Cider Making. Something my Family has partaken of for generations (4 years) making finely crafted (HA! Just look at the production process) and exceptionally refined (well try and drink 2 year old cider and then you KNOW what refined is) vintages from our orchards (5 twisted old trees).
Here is a short blog of images which covers the production of cider so you at home could do it yourself! Its EASY!
First you need APPLES. Lots of them. Make sure they are not too mouldy or rotten, but don't be too picky. Some dirt will get washed off and consider worms a seasoning.
Next. Smash and mash and bash and bosh them all into a mushy mess. We use a big heavy wooden post which we lift and drop repeatedly on the apples within a big plastic wooden barrel (with the top cut off). Works pretty well, but is very tiring and demanding on 'The Bosher' so you may need to take turns.
The next bit is the press. Here we scoop up all the mashed up apples and put them into a material lining within the press. As the press is slowly squeezing the apples, the material will keep the apple bits in but let the juice out. Interestingly, because the press we use is wooden the first press is always light as the wood soaks up a certain amount of the juice that is produced. Say hello to my father everyone.
The final stage of this process is the apple juice itself. We pour it all into (via the press) a 6 gallon tub. Apparently, the bigger the tub the better the cider so this one is pretty big, though we do have a few twice the size. Here we fill the cider up as high as possible to let as little air into the barrel before we seal it, but not too much so the it overflows during fermentation; this would ruin who lot, DISASTER!
Ingredients are kept to a minimum. This time around we have experimented with Damsons for no other reason than they were to hand... And to tell the truth the result looks disgusting. But yes, ingredients to a minimum. We add yeast and sugar but only grudgingly to help the fermentation process. We want our cider to be as pure as possible(even if it is disgusting)!