Juice from Apples: Its a pressing Matter!

Let's face it, it's not rocket science. People have been making cider since forever. So forget , making your own beer, why not Buck the trend and have a go at making your own cider. This isn't a full guide, but it isn't meant to be. This won't make the best cider in the world. If you do feel a bit brave, it will provide for a bit of a fun few hours and hopefully something you can improve upon and have another stab at sometime in the future. Cider purists take note acidity levels, sugar content, are all ignored for now.So here it is a very very simple guide to making your first cider. 

1. Pick and wash. Take the apples you intend to use, give them a quick wash and throw any out you would want to eat. Bruising is fine, rot generally isn't.
2. The scrat. This is the process of cutting them up into smallish pieces, roughly the size of grapes some ,may be bigger, some smaller. There are various ways to do this, my first go was with a knife, and place them in a clean bucket. A far quicker and fun way is to place them in a bucket, get a (new and clean)plasterer's stirrer attached to a drill,  and let the drill mash them up into a lumpy juicy Apple mush. Probably best to do this outside though and at low speed or in quick blasts.The bits have a habit of going everywhere!
3. The press. My first attempt was to use a domestic juicer a small batch (measuring jug) at a time. You could also do this with a blender, but you would need to pass the press through a tea towel or some muslin in a sieve to filter of bits . The other option is to look on line and get some plans to make a diy cider press, with some scrap wood and a car jack. Once pressed, (however you extract the juice) throw out or compost the left over Apple flesh (the pomace).

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And there it is, you have apple juice. You can either drink it is, as is, pasturise to drink later, or leave it and assuming the apples have not been sprayed ( if they have pop in some yeast), the juice will begin to ferment into Cider ( or Apple Cider vinegar if you are not careful, and don't protect from bacteria coming into contact with your juice by using a valve.)

We will go on to discuss the technicalities later, but yes, it really can be that simple