Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pressing Issues

Grinding the apples into pulp and then pressing it into juice are the two main steps in preparing for cider making. The folks at Distillery Lane Cider Works have adapted a bit of modern technology to assist them in this, with a motor driven conveyor and grater to speed up the grinding. The press also benefits from some labor saving features and modern materials, but it is essentially the same type of device that has been used for centuries. Known as a rack press, frames holding the apple pulp (or pomace) are stacked under the press plate, which then is hydraulically lowered to squeeze out the juice. The newly squeezed juice smells great, by the way, and it seems that wonderful aromas are one of the benefits of working in a cider mill. The juice then is transferred into barrels, yeast is introduced, and the fermentation takes place over a 7-10-day period. Rob thinks that our cider will be fermented and ready to be picked up on Thursday.

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