Cider is an all day event -
Washing the apples is only the beginning.
Here is the crew of cousins who are chopping the apples into quarters.
We have a set-up that uses a new sink disposal to chop the apples to bits. Here is my dad shoving the apples into the disposal unit.
Here is the apple pulp that comes out.
We collect it in buckets while it waits for the press.
These two are helping to man the press.
They hold the fabric pieces open so the apple pulp can be scooped in.
The fabric piece is twisted tight and layed between plastic disks. (We purchased the plastic parts as a cider press making kit and then added the required wood pieces to build our own press.)
We layer three pieces of this apple-filled fabric in between plastic disks.
Then the pressing begins - with the help of a car jack.
Here is a closer shot of the jack. As it is tightened down, the cider is pressed out of the apples.
Here is a picture of the entire press.
You can see the fresh cider dripping into the pan at the bottom.
Once collected, the cider is then pasturized on the stove.
We seal it in 2 quart canning jars for enjoyment in months to come.
By the end of the day, we all feel the need for a cozy place to sleep. I slipped downstairs at my parent's home when it was time to head home and found my two youngest asleep on the couch. They had had a fun-filled day with cousins and were worn out. Were't we all! There is nothing like a work project as a family though - it builds great memories! We pressed over 50 gallons of cider!