Cider Saturday: Make Your Own
|Rack and Cloth, washed by the last sun of summer.|
But the place I really want to direct you, especially over the next month, is Draper Girls Farm--about eight miles down past Fox-Tail (driving away from Hood River). Theresa Draper has nine acres of apple trees, and has planted some nice heirloom cultivars like Spitzenburg, Black Twig, Gravenstein, Harrison, Northern Spy, Winter Banana, and others (and she's recently planted classics like Yarlington Mill and Kingston Black). She presses the apples herself and makes a rough blend (depending on what's ripe) that includes acid varieties and then sells the juice, unpasteurized, by the gallon. I picked up three gallons, brought it home, dumped it in the carboy, and this is what's going on now:
I have no idea whether it will be tasty or not, but I love the idea that juice will just ferment itself. (After some dangerously warm temps the first couple days, the juice has settled down to the mid-fifties. I may yet be making vinegar, but we'll see.) If you are feeling less adventuresome, you could always just pitch yeast. I gotta tell you, pouring three gallons of juice into a carboy and adding a fermentation lock is a whole lot easier than brewing.
I'll let you know how it's coming.
Update. I was out raking leaves and found the yeast activity evolving. I have no idea whether this is good or bad, but it sure is exotic. Have a look.