In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making cider

Cider making day. Actually, we began on Sunday, but we finished up today. Here's the complete rig. It's a Correll Cider Press. Hand-crafted, beautiful, and simple to operate. We love it. Greg is dropping apples into a motorized hopper.

The apples will be chopped into bits in there and the apple bits will drop into a filter bag inside the slatted wooden basket which is positioned below.
The hopper sits on top of the shredding chamber. You drop the apples into the hopper and they fall down a sort of chute into the shredder.
After the basket is filled, you slide it toward the end of the base. There's a wooden press lid that fits into the top of the basket. After everything is in position, you begin to turn the press screw. The wooden lid then gradually presses down on the apple bits inside the filter bag.
A veritable waterfall of cider begins to pour out. Sometimes it's amber, sometimes pale gold, sometimes pink. It depends on which variety of apples we are pressing at the time. We keep them separated by tree in the pressing process. That way we can begin to have a record of how the trees are doing from year to year, and also how each kind tastes on its own. Then we can blend them later if we want.
After the container is filled we switch it out for our other one. Then we strain the cider into recycled gallon jugs. After that we drink it or freeze it or blend it in a five-gallon carboy to begin making hard cider.

The best thing about making cider is finding such a delicious way to use all these apples that the Perrys and the Gouldens planted so many years ago. We pressed a little over fifty one gallons this year, and we saved some for eating and baking. Tonight our apple portfolio is off the charts.

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