Sunday, October 9, 2011

Adapability In The Key To Survival ... And Brewing

This MooseBoots journey is always full of twists and turns.  It seems, in everything we do, that we are always guided, perhaps because we are slightly misguided, to excellent results.  The achieved results, however, are not always what we set out to accomplish.

Wendy and I have been talking, for a few weeks, about foraging apples growing wild to brew our next batch of cider.  And, as luck would have it, it is apple season.  We figured that we will not be drinking any until next Spring.  Cider takes about 6 months of fermenting and settling to be really good.  But, alas, things get in the way. 

Finally, we got out picking.  We have been noting the location of trees brimming with apples on the side of the road, in unattended fields, and in local public parks.  To our dismay, many of the trees must be an early variety.  Still, we were able to gather, in a frenzied rush to get back to pick up the girls, 33 pounds.  These apples are the ugliest, gnarliest apples ever seen anywhere ...  perfect for cider!  Nobody would want to eat these.

Proudly, we hauled the apples home.  We decided that we will probably need to go out again, but would get this juiced and ready.  Then, we would assess how many more we would need.  We do not have a juicer.  I planned on using the grinder to juice the apples.  Alas, the grinder kept clogging with apple peels.  No problem, I thought ... I'll use the food processor.  Yes!  That will do the trick.

Nope.  It doesn't really break them up very well.  I threw the pulp into a cloth mesh bag and squeezed.  Juice.  But, it would take a billion years to juice them this way ... and, we'd lose a lot of the juice.  We need a juicer!

So, we ran out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to see what they had.  Well, the display rack had several choices and we settling on one that looked like it would last several years ... not plastic devices to break , or die, after 2 uses.  Selection made ... we looked for the boxed units.  Nothing.  There was one box and I'll be dipped in wax (you ain't calling me cheese wheel) if I am going to spend $329 on a juicer to make cider.

One the way home, I called a few family member and asked if they had juicers ... nope.  Damn!  Today, we ran to the nearby indoor flea market ... nothing.  I found one on craigslist ... no reply.  I found one locally on e-Bay ... no reply yet.

Finally, I reached the conclusion that I was not meant to start brewing any cider today.  But, thanks to some friends, I had a beer kit (Export) just waiting patiently to be prepared.  As a matter of fact, I was also given another brewing kit (complete with buckets, hoses, bottling tubes, cappers, air lock, etc.) last week.  So, I acquiesced to the beer kit and starting it bubbling.  And with the new addition, when we get a juicer lined up this week (I hope), I'll be able to start the cider.

Conventional wisdom is that in order to survive one must be adaptable.  Thank you, Universe, for the reminder!  Either way, life is good.


  1. And don't forget the tomatoes that are processing in the boiling water bath. Worst case we'll have beer and pizza - made with our own tomato sauce ;).

    Life is truly good!

  2. Dave did use our food processor for his batch. First he quartered them and put them in a huge thing of water. When his beer bucket was full, he processed them into oblivion. He'd made a cider press a few years ago, so that is how he juiced the pulp. My guess is you could make yourself a press pretty easily-- he found the directions on line. It uses a small jack and wood scraps to apply the pressure. Hope this little experiment of ours is able to help you.

  3. Rach, that is cool. Wendy and I had talked about trying to make one, but never got around to it. Maybe ....


    maybe a consideration for next year? if not, then just entertainment.

    brenda from arkansas

  5. Brenda, that is very cool. Thank you so much. It really appeals to the engineer in me.

  6. Take a look at this for ideas on how to process apples.

    From last year, you guys should take a look around if your not aware of his blog from the plains of Alberta.

    Good Luck

  7. Anonymous, you are very busy commenting on so many blogs. Thank you. I took a quick peek at I will need to poke around more.

    His press is similar to what I was thinking and what Rach and Dave built.

  8. Well, another thank you to the Universe - Manly and I were just discussing juicers a few days ago! Thanks to these interesting comments, I've got more to research. Can't wait to see what you end up with next week as well.

  9. I used my juicer tonight to process about 70 pounds of apples...I ran them through, then strained through a cheesecloth, to get as little sediment as possible before putting in my glass 5 gallon container. Took me just under 4 hours, from start to finish, including a 15 minute beer-break ;) and cleanup... Never done anything like this before, but a good friend gave me some good tips and explanations. Your post really inspired me, too. When I saw how many apples there are out there this year, I just couldn't let them go to waste! I will make some more cider just to have as juice. I think I will freeze it in small batches, so I don't have to pasteurize it and lose some of the goodness.. Thanks, Deus Ex Machina, for your continuing inspiration :)

    PS tell Wendy she looked great in the green dress she wore on tv!

  10. Melonie, there is so much to learn. Have a good time.

  11. Julie, I was reading your status on Facebook thinking that this is something you have done a few times. It is a blast. And, the Earth is so generous with her gifts. I hope to get more going, too.


Thank you for leaving a comment on MooseBoots.

If you have not, please follow this blog by clicking the "Follow" button.