The following is a very highly approved American mode of making Cider.
Take care to have every necessary utensil to be made use of in the whole process, perfectly clean and free from every foreign smell. For this purpose, before you begin your work, let your mill, trough and press be made perfectly clean, by thoroughly washing, and if necessary, with scalding water. The casks are another material object, and if musty, or any other bad smell, one end should be taken out, and with shavings burn the inside; then scrub them clean, and put in the head, scald them well afterwards, and drain them perfectly; when dry, bung them tight and keep them in a[Pg 146] cool shady place until wanted for use.—The apples should be quite ripe, and all the unripe and rotten ones, leaves, and every other thing that can tend to give the cider any disagreeable taste, carefully separated from them. I have found from careful attention and many experiments, that it is a great advantage to the cider to be separated from the gross parts as soon as possible; for this purpose, I tried several methods: that which I found succeeded the best, I shall now relate, as by following it, I was able to preserve my cider in a sound state, though made in the early part of the season. I took a large pipe, of about 150 gallons, had one of the heads taken out, and on the inside of the other laid on edge, four strips of boards, two inches wide, and on these strips placed a false bottom, filled with gimlet holes, three inches a part. On this false bottom, I put a hair cloth, (old blanket or swingline tow will do) so as to prevent any sand from washing into the space between the true and false bottoms; I procured a quantity of coarse sand, which was carefully washed in repeated waters, until it would not discolor the clean water—then dried the sand, put it in the pipe, on the hair cloth, (coarse blanket or swingline tow,) about 9 inches thick.[Pg 147]
Thus having every thing in readiness, I went through the process of making, as quick as possible, by having the apples ground fine early in the morning, putting them in the press as fast as they were ground; and then in sufficient quantities pressed out the juice, and put it over the sand in the cask, (having previously bored a gimlet hole in the side of the cask), between the true and false bottoms, in which I introduced a large goose-quill, stopped with another. The pipe was placed so high, as to admit of a cask under it, to receive the liquor as it ran from the quill, which, if rightly managed, will be perfectly fine, and being put away in a cool cellar, and stopped close, will keep well, and prove of an excellent quality.
This process is easy, and in every person's power to execute, as the liquor, by being cleared, from its gross feculences, will not run into that violent fermentation, so destructive to the fine vinous flavor, which renders good cider so pleasing a drink.
Query. Would not a quart of good apple brandy to each barrel of cider, made in this way, prevent any fermentation?
But it is generally believed that cider is the better for having undergone a fermenta[Pg 148]tion, becoming then more active and light; cider that has undergone condensation, or has been boiled down until strong, has been found to keep sound some length of time, but it is too heavy and destructive to the appetite, cloying the digesting powers.—And by too frequent use, I fancy, will ultimately produce ague and fevers; and I fear, cider made according to the foregoing receipt, would have a similar effect, but in a lesser degree.
I would recommend after a due attention to cleanliness, in the apple mill, trough, press and casks, that the apples be assorted, and having been exposed to the air, under a roof or shed some time, selecting the sound only, that they be ground fine, and let stand soaking in the pumice twelve hours, and then pressed off, through a clean rye straw cheese (being the most common and convenient in the country,) and when flowing from the press, a vessel should be provided, with the bottom full of gimlet holes, in the style of a riddle, on which lay a coarse cloth, then a layer of clean sand, over which a parcel of coarse rye straw, and suffer it to filter thro' this vessel into the large receiving tub; the rye straw will intercept the coarser pieces of pumice, and may be changed frequently—This mode will rid the liquor of all the coarser pieces of pumice[Pg 149]—then I would recommend that the cider should be placed in open hogsheads, such as are used for mashing grain in distilleries; those being raised about two feet and an half high on logs or a scaffolding, under a shade or covering—a spile hole bored near the bottom of each, so as to admit a barrel to stand under the spile—in this state, I would recommend it to stand until it undergoes a fermentation, carefully watching the top, and when the pumice is found to have risen, to skim it off carefully, then having previously provided sweet barrels, draw it off by the spile hole, adding from a pint to a quart of apple brandy to each barrel of strong cider, bung it up tight, and store it where the frost will not injure it. In this way, I presume it will keep well—and if the party be so disposed, I would recommend any bottling to be done in April, and during clear weather, though it is safe to bottle immediately after having undergone a thorough fermentation.[Pg 150]
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