13 August 2012

Sippin' Cider

This evening, I went over to a friend's house and helped to make some fresh apple cider.  We began by cutting up the hundreds of pounds of fresh apples.  (All the while, we were looking for the occasional worm.)  The old cider press itself is nearly 150 years old, and was made by a company called Ferrell, Ludlow, & Rodgers between about 1865 and 1872, according to my searching.  It still does a great job!  The photos below depict the press and some of the process.  My friends do not like having their photos taken, so I have not included them here.

After cutting up the apples, they were dumped into the wooden hopper atop the grinder.  There, a gasoline motor provided the power to grind the apples for pressing.  While one batch (seen in the oaken cylinder on the left in the photo below) was being pressed, the other was being filled with ground apples.

When one cylinder is pressed, it is slid out for emptying, and the cylinder full of ground fruit is slid into place under the press.  The heavy turnscrew has four lugs that a stout pole is laid into to provide leverage for manually turning and pressing the juice from the fruit.

In the photo below, you can see the ground up apples in the oaken cylinder.  As soon as all the juice is pressed from the apples in the cylinder beneath the turnscrew, the left over material, or 'pummies' were emptied into a wheel barrow, then wheeled over and dumped into the goat pen.

Below, you can see fresh 'squoze' apple cider running into the collecting pan.  From there, it was poured through a jelly bag, then into waiting jugs.  In all, we made around twenty-five gallons of sweet, unpasteurized, raw cider.  The bulk of it was taken to be frozen for later use.  My friends have some storage space in a small freezer facility that they use for a lot of their deep freeze needs since they don't have electricity in their homes.

I came away with a half gallon of cider and had a really good time working and visiting with friends.  It was a good evening.


  1. Great description and pictures. Nothing like fresh apple cider.

  2. I know that was some good cider isn't anything better than fresh squeezed cider. Even better after its set for a while and had time to work up. Thanks for the pictures. That press is a beauty.