• Blending It All Together

    Matt and Nathan (Beard Net Guy) Blending Tanks

    Matt and Nathan (Beard Net Guy) Pumping Cider Between Tanks

    Matt and I met some fantastic people who entrusted their apples to us this past harvest season.   From August to October, we picked a plethora of apple varieties.  Once we collected a sufficient quantity, we set our pressing date and filled stainless fermentation tank.  It was hard work, but we were out to prove that a collaboration of neighbors could support a local cidery.

    So, here we with almost a year under our belt…we bought all the cidery equipment, picked all the apples, pressed’em, and waited patiently as the juice gradually transformed itself into our first cider.  Yet, our efforts would be for nothing if we couldn’t successfully…

    BLEND!!!

    Seems like a pretty straightforward process.  Take equal portions from one tank and another tank and another tank….mix it together. Your done.  Well, were working in a fairly confined space without swimming pools of blending tanks.   Thankfully, we remembered proportions and figured out a six stage schematic for making one homogenous blend.

    The photo to the right looks like a hospital ward–tubes everywhere.  Thankfully, these two are not nurses and the tubes are mixing the early-season batches with the mid- and late-seasons. Matt is demonstrating how a pair of pliers creates concavity in the tube (hope you are staying awake as you read this) and reduces the amount of oxygen introduced from the pump process.

    Many hours and a couple Cozzola Pizzas later, we had worked through our proportions and blended the entire season’s yield.  Our cider is now settling out one last time as it prepares itself for bottling.

    –Aaron

    Did you know that over 80% of all apple juice consumed in the United States comes from other countries?  Branch Out Cider is dedicated to breaking our dependence on foreign apples.
    The Apple Independence blog is our chance to share this endeavor in urban agriculture with you.  We’ll post stories about how we’re collaborating with apple tree owners to create apple wine from their local apples.  Maybe, you’d like to submit “Your Story” idea?
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