Making Apple Cider

    • Picking the apples off of the trees is the first step. To do this the bottom of the apple is held without the use of the thumb. It is then rotated in the opposite direction that it was grown and placed one by one into a picking basket.
    • When the basket is full, the apples are dumped into an 18 bushel box. The full 18 bushel box is transported inside the cider mill building.
    • On the sorting table, the apples are separated into shelf apples, cider apples, and bad apples. The shelf apples are the best for eating and are placed out for sale. The bad apples are traded to local farmers in exchange for straw bales. The cider apples are put back into the 18 bushel box and moved to the next stage.
    • The box is moved to a lift located beside the apple sorting table. It is then lifted onto the table and dumped. The apples are sorted and cleaned on this table. At the end of the sorting table, a conveyor belt carries the apples to the grinder.
    • Once dropped into the grinder, the apples are ground up and moved into the hopper.
    • From the hopper the apples are pushed through a large tube onto a cloth and pallet. One pallet equals one layer of apples. There are anywhere from 8 to 12 layers in one apple cider pressing.
    • When enough layers have been prepared, the rolling box is moved underneath the press. The press begins to compress the apples to a pressure up to 2000 pounds.
    • This pressure squeezes all of the juice out of the apples while leaving all of the skin and seeds in the cloth that separates the layer. This extra pulp is given to local farmers. This juice that is left over is cider.
    • The cider goes through a filter before going into the filling reservoir.
    • From the filling reservoir, the cider is pumped into one of five different sized containers of either gallon, half gallon, quart, pint, or half pint. Three different attachments are used to fill, specific to each sized container.
    • Once the containers are full, they are capped, labeled, and dated.
    • These containers of freshly pressed cider are now ready to be offered to cider lovers at Diehl’s Cider Mill!

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