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Making Cidah

October 13th, 2015

Cider (or cidah here in Maine) is one of Mr Chiot’s favorite fall treats. In Ohio, we had a local press we purchased gallons and gallons of cider from each year. We have yet to find cider as good as there’s here in Maine, so we usually get 8-10 gallons for our freezer when we’re back in Ohio for Thanksgiving. Lucky for our, our neighbor was given a cider press and we had an abundance of apples.
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We have lots of different varieties of apples here, probably around 15, of which 8 are ready to be used right now. We have no idea what varieties they are, some over 120 years old. We’re hoping to figure out what they are here one of these days. We picked two of each variety and I made juice, which we tasted to see what flavor profiles they each had. It was amazing to taste the difference between them all, some where sweet, some were intense, others were watery, and still other were astringent.
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After tasting the various juices, we started picking apples into big totes. Each tote holds around 2 bushels of apples, we picked three totes and a bushel. We picked for an hour or two and then loaded them up in the car to head down to our neighbor’s.
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He was ready to roll, the cider press was fixed up nicely and on the front porch. After a little tweaking we were in business putting the apples through the crusher and making our first batch.
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After a few hours we had all of our containers filled and tons of apple mash. Some went to his chickens, some went to our chickens, some went to a local farmer for their pigs.
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Overall it was a really fun day, ending up with a lot of cider wasn’t so bad. The cider ended up being delicious, next year we might tweak our recipe a bit, but it’s still better than any of the cidah I’ve purchased from any of the local orchards. We were pleasantly surprised by how quick and easy the process was.

Have you ever been a part of a cider pressing day? Do you like apple cider?

12 Comments to “Making Cidah”
  1. carol on October 13, 2015 at 8:18 am

    You are soooo lucky to have that great old apple tree on your property. Especially since you love cider. I love it too but no apple tree. We live near a beautiful apple orchard so we have access to great cider.

    Reply to carol's comment

  2. Beth in Ky on October 13, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Great apple tree! Do you spray? We have unsprayed trees & very faulty apples. Search the recipe “Apple Pie in a Bag” This is a great way to use excess apples & eggs. Plus the ingredients keep the apples from freezer burning.

    Reply to Beth in Ky's comment

    • Susy on October 13, 2015 at 9:54 am

      No spray here, seems we have enough birds to keep worms and pests from being too much of a problem. I don’t mind the odd worm in an apple :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • bonnie knox on October 14, 2015 at 8:56 am

        Do the apples with the odd worm go right on into the cider as well? I’m sure it would be tedious to try to cull the apples rather than just sending them all through. I have a tendency to tedium in tasks that I do and end up spending too much time that way, which is why I like to find out how others do things. Thanks.
        The apples and cider all look great, by the way. I can almost taste them. The light colored apple looks sort of like what we call a horse apple. I figured it got the name because folks might have considered it only suitable for feeding horses (though I liked it myself for eating fresh–not one for processing, though).
        If you ever find out more about your varieties, I would love to see a post on it. My mother always liked her Grimes Golden for applesauce and a limbertwig for keeping fresh through the winter in storage (great sautéed with no added sweetener). My grandparents grew Stayman winesap as well as golden and red delicious.

        to bonnie knox's comment

      • Susy on October 14, 2015 at 9:10 am

        They go right in, no need to cut out bruises or worms, in fact they add something to the taste of cider :)

        to Susy's comment

  3. Chris on October 13, 2015 at 11:50 am

    What beautiful apples and what fun to be able to press your own “cidah” Will you be making any hard cidah with those apples? We do a lot of that here in the Northwest! :)

    Reply to Chris's comment

    • Susy on October 13, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      Not sure, we have made hard cider in the past but aren’t sure if we’ll use this for that.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Kevin Espirit on October 13, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I live in San Diego but still want to make cider sometime…looks like I’ll need to stock up at the farmer’s market ;)

    Reply to Kevin Espirit's comment

  5. Deb Berning on October 13, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    We took 24 bushel to an 1888 press for custom pressing. A mix is always good. We jsut put what we have altogether, no recipe needed and you never know how many you’ll get of each kind each year anyway. 36 gal was our share that we picked msotly from a friend’s. I started 7 gal ACV and froze some. Drank and gave away some. We are jsut grateful for whatever the flavor it is. Really doesn’t make much difference anyway as each year the flavor may change of the apples due to weather and other conditions. Love fresh cider. Of course thepress and us can’t legally sell it to anyone so we give away some.

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  6. Julia at Home on 129 Acres on October 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I love hot cider with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese on the side. I didn’t know what was involved in making it though, so thanks for this interesting post. How is it different than juice? Is juice just the flesh and cider is everything? Is there an aging process? (Or is that how you get hard cider?)

    Reply to Julia at Home on 129 Acres's comment

    • Susy on October 14, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      From I have read, apple juice is just clarified and it’s pressed differently so the apples don’t oxidize and turn brown, which is what gives cider it’s brownish color. There is an aging process if you want hard cider, some people use added yeasts (we’ve used ale & champagne yeast in the past). We typically don’t make much hard cider as we really like it fresh.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Wendy on October 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

    So awesome–we dream of being able to do this someday!

    Reply to Wendy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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