Apple Cidering 101: how to make fresh apple cider

Finding anything fresh is key to happy health. They same also applies to apple cider. During the fall season, especially in the New England area of the US, you will find most grocery markets carrying apple cider. But is this the best apple cider you can buy? The short answer is probably not. Many apple ciders are pressed but then given some form of preservative to keep it fresher longer. If you are to get a better option of apple cider, you can go to your local farmer’s market which will hopefully carry locally pressed cider. But how is this cider pressed is important. Is it pressed through means of a large mechanical press or through a hand press?

The BEST apple cider you can purchase or make on your own would be hand pressed. The process goes:

  • collect apples (they can be the apples that have dropped to the ground which will usually be cheaper at the orchard)
  • wash the apples
  • inspect for bugs/defects
  • cut
  • put through a grinding press
  • put through a cider press
  • filter the juice through a cloth
  • collect into a bucket
  • pour into containers to store and enjoy!

Many people do not realize the process that this all takes, but it’s really the BEST (healthiest) form of cidering you are going to get. Plus, if you do it yourself, if an more health benefits of the exercise involved to press the cider and the appreciation for the finished product in the end!

We are blessed to have just attended an Apple Cidering class at Harbor Shalom in New Britain, CT which taught us how this whole process works and allowed us to firsthand see each step of making cider by hand. A large community of people attended and pitched in an effort to produces several gallons of cider, which, at the end of the day was split between all the families that attended.

As long as you have the equipment (or know someone who does), gather some friends and make a day out of cidering! It will be a rewarding fall event gathering!

One tip - if you leave the cider out of the fridge and let it ferment for a day or so, it’ll become carbonated and get closer to the state of apple cider vinegar (although it won’t taste like vinegar just yet)…this tastes VERY yummy. I found this out by accident when I packed some apple cider mixed with some water in a water bottle for my kids. They didn’t drink most of the 16oz I packed, and I forgot about it overnight in the bag I had packed for them. The next day I decided to try it, and it was super delicious!