|"Brew Tang" aka apple beer bottled and almost ready to go|
|Shaking just a few of the apples we collected from a tree|
Apple trees are strewn all over the island and no two are the same, we had small tart green apples all the way to large green and pink striped apples with pink flesh that were incredibly sweet and juicy, the whole gamut. The weather was a bit grey with some sprinkles of rain so it was a perfect day to plant ourselves inside (post picking of course) with a few cutting boards, a juicer, some music and the wood stove blazing.
|Let the cutting begin!|
We propped the juicer on the table and quickly realized that A- we had picked about 125 pounds too many and B- this was going to take a while! We needed to fill a 5 gallon carboy to make a nice big batch of hard cider, so the pressing began at 2:30, we pressed, and pressed, and chopped, and pressed, and took a break, the juicer over heating only mildly, and then pressed and chopped some more. At about 6 o’clock we were done, with an hour break in the middle, this better be some good cider!
There are so many wonderful treats you can make with apples and apple cider. Another that I have been experimenting with is cider syrup, or, in my case, more like cider caramel. All you do is get a few gallons (yes a few, it reduces a TON!) of cider, or juice your own, and put it on the stove, let it simmer for a few hours and slowly it will reduce into this amazingly intense apple cider goodness, tart and sweet, delicious in a hot toddy, on a spoon alone or even with chocolate, I made truffles with the syrup last week, yum! We then decided to take this cider syrup to the real test; a few weekends ago we brewed a batch of beer replacing part of the malt with this cider caramel. We have either created something absolutely foul or we could be onto something amazing!
|Hand made Brew Tang labels|
We bottled both the hard cider and the cider beer just before Thanksgiving now all we have to do is wait! Hopefully in a few weeks when the snow is falling and the holiday lights are bright we will be enjoying some delicious fall treats.