Fifth Annual Cider Weekend – Overview

KM SG BR ES operate tandem pedal grinder

The fifth annual cider weekend took place October 23-25 in Five Islands, Maine.  Thanks to all the participants for generous contributions of time, expertise, equipment, apples, and comestibles, despite adventures, trials and tribulations, the event was a smashing success – literally.  It’ll take a few posts to tell the whole story, but here are some highlights:

  • About 40 people participated over three days
  • The oldest person was 90; the youngest was less than a week old
  • About 140 gallons of cider were produced in one moderate day Saturday and an hour or two Sunday
  • A test batch delivered 75% yield; estimated yield for the weekend as a whole was over 70%
  • The cidering equipment was completely overhauled for 2009
    • The grinder was all new, fabricated from plastic and stainless steel, with high speed drive from a Trek tandem bicycle
    • The press was entirely new, 20″ square working area with a 20″ stroke, 4″ diameter 3000psi hydraulic ram powered by a Bontrager hardtail MTB through an 11GPM two-stage hydraulic pump.
      • On Sunday the press was upgraded with a soft-seat check valve with manual bypass, and a high-pressure accumulator, resulting in much greater ease of use.
  • At least five serious mechanical issues which could have derailed the whole project were averted by the intrepid engineering efforts of the assembled talent pool
  • Delicious food was provided pot-luck by the participants
  • The weather was as agreeable Sunday as it was disagreeable Saturday.  In contrast to the open-air festivities of past years, cidering was held in an open-ended pole barn, with auxiliary tarpage.

Holly Ellen Leeann Matt work the grinder

Kauf and Alexi work the press

illana fills the jugs

Um and Pops test the cider

alex drives the chewdigger

Johanna and a fine mist of apples

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