I remember my parents making apple cider when I was growing up.  I remember sometimes it was a family event- with lots of people there it seems.  So when my parents called on Sunday and invited us over to make some apple cider, I was really excited.  And excited for my kids!  Sunday wouldn’t work for us, though, but since Monday was a holiday- we could come over then.

They brought an old cider press home from my grandparents’ house…cleaned it up, made sure it worked, bleached it real well….and we were ready to give it a go!

OLD piece of equipment here!

My parents have several apple trees and the kids and I picked up the “good” apples off the ground from under the trees, filling several boxes and buckets. 

These three buckets make about 1 gallon, maybe 1.5 gallons of juice.

Then we rinsed each one off and set it in the hopper and everyone (except me and Brooke and my mom) took turns turning the crank!  Yes, you drop the whole apple into the hopper.  I’ve since read some blogs where people wash them thoroughly, cut them in half, etc.  But we’re going for the au naturel full protein version here.

Apple pieces fell into the bucket below, which was lined with a pillow case.  Ground up pieces, some small, some big, seeds and cores included.  Hopefully not too many worms (ewww)!

Filling the pillowcase
It's full!

When the bucket is full, you wrap the top over, slide the bucket under the press, and start cranking the press down and all the juice comes pouring out!

Dad turning the press

We  made about 8 gallons of raw apple juice.  Today’s task has been to boil it and pour into storage containers to put into the freezer.  The kids and I brought home 4 gallons.  My parents gave 2 gallons to Francisco (the guy in the video) and kept the other 2 for themselves.

I served the kids some warm cider this morning- after it had cooled from boiling.  The kids LOVED it!  Maybe we’ll be saving some of this for that purpose- hot cider during the fall and winter- sure better than that powdered stuff!

Here’s a couple videos of the process.  Enjoy!