There’s nothing like a fresh, cold cup of delicious apple cider in the fall and maybe you have a favorite orchard where you always go.
Apple cider is the perfect fall beverage, but have you ever thought about how it is made?
For hundreds of years, the basic process of apple cider making really hasn’t changed all that much. You press apples, bottle and drink.
But in reality, there is more to making the sweet cider you love to buy and share with friends and family.
Here is a basic outline to how apple cider is made. To start, you have to start with apples, of course! Good cider, after all, depends on good apples. They need to be ripe, sweet, juicy and have a balance of acids and tannins. Apples aren’t peeled before they are pressed into cider because the peels help make it taste so good!
But did you know the seeds also aren’t removed! It’s true!
Once you have your apples (most cider makers use a blend of apples), they are washed, and then crushed and pressed.
One gallon of fresh apple cider takes about 12-14 pounds of apples, and all of our Ohio Cider company cider is pasteurized – and non-alcoholic. Most cider makers pasteurize or add preservatives to the cider unless they ferment it.
Here are the stages to making apple cider:
Apples are harvested starting in September and running through Thanksgiving. Once the fruit is harvested, they are put in bins and then taken to be processed. The apples usually sit for about a week after they are harvested so they can soften.
After the apples have sat for a week, they are washed to remove debris, insects, sprays and bacteria. There is a machine that cleans each apple and then they are given a bath! Any rotten or moldy apple is taken out of the process, because it can impact the taste of the cider.
Once the apples are clean, they are ground up, so they are roughly the consistency of applesauce. This is done to get the maximum amount of juice out!
And now, it’s time to press the cider! The apple pulp is pressed to get all the juice out – usually each batch is pressed 10 times to get all the cider out. After it’s pressed, it is pumped into a tank and then strained again to remove any debris. After that, it’s pasteurized for safety and then it’s put into packaging and stored before it hits the store.
So, there you have it! The next time you grab some Ohio Cider Company cider, you’ll know how it ended up in your refrigerator. Enjoy!
At Fresh Forward, feeding families is our passion. We work with local farmers to get the best, and freshest, produce on your family’s table. Ask your favorite grocery store, farm stand or produce market to carry Fresh Forward products.
Learn more about the Fresh Forward mission here.