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Old 10-29-2011, 07:49 PM   #1
Oct 2011
Denver, CO
Posts: 32

Howdy all!

I've been reading this forum with much interest and gratitude the past several weeks, as I've embarked on my first season of doing something constructive with the apples my tree gives me.

For the record I've got a wild yeast cider carbonating in bottles in the closet as we speak, another bubbling slowly in a carboy, and a third with "store-bought" yeast bulk-aging happily. I'm delighted with how well things are going, and again thankful for all the information this site has given me.

To give back, at least as a beginning to doing so, I'd like to share an old article on cider-making I stumbled across courtesy Google Books. The piece was written for a periodical called "The Country Gentleman," published in 1905, and is not under copyright, so I've reproduced it in its entirety here for everyone's education (and entertainment). Hopefully the occasional illustrative hyperlink will make up for any typos I've left behind.

I found this after I'd taken care of my juice for the year, but perhaps next year I'll try clay and sulphur matches!!

Enjoy, and thanks again.

From "The Country gentleman," Volume 70 (1905 edition)

Cider-Making on the Farm

The following directions, prepared by Gerald McCarthy, biologist of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, are particularly timely now:

Apple cider Is a much more delicate liquor than either beer or wine. It requires a proportionately greater care In the making. For making good cider, the fruit must be fully ripe, but not overripe. Cider can be made from summer, fall or winter apples, but as a rule only fall apples are used for this purpose. The best cider is made from the cultivated crab apples. The best varieties of crabs are Transcendant and Red Siberian. The best of the larger varieties of apples for cider-making are Plumb's Cider, Smith's Cider, Buckingham, Maiden's Blush and Mother. Where the latter-named varieties, or any of them, are used, it will increase the quality of cider to substitute from one-fourth to one-eighth the amount of crabs. Where crabs are not available, quinces may be used, but not more than 10 per cent, of the latter.

Most American apples are lacking In tannin. To secure an additional amount of this and other substances necessary for a longkeeping cider, for each two bushels a small handful of sound, clean apples leaves may be added to the fruit before crushing. The average analysis of American apple juice is as follows: Density, compared with water, 1054. Total solids, 13 76 per cent.; sugar, 10 66 per cent.; acid, 0.36 per cent.; pectin and gums, 0.9 per cent.; tannin, 0.069 per cent.

To determine the value of any variety or sample of apples for cider, we need a simple instrument called a hydrometer. This, together with a suitable jar in which to use it, can be bought of most druggists for about $1. Take a dozen or more of the apples, bruise them thoroughly In an earthenware vessel, and strain the juice through a wad of cotton lint. Place the strained juice In the jar, and test with the hydrometer according to the printed instructions which accompany the instrument. The density will be found somewhere near 1054.

There is a close and constant relationship between the density of apple juice and Its sugar content and the possible amount of alcohol which may be obtained. For practical purposes, we can determine both the sugar and alcoholic strengths from the following calculations: For sugar, multiply the last two figures of the density by 0 2 and to the product add one-tenth the amount found. Example: The density ol juice Is 1054; what is the sugar content? 54 by 0 2 equals 10 8; 10 8+10 equals 1.08; total, 11.88 per cent., the amount ol sugar in juice. For alcoholic strength, divide the last two figures of the density by 8 and to the quotient add one half degree. The result is the percentage of alcohol by weight. Example: Density, 1054; 54+8 equals 6.75 degrees; add O.50 degrees and we get 7.20 degrees, the strength of alcohol which may be secured in the fermented cider.

In the ordinary wasteful method of cidermaking by small hand machines, not more than 40 per cent of the juice in the fruit is removed from the pomace, while only from one-third to one-half the sugar is recovered, the rest being wasted and thrown away. Hydraulic presses extract about 75 per cent of the juice; but by macerating the pomace and re-pressing we may secure practically all the juice and sugar, as well as a greatly lncrease the amount of flavoring matter, aromatlcs and tannin which are found chiefly in the skins and which can be dissolved out only by water at or near the boiling temperature.

The fruit should be first crushed, preferably in a machine having wooden rollers, as iron reacts with the tannin of the fruit to darken the juice. Remove the pomace and stir it thoroughly into clear lukewarm water, or better, clean water which has been recently boiled and cooled to 75 or 85 degrees. The temperature must not be above the latter figure. Use one gallon of water for each 40 pounds of pomace. Let it macerate for 24 hours, and then re-press and add the liquid to the first pressing. Return pomace again to the macerating vat, and for each 40 pounds add one gallon of boiling water. Stir vigorously for two or three hours. Press again, and add the liquid to the other pressings. You have now all there is in the pomace, and may throw the latter away or use It for feeding.
The natural ferment of apple juice is a yeast Saccharomyces mall. This species grows best at a much lower temperature than In case of a wine ferment. The best temperature for fermenting cider juice Is between 68 and 78 degrees. The nearer to 68 degrees the juice can be held the better the cider. On no account should the temperature go above 80, as at that heat the yeast cells begin to die, and we shall have a "stuck" vat. The casks and all utensils used in cider making must be sweet, scrupulously clean, and sterilized by means of sulphur fumes. "Sulphur matches," made especially for this purpose, can be bad of most druggists, but a few pinches of powdered sulphur or "brimstone" placed on a hot shovel and the bunghole of the cask placed over It will serve as well. New casks,and old ones which have contained other liquids, should be placed In running water for several days before using In cider-making.

At 70 degrees the fermentation of cider is completed in about 25 days. But most people prefer their cider sweet; therefore the fermentation must be stopped before all the sugar is used up. Usually from 16 to 20 days' actual fermentation will suffice. To stop the fermentation, the juice must be rapidly cooled to below 60 degrees, the lower the better. The cooling paralyzes the yeast, which soon falls to the bottom of the cask. In fall months, when cider is usually made, the night temperature out of doors is below 60, and the cider may be cooled by leaving it In the open air. The clear juice must then be drawn off and "fined." To "fine" or clear cider, we may use clay or tannin, preferably the latter. If clay is used, three ounces will do for 50 gallons. Mix the clay with a quart of cider, and stir slowly into the cask. Then stir vigorously, or bung the cask and roll about for awhile to distribute thoroughly. If tannin is used, take for 50 gallons of juice one-half ounce of tannin. Dissolve in a gill of brandy, and stir slowly Into the cask. Then agitate as before. Let cask stand for two weeks, and then rack off the lees. The cider is now fit to drink. If the cider is to be bottled, it must stand for another two weeks, and be racked off again. Use wine bottles or ordinary mineral water bottles. Do not use wax on corks or tie them down with wire. Keep the stored cider in a dry, dark place having a temperature below 60 degrees. Properly made, cider so stored either in glass or wood will keep sweet in full vessels for over a year.

Many persons prefer "unfermented cider;" but such juice will not keep without the use of antiseptics. Chemical preservatives are all unwholesome and injurious to the digestive organs. The least injurious of the class which can he used to preserve cider is bisulphite of potash crystals. Dose for 50 gallons, one-half ounce. We recommend every one to let such chemicals severely alone. Cider or apple juice cannot be pasteurized without giving it a cooked flavor, which is not agreeable.

The chief enemy of stored cider is the vinegar ferment Bacillus aceti. This germ does not attack the cider until the alcoholic ferment has ceased to work. It will not grow in any case at a temperature below 60. Hence the extreme importance of keeping cider below this temperature. Where the critical temperature must be overpassed, the best plan to prevent acetic fermentation is to add to the cask every month or two one-half pound of the best white sugar dissolved in half a gallon of the cider and stirred slowly into the cask, with subsequent agitation to distribute it. The sugar keeps up a mild alcoholic fermentation, which in turn prevents acetic fermentation.

Where cider is used from the cask, to prevent spoiling in the partly empty cask, pour upon the cider a quart of some tasteless oil, such as olive or peanut oil. The oil will form a thin film on the surface of the cider and prevent access of the acetic and putrefactive ferments always present in the air.

Pear cider, or "perry," is made in exactly the same way as apple cider. But perry is much less palatable than apple cider, and has never become popular in America.
Hope you enjoyed the read, and thanks again to everyone.

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Old 10-29-2011, 10:20 PM   #2
Sep 2011
Denton, Texas
Posts: 90
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Very interesting read, it's funny how things haven't changed much over the years.

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Old 10-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #3
gratus fermentatio
gratus fermentatio's Avatar
Jun 2008
Posts: 12,439
Liked 2684 Times on 1474 Posts

Interesting how both language & style has changed in the last 100 years, but with a couple of exceptions, the process has not. But then I guess you could say the same about the last 2,000 years as well. Regards, GF.

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