THIS IS OUR CIDER

Right now The Cidermakers is a micro-fermenter. We make just one brand,


 

 

It's an English-style cider, dry and still.  It's cider like they made in the old days, not sweet and not bubbly.  It profiles more like a white wine.  When you think about it, what is cider but fruit wine?

 

We use a blend of dessert apples, usually Macs, Golden Delicious and either Empire or Cortlands.  We also add a variety of edible crab as well as whatever we can harvest from the remnants of old orchards that dot the woods in the region.

 

We try to keep the proportion of apples the same through the run, but in truth each barrrel is slightly differrent.

 

We wash and crush the apples in a scratter based on Claude Jolicoeur's design, then use a hand-operated hydraulic rack-and-cloth press to squeeze the juice from the pomace. 

The dry, pressed-out pomace goes onto the compost pile for next year's garden!


PRESSED POMACE to the compost pile!


COLLECTING THE FRESH-SQUEEZED JUICE

 

The juice ferments in 30-gallon food-grade HDPE barrels. Once the juice is pressed we add yeast, put the airlocks on the barrels and let 'er rip! We ferment some as well in 5-gallon glass carboys in order to keep the barrels topped up and replace what we lose when we rack the cider off the lees.  The most we can produce in one round of fermentation is around 300 gallons.  That's about two tons of apples and four 10-hour days! 

 

We keep track of the fementation's progress by checking the specific gravity frequently.  That gives us a relative idea of the alcohol level (ABV).  After the initial fermentation we keep the cider at 45 degrees and rack three times in the course of about six months.  This helps to stop fermentation and clarify the cider without filtering.

 

Dana & Bob at the bottling line.


At last we rack the final product into bottles, cap them and pasteurize them

in a hot water bath.  This insures that there is no unwanted activity from residual or spoilage yeasts and increases the shelf life.

 

PASTEURIZED BOTTLES COOLING

 

But we're not done yet.  The bottles are labeled and boxed, and then spend the next six months conditioning in a 45-degree space before they go out to restaurants and stores for you.

 

POMME SUNDAY BOTTLES ON TAILGATE