They don't have books for the first two, but there is a good one for the third. "Real Cidermaking On a Small Scale" introduces you to the art of making cider at home.
So you peel, mash, shake up and serve. Right? Sounds easy. Let's make a night of it and have fresh apple cider for Halloween and Thanksgiving.
When you find words like "fermentation," "hydrometer," and "pasteurization" in the appendix, the excitement begins to wane.
But don't let it. If you've got the apples, the space, and perhaps a group of neighbors or friends who like to get together, cider making appears to be a really fun and rewarding hobby to get into. It's like making beer, but better for the kids.
The authors, Michael Pooley and John Lomax, put it this way: "The physical labor in cidermaking itself is satisfying, because it is earthy, shared, varied, and directed to some splendid product, while the occasion - whether you live in an urban or rural environment - is full of rich social and recreational possibilities for adults and children alike engaged upon a common enterprise."
While there may be ways to make a "quickie" cider, this book is specifically for those who want to make a product worthy of resale. It explains the importance of proper preparations, equipment and sterilization. And while all may appear to be complicated, if you break down the process into smaller steps and take the time to invest in the proper equipment, it's probably no more difficult than other hobbies that require special materials.
Following is a breakdown of the book:
All about apples
The history of cidermaking
Building a cider press (plans included)
Getting the right mix of apples
Washing and preparing the apples
Milling and crushing the apples
Pressing the apple pulp
Fermentation (explained in eight easy steps)
Blending, Storing, and Serving
Making Cider Vinegar
A glossary of terms is provided, along with a few basic recipes. There are also troubleshooting tips and additional information on optional techniques.
The text is a bit formal, but very thorough and educational - it's really written like a "textbook" on serious cider making, not like a pamphlet on whipping up a "quickie" batch. What IS missing from the book are great photographs. There are spot illustrations and a few photos to pretty up the book a bit, but few provide much light on the process. That was a disappointment. I really wanted to see photographs from a cider-making operation - be it a farm- or home-based hobby or business.
First published in 1999, I hope that those interested consider the hobby. I'd love to see photos of actual cider-making in the third edition. I'd also like to see more "farm fresh" stands selling ciders on the roadside during holiday pumpkin-picking and tree-shopping trips.
I make up my own version of cider and have for years but I really want to learn how to use a ciderpress. When the opportunity to review this book came up, I jumped at it and hoped I could make use of the information while I still have access to apples.
This is a well written book on making cider. It defines apple qualities, press options and finishes with fermenting choices and recipes for using the cider.
The only complaint I have is that the author is from England and the apple selection is available in the UK and not the United States. That won't stop me from using the press information, it just means more experimenting with the apple choices I have (which here is Washington is vast).
There are plenty of instructions for making a ciderpress but I may cheat and purchase one. Regardless of where the press comes, I still can't wait to play with the recipes at the back of the book - fish baked in cider, yummy!