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Posts Tagged ‘Homemade 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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Here in the Yakima Valley there are lots of people with a small plot of fruit trees and/or grapes. These small plots are usually not large enough to sell the fruit commercial, but they are perfect for making homemade cider or wine. Using fresh grapes to press your own wine can be a fun and challenging experience. But as you take your first sip, it can be very rewarding. At Yakima Press Company, they design and manufacture fruit presses for both the beginning and advanced home brewers. So whether you are going to produce a few gallons of juice or wine, or a larger batch, Yakima Press is sure to have a grape or apple press to meet your needs. The Villager Wine Press is a grape press that will inspire. If you are looking to produce a small  to medium batch of homemade wine, then this is the wine press for you.

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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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As we enter into mid-October and Apple harvest is wrapping up, everyone seems to be pressing apples and stocking up on cider and juice. Each October we have a family “pressing party” although we don’t necessarily call it that by name. It’s more of a family get together to celebrate birthday’s, catch up with each other, and get away from our busy lives. I truly believe that cider pressing is an event that build’s family and strengthens relationships because everyone can participate. So, if you  haven’t had the opportunity to press apples with family and make  some amazingly good apple cider, there is not better time to start.

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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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If you have already purchased, or are thinking about purchasing a Weston Wine Press, then the Weston Fruit Grinder may be a nice addition to your pressing activities. When pressing grapes to make fresh grape juice or home made wine you aren’t initially required to crush or grind the grapes, although most do. Grapes are a soft fruit and a typical press can easily crush the grapes without any prep work. However, if you plan on making apple cider with your press you must first crush the apples with a fruit grinder. Apples are a hard fruit and simply will not crush with only the force of a typical fruit press. Weston offers a fruit grinder that will attach to a variety of surfaces. This will allow you to crush the apples directly into your pressing tub prior to pressing.

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According to the Washington State Apple Commission, Washington harvests close to 100 million boxes of apples annually. This equates to about 10 billion individual apples that are handpicked. The top five varieties of apples expected for this year’s harvest are Red Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith and Golden. Together they make up about 90% of total apples grown. And with over 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, the only native apple is the crab apple. Washington State apples are harvested from mid-August (Gala) to as late as November (Cripps Pink). Many Farmers and orchardists have “pressing parties” this time of year, especially when you start to harvest a couple different varieties. Homemade cider from Washington State grown apples is hard to beat. Pressing homemade cider with your own Cider press  is fun for the entire family.

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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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A new acquaintance sent me pictures of an old cider press he is planning on restoring. As he was explaining it to me I couldn’t understand what type of press he was talking about. So I asked him to send me pictures so I could get a visual. I have posted the pictures of his cider press below. As I continue to learn and be inspired with the restoration of antique fruit and apple presses, this particular press is an absolute marvel. I’m not quite sure how it all works, and since my friend is located in France, it may be a while before I can see it work in person. It is truly a piece of art though and I look forward to seeing the press after he has restored it. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I did. If anyone has any ideas, history or other information regarding this style of fruit press, we would love to hear your comments.

Antique European Cider Press

Antique European Cider Press

European Fruit Hopper

European Fruit Hopper

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