adventures in cider


We decided this weekend that we were going to expand brewing operations and make some hard cider. On Saturday, Brendan bought a large selection of hard ciders to try and also started working on a plan to make a cider press.

We won’t be replicating our clear favorite cider — Cherry Tree by Original Sin — but we will definitely be buying more of that; so delicious!

Yesterday we priced apples in bulk at the Farmer’s Market and decided that we’d go out to an orchard (about an hour from here) and do some major picking — dropped apples are half price! 

The kids were good sports about it. Johnny was not a fan of seeing or stepping on rotten apples but Bridget got pretty good at helping us pick. Four buckets and $22 later we had the raw ingredients. 

Brendan spent the rest of the afternoon and evening building us a rig for pressing. It’s just a simple frame and a bucket with holes, some circles of wood and a jack. This morning we tried it out. We chopped, processed slightly and then bundled apples in cheese cloth, put them in-between the wood circles and got to pressing. The kids were very excited at the start, but were quickly bored. We got about three presses in when we heard a crack. 


We managed to get about half a gallon of cider before we had to call it quits to make repairs. The cider is pretty darn good though — it’s about 1/2 sweet 1/2 tart in the mixture — Mutzu from the orchard, a few Jonagolds from the orchard and some Fujis and Red Delicious from the store. Brendan’s out getting more bolts and we’ll be starting back up again to get all the apples processed. Hopefully the ones we put in what I’m now calling the “Fermenting Room” (just a portion of a storage area in the basement that currently has two beers working) will be delicious come Thanksgiving/MuskoX-mas.


After replacing the top 2X6 beams and adding extra bolts and screws for strength, we went back to it — this time just with Mutzu and Jonagolds.


I was a chopping machine! Things went much more smoothly.


And we ended up with about 2.5 gallons of very yummy cider. Plus, we got it all done before any bees showed up to our cider party.

One Response to adventures in cider

  • Greetings Jessica,
    My name is Roger C. Morrison, I found a note on the Morrison blog of Ancestry written by you in 2002. I also found this link to your website and thought it would be the easiest way to get in touch with you. Your note was asking for any information regarding Robert Morrison and Dorothea Maharg Montgomery who immigrated from Ireland to Jefferson County, Washington Township, PA. in 1832.
    I am a direct descendant of these individuals and if you have information regarding their ancestors, I would be interested in conversing with you. I have much information from 1832 to present day on the lines that sprang from the aforementioned Morrisons, but their ancestors is a little sketchy, I’m trying to fill in a couple of holes. I’ve gone back to early 1600’s when Robert and Hugh immigrated from Scotland to Ireland.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

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