Fall | Family Fun | Homesteading | Recipes | Seasons | Tips & Tricks

How to Press Your Own Apples to Make Cider

October 30, 2013

I’m pretty sure Sean and I have to try everything at least once from scratch… This year it was apple cider. Actually, we were kinda forced into making our own cider this year. The orchard that we like to buy our cider at had a series of unfortunate events that did not allow them to make and sell their cider this year. We love apple cider, so there was no way we could get away without having apple cider so we decided when life gives you apples… Make cider.

We have a small piece of private property up on a mountain and on that property there is an apple tree that was orginally planted when the spot was homesteaded. We have no idea what type of variety it is, but it produces apples every year. They are hardly worth eating since they are small and usually full of worm holes, but it’s perfect for apple cider!

Our very old apple tree
Our very old apple tree
This is the original homestead up on the mountain. A 12x14 dry laid rock house
This is the original homestead up on the mountain. A 12×14 dry laid rock house
The small bitter apples, but great for apple cider
The small bitter apples, but great for apple cider

Our family went and picked the apples with intentions of making lots of apple sauce, but after several batches they got burned out and let us experiment with the apples by making apple cider.

How to make a cider press and harvest apple juice from apples:

You can make cider with an type of apple you want… Free is always good ­čÖé

First clean your apples and slice out the bad parts of the apple to the best of your ability and patients...
First clean your apples and slice out the bad parts of the apple to the best of your ability and patients…
Sean sorting and slicing apples
Sean sorting and slicing apples
We then ran the apples through my KitchenAid slicer attachment. This will help the juice be expelled easier.
We then ran the apples through my KitchenAid slicer attachment. This will help the juice be expelled easier.
Freshly cut up apples
Freshly cut up apples
We used a 5 gallon bucket, drilled holes in it, wrapped it with ties (this doesn't allow it to expand under pressure) and we put a paint strainer bag in to easily remove the apples and keep them from getting stuck in the holes.
We used a 5 gallon bucket, drilled holes in it, wrapped it with ties (this doesn’t allow it to expand under pressure) and we put a paint strainer bag in to easily remove the apples and keep them from getting stuck in the holes.
It's always nice to have a helper.
It’s always nice to have a helper.
Once ready, put a wooden circle that fits the hole on top and start pressing!
Once ready, put a wooden circle that fits the hole on top and start pressing!
Ok, so we are pretty lucky, we have a hand jack that we borrowed from a neighbor, so you might have to build your own or put lots of weight on top of your bucket with bricks or find some way to put an extremely large amount of pressure to press the apples.
Ok, so we are pretty lucky, we have a hand jack that we borrowed from a neighbor, so you might have to build your own or put lots of weight on top of your bucket with bricks or find some way to put an extremely large amount of pressure to press the apples.
You can see the apple juice seeping out the sides! Beautiful!
You can see the apple juice seeping out the sides! Beautiful!

If you don’t have the luxury of owning a press, then you will have to make one, click this link on how to make a cider press.┬áKudos to him for helping us know how to do this in the first place.

It takes a lot of apples to make apple juice, so be prepared to be disappointed if you don’t use a lot. We used 5, 5gallon bucket full of small apples and got about 3-4 gallons of apple juice.

From here there are a couple things you can do with the juice… You can leave it as apple juice, make apple cider, or make hard cider. Our first batch, Sean made into hard apple cider, so it’ll be several months before we know the outcome of that.

Bubbling hard apple cider in the making
Bubbling hard apple cider in the making

How to make hot apple cider is your next step! Follow the link!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *