to make hard cider, the Kingston Black may be a good place to start. It is a good stand alone variety, or varietal, so you don’t necessarily need to blend this apple variety with other apple varieties. If you do want to grow a Kingston Black apple tree, you can purchase them in the States and they are best suited to grow in hardiness zones 4-9. This hardiness zone covers a majority of the US, from the Yakima Valley in Washington State to the Tennessee River Valley. See the map below. The only climates to avoid would be the northern plains and the southern tip of Florida.

Climate and growing zones for the United States

Climate and growing zones for the United States

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The Crimson King apple is an old english variety used to make hard cider. This apple variety was propagated by a man named John Toucher of Bewley Down in the late 1800’s. When used to make hard apple cider the end result has a fruity taste. Crimson King apples are a smaller bright red apple that typically grow to be only about 2.5 inches in diameter. Crimson King’s are harvested in November (in most climates) and some people use them for cooking as well.

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If you are interested in making your own cider you must read Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Hard & Sweet Cider by Annie Proulx and Lew Nichols.  It is a very easy read,  but it thorough in its approach to guiding beginning  cider makers. The book covers both hard (alcoholic) cider as well as sweet (fresh) cider and which apples are best to use for both. There is a great chapter on Cider Presses themselves and the variety of styles to choose from. If you are interested in growing your own trees they even touch on what types of trees are best suited for you. They also cover some topics beyond just making your own apple cider, such as cooking recipes, making apple cider vinegar, and how the law plays a role in making cider. If you’ve ever wanted  to learn about home making apple cider this is a great place to start.

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Like Ice Wines, Ice Cider is now beginning to make its mark within the Cider world. Eden Ice Cider company has been working with US regulators and is now one of the first, if not the first, licensed producer of Ice Cider’s in the United States. The process of making Ice Cider and Wine starts with pressing frozen fruit, called Cryoextraction. It sounds like many producers also press fresh apples and grapes, then freeze the cider or juice to arrive at a similar destination. Either way the sugars are concentrated during the freezing process, thus driving a higher alcohol content, which makes this beverage a “wine” rather than a cider. You can check out Eden’s Website at www.edenicecider.com .

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I found a great website from a nursery down in California. They have about 29 European apple trees and bench grafts for anyone who is interested in planting their own trees for experimenting.

Here is a link to the site: http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/fruit/apple-cider.htm

For those interested in experimenting with both sweet and hard apple cider, you can check out another site that offers cider pressing equipment and accessories. Even with homemade cider making equipment you can easily make 25 to 50 gallons of cider in a given day. This tends to be more than enough cider for enjoying right away (sweet) and also using some to ferment for hard cider.

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I have been working on building an apple press for a few months now. I have met some very creative people who are doing the same here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. And now, as we begin the harvest season I am especially excited to try my most recent cider press project. When I purchased it earlier this year, it is an older cider press, part antique part thrown together over the years. But that is exactly what I am doing with the press. I am only replacing old or broken parts and hope to test it out in the next couple of weeks. This season I am going to press two varieties of apples together. I think I’ve got a good supply from last years harvest that have been sitting in C.A. all year. I am going to mix Granny Smith’s and either Red Delicious or Fuji’s. I am only making fresh cider or juice, not hard cider. I have heard that the Fuji’s have too much sugar when making hard cider. That is something I am learning about as well and hope to start a batch next year. If anyone has any other variety mixes they are trying, or have favorites, please post them!

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There is a new cidery in the Yakima Valley, and is located in Tieton, Washington. Tieton Cider Works is preparing to release their first ciders to the world this year, with shipping available in February 2010. I sent TCW and email to see if I could come by their facilities to check it out. I hope I can get over there when they are pressing in September. They seem like very cool people and I look forward to tasting their ciders. They have  organic apple orchards where most (if not all) of their cider apples are grown. I am very interested in checking out their commercial cider press and how that works. More info to come…

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We have recently added a new group using LinkedIn, a social networking tool. Using the forum we will be discussing how to make apple cider, sweet and hard cider recipes, restoring old cider presses and more. There are many new cider presses out on the market today, but most fail to capture the look and feel of the antique cider press. One man who does a great job is Robert Correll out of Elmira, Oregon. He has 5 or so different sizes of cider presses, all of which are the double tub style press. He even has motor enabled grinders, which may or may not appeal to the vintage cider presser. Most of the other new apple presses on the market today are either a single tub, with both grinder and press above pressing tub, such as the Jaffrey Cider Press which is also available as a kit.

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