Sunday, October 9, 2011
From twelve and one half (50 lb) bags of apples to apple cider, hard apple cider, apple wine, apple pie filling and apples to snack on. After, Sean and I pressed the apples at a congregation apple pressing party, it was time to start processing our bounty to savor over the cold winter months.
To prepare my traditional apple cider, I sterilized my equipment: large stock pot, water bath canner, covers, ladle, and jugs, and the cider in 8 quart batches. I added 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg to each batch. Using a plastic funnel made filling my jars easy, easy. I filled 7 gallons of cider. Sooooo delicious warm or cold. Once they cool on the counter (It is not safe to put warm or hot foods in the fridge or freezer. It can raise the internal temperature and cause foods to thaw in the freezer, or bacteria to grow in a warmer fridge environment) to room temperature, they are ready for the freezer. These can last for up to a year this way.
I am sending my husband's Dad and Mom and his Brother's family the quart jars which I canned in a hot water bath. Packed carefully and shipped overnight via UPS, they should arrive intact and be ready to be enjoyed or stored until colder weather.
My husband's Hard Cider takes somewhat less preparation at this stage. Pressed and poured into (2) five gallon glass carboys and (1) five gallon bucket, he topped them with air locks and wisely leaves them to do their fermentation thing. In about a week, he will rack and bottle them. Once more, leaving them be to age to perfected, drinkable goodness in about one month.