Saturday afternoon cider making…
During a recent family holiday out to BC canoeing and camping we passed many feral apple tree’s on the side of the roads and in fields that clearly no one was tending or picking.
Near the end of our trip we made it our mission to several times along a secondary highway and picked a huge bag of apples from several tree’s – some of these produced apples that were delicious with every bite, others the fruit a little tart, and some that were either mealy or gnarly. We picked them all anyways however, because my intent was to bring them home to make Cider.
One of the best reasons for making cider is that you can use any kind of Apple (yes, even the gnarly garden or tart feral ones).
First step is to juice your apples however you have ability to do that.
Could be a juicer, an actual cider press, or even blending the apples and training through a fine weave bag often used for nut milks.
Once you’ve pressed your apples into juice, simply let the natural wild yeast, which are on the apples and in the air, ferment this juice by leaving it open to the air in a jug.
The only key to this process you need to be sure of, is to stir the juice several times a day to get a proper ferment with only the beneficial bacteria. Simply letting your apple juice sit on the counter unstirred could cause it to mold on the surface, but vigourously stirring several times a day will avoid this.
What I think you will love about this method is that at first you will enjoy a fresh, light, delicious apple cider juice that you can drink for the first 2-3days, and then as each day passes, you let the remaining amount evolve by the day, as it gets cultured and transformed by the good bacteria and yeast as it ferments.
Slowly you should begin to notice the change in flavour, consistency and enzymatic activity of fermentation…
After a few days you can bottle the now slightly fermented juice and store it in the fridge and consume it as an applely-soda.
Or transfer to a carboy, to let it ferment longer with an airlock to become a hard apple cider that will have some alcohol in it…
And of course there is always vinegar to be made too…
However you do it, there are many ways and I encourage you to go out and pick and juice some apples.
Chances are I bet you know a neighbour that has an apple tree that they are not picking and they would be more than happy for you to pick the fruit going to waste.
Enjoy the Autumn harvest!
Leave a comment if you’d like to share what you do with your autumn apple abundance…
If you’re in the Calgary area and interested to learn more about fermentation you can check out my classes on the Light Cellar class calendar, I can show you how to ferment foods, culture condiments, brew your own mead and craft some probiotic sodas.
If you are into online learning I also was part of creating a course through the Body Mind Institute called Fermentation for Life with Dr. Terry Willard that can be found here:
Fermentation For Life Complete 12 Pack Series (Sells for Only $99 – You save 40%)