Do It Yourself/ gardening

Apple Cider Making Time

October 12, 2016 (Last Updated: October 13, 2019)

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It’s Apple Cider Making Time – An Annual Trip to a local Apple Cider Press 

Placing a lid on a jug of fresh pressed cider.

Apple Cider Making Time

We have a few apple trees that produce a handful of apples every year.    My in-laws, on the other hand, have several apple trees that produce tons of apples. Do you remember our apple pruning in the spring?  All that hard work paid off with a bumper crop of apples. After making apple pie filling  and apple butter and drying apples and eating apples, we load up the remaining boxes of apples and head north to a small farm to make apple cider. An old wagon filled with pumpkins.

This old apple press has been around for ages. We’ve been taking our apples here for years, and it’s worth the trip every year and I have to wonder if another press like this exists anywhere else. They produce apple cider one batch at a time for each family’s own apples. The size of the batch depends on the amount of apples.A ladder moving apples into the press.

First you back up your truck to the outside of the building and dump your apples on this old conveyor belt lift. The apples are sprayed off and washed with water in a drum.

Apples in a large drum.

Then up another conveyor lift to a massive chopper. The apples are chopped and all the pulp falls down onto a thick cotton blanket.

Each folded blanket below is filled with crushed apples.

Making Apple Cider

Apples cut into small bits.


Once all the apples are crushed, the pressing time begins with a massive hydraulic press. 

An old apple press.

The apples are pressed and a waterfall of apple juice cascades down the sides. This juice is gathered in the base and then flows through a tube and is pumped up into a huge holding tank.

Squeezing the apple pulp with a hydraulic press.

A large container hold 50 gallons of apple cider.

Filling the gallon sized jugs.

The owner runs the press, but we unload the apples and fill all the jugs. This year we had 83 gallons! That’s a lot of apple cider, but we just never seem to do things small around here. We store the cider in the freezer and pull it out whenever we need some juice. It’s a lot of juice, but between four families we use it up every year….Plus my mother-in-law makes a killer hard cider!

Cider in gallon jugs stacked in boxes.

All the pulp gets dumped out the back door into a tractor. It is then dumped for the cows to eat. When the cows hear the tractor start up they come running….they know what’s coming!

Pulp left from pressing apples in a tractor.

Other Great Posts to Read

How to prune apple trees.

How to Prune Apple Trees

Apple Pie Filling - There's nothing better than making your own pie filling for a quick dessert!

Apple Pie Filling




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  • Reply
    Fred G
    November 5, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Great apple cider

  • Reply
    October 14, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I love that press(!) and your thorough photo account of the process! Love everything about this – I can taste it now! A super autumn post, my friend!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

      I think I love all things fall. Apple cider making is one of my favorite events.

  • Reply
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
    October 14, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Amazing Kathy – I love this post. I have seen an apple press like this once in Stonington, CT. It is quite an amazing thing to see and I’m so happy you get to use this press. YAY!!! 83 gallons??? Incredible. I would love to try your M-I-L’s hard cider. Cheers to a wonderful weekend ahead my friend!

    • Reply
      October 16, 2016 at 7:04 am

      I’m glad there are other old presses still around. They are quite amazing!

  • Reply
    Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen
    October 14, 2016 at 10:28 am

    What a wonderful post. I have never seen an old press before — looks so cool. Your beautiful pictures are showing all the insights. Thanks, for this great share, Kathy.

    • Reply
      October 16, 2016 at 7:04 am

      Thanks, Anu! It was quite a fun day finished with delicious cider to drink!

  • Reply
    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
    October 14, 2016 at 4:35 am

    I can’t believe it’s possible to take your apples to a farm to make cider! So interesting. I think we eat ours and they don’t go as far as we’d like from our 2 trees. Wonderful and insightful pictures!!! Wish I could take my girls to a place like that to learn.

    • Reply
      October 16, 2016 at 8:15 am

      The kids love it! They get to help and see the whole process.

  • Reply
    October 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Great post! And so much fun! Thanks for sharing Kathy!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    woah 83 gallons!! That sure is a lot! and what a wonderful post Kathy, loved reading it. I had no idea how apple cider was made so thanks for the pics and description! 🙂

  • Reply
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
    October 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    I love these kinds of posts, Kathy – so interesting and informative! I could only image how a press worked and now I know! When I was a naughty teenager, we used to drink hard cider – I’d forgotten about that!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    October 13, 2016 at 4:53 am

    Fun!! I had no idea how apple cider was made. I mean I had a guess…but it’s so interesting seeing those photos. And that sounds like a super unique mill. We’re in the middle of apple country here in upstate New York, so I wonder if there’s anywhere around here like that. Of course, our trees only produce a handful of apples…so that’s a minor setback. Love this post, Kathy!

  • Reply
    Dawn @ Girl Heart Food
    October 13, 2016 at 4:42 am

    That is SO cool! 83 gallons? That’s a lot! And talk about fresh! I’d love to hear more about your mom-in-laws hard apple cider 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks
    October 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Girl, you either have all the right fruit trees or you know where to go! That sure looks like a fun time pressing all those apples. Good thing you don’t have to do that by hand! P.S. I want some of your mother-in-law’s hard cider!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      You are right…I know the right people! 🙂 All our fruit trees are just 10 years old…not old enough to produce tons of fruit – yet! I’ll save you some hard cider! 🙂

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    October 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Oh my gawsh, that old press is AWESOME!!! Love that they produce cider from your own apples! Seriously, this has to be the coolest post I’ve seen in a while! Makes me wish we had a ton of apple trees and lived near that press. I bet your cider tastes amazing! Cheers, Kathy!

    • Reply
      October 12, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      The really awesome part is watching it in action! Simply amazing!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2016 at 8:16 am

    This is the same process we saw on our leaf peepers trip in Vermont a few years ago. Brought back wonderful memories. ?

    • Reply
      October 12, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      I’m so glad there are other old apple presses out there!

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