Elbow Cider technique
After all the good advice, I thought i would share this laughable experience:
After risking life and limb to harvest 8 gallons of apples from the top of an extension ladder, I decided to try the "no press - frozen cider" recipe. Three weeks ago the apples were picked and went straight to the freezer (fatal deviation #1: should have washed and quartered, but was too busy).
The other day I pull out my bag of frozen apples, dump them in a tub and start washing. I started gently mashing them with a mallet to break them open, then realized that they were like apple sauce bombs as they thawed.
"Who needs to mash them? I'm getting applesauce on the furnace and the washing machine...Surely," I thought, "pulling the stems and a gentle underhand toss to the primary bucket will be sufficient." So I filled the bucket, added campden; next day add the P/E and stir.
This morning I go down to check progress. Slight oxidation on surface and undeniable whiff of fermentation. So, a quick stir and I see maybe 20% of the apples are round and not broken. OldTimer's advice that wild yeast might thrive in uncut apples seemed prescient.
So how do you mash 20% of the apples floating throughout your 8 gallons of apple sauce? potato masher - too short; really long bread knife - too many misses; power hand mixer thing - too short; (clean) paint stir attachment on 1/2" chuck in drill - didn't seem to do it..."hmmm", I'm thinking (totally sober) "maybe I can take a bunch of hack saw blades, drill a hole in them, thread it onto a piece of threaded rod, attach it to the drill...."
Good grief. Keep it simple stupid: Feel, find and squish.
First up to my wrist, then up to my forearm, and then up to my elbow. Had my wife come down at that point I think that would have been it for me ("Don't ever touch me again....". Incidentally, #7 on the 'to do list' she left me the other day said: "destroy cider making equipment"...needless to say I substituted that with "change cat litter"...but I digress).
Satisfied that the apples were wholly shmoooshed, I added more campden.
I think I will call it "Up to the Elbow" Cider, but I won't explain the name until well into the drinking.
Why didn't I stumble across EdWort's Apfelwein recipe BEFORE I climbed into the tree?
Have a good weekend,
p.s. - does campden inhibit pectic enzyme? If so, I guess I should 'reseed' the p/e tomorrow.