Homemade Cider

Homemade Cider

Every year, as summer ends and autumn begins, the apples start to fall from their trees. This process ushers in the season of fabulous apple creations like apple pie and homemade apple cider. Taking a day to make cider with your family is a great way to enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon with your family and friends. If you don't have access to a cider press or your own apple tree, you can still have fun making cider by purchasing apples from you local grocery and using an alternative to a cider press.

Each aspect of making cider can be a fun family activity, from picking the apples to bottling the cider. Making cider is also a great way to use some of your tree's fallen apples. You will need a good quantity of apples, a cider press, juicer (or a piece of cheesecloth), and a healthy desire for fun.

The best way to make your own cider is to pick your own apples, especially if you have your own tree. Picking the apples from your own tree makes the final product that much more special, since you grew the apples and put all the work into making the cider.

Getting Started
The first step in making homemade cider is to make sure you have all the supplies you need, including an apple cider press. If you don't already have your own and don't wish to purchase one, you can try to borrow one from a neighbor or friend or rent one. If you are really adventurous, you can find some plans and build a press for yourself. Once you have tried pressing cider and want to turn cider pressing into a yearly tradition for your family, you should invest in your own cider press.

There are a few things you will need in addition to your press, including a mesh bag to filter out the pulp.  You may also want to use a fruit grinder in order to extract as much juice from each apple as possible. If you don't want to use a fruit grinder, you can cut each apple into fairly small pieces instead. After you have found a cider press to use, you will need to make sure you have enough bottles to store all your homemade cider. Finally you will need to choose which type of apples you to use for your cider.

Apple Types
Each type of apple has its own unique flavor. Some apples are sweet and some are sour.  If you have your own apple trees, then you should used the fruit produced by your trees. If you do not enjoy the flavor of your apples, then you could find different types of apples from another local tree, or you could purchase some apples from the store to supplement the apples from your tree.

Once you have your cider press and apples, you will need to clean and cut up the apples. If the apples are particularly ripe, cut out any bad spots.  If you don't have a fruit grinder, cut your apples into smallish pieces. Once your apples are prepared, you get to start pressing the cider. If you don't have a cider press you can use a juicer, which will take some more time and won't be quite as fun. Those that have neither a cider press nor a juicer can use a food processor to grind up the apples and can squeeze the juice out with a piece of cheesecloth.

Using the cider press is the best part of making cider. As you press your cider,  bottle up the product. Once you are finished pressing and bottling your cider you will need to decide what to do with the entire finished product. If you're worried about the potential of health risks from homemade cider, you can pasteurize your cider by heating it up to a certain temperature. The pasteurization process can change the flavor of your cider. If you have cleaned you apples thoroughly, you won't need to worry too much about health risks. Once you are finished preparing your cider you can decide how to store it. You can freeze your cider for the maximum shelf life, drink it right away, or share it with family and friends.

Making cider is a great way to enjoy a beautiful fall afternoon. You will have a fabulous use for the apples that you grew yourself and the finished product will be something that everyone will enjoy together.  Spending the day making apple cider is a rewarding way to enjoy family time and produce a tasty treat.
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