Year 5: Sunday – the last of the cider

Sunday dawned clear, still, and warm.  Breakfast consisted of French toast, made with some of the multitude of baguette that Andy brought from the farm where he works.  There was plenty of time before a quorum arrived to make cider, so Joshua, Kelsey, and I took advantage to replumb the hydraulic system with the check valve and manual bypass appropriately positioned.  Meanwhile Keith stuffed one of the 4500psi recycled SCBA tanks with closed-cell polyethylene foam, and we backfilled it with hydraulic oil.  Joshua hung the resulting high-efficiency accumulator from the rafters to get it out of the way (and away from face level).  We then launched into cidering once again, and hit an impressive 75% yield on a carefully measured batch (the tally for the cidering as a whole was not maintained accurately, since there was a significant amount of filling of drinking cups directly from the press as it poured into the catch pail).  The repositioned check valve made all the difference, allowing a quick effort to pump the system up, whereupon it would hold over 2000 psi for a long time as the last of the juice gradually dripped out.  The addition of the accumulator made a smaller, though noticeable difference – the pressure would not fall off so quickly as the stack dripped out the last of the juice.  The improved pressure-holding capabilities of the re-plumbed press wreaked havoc with our last-minute press plate welding hack, which was pretty much pooched by the end of the morning:

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Soon the last of the apples were pressed.  As a memorable grand finale, we used the press to crush a single Redfield apple, resulting in the following sequence:

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Cidering being done but for the cleanup, we took advantage of the assembled peoplepower to move the heavy wooden dory that Joshua and I built years ago to the boathouse down by the water, which made for an interesting sight:

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Some folks including the Summer Street gang had to get on the road; the rest headed over to #5 for a corn-and-bean casserole provided by the gang from Your Mom’s House.  There followed a generalized departure, leaving only Joshua, Kelsey, and Andy of the company.  It being a beautiful, warm afternoon, we put the dory in the water and paddled to Beal Island, which we hiked around, then rowed home with only minor mishaps, arriving around sundown to stow the dory in the boathouse in time for dinner.  I also kicked off a half-gallon starter of Pasteur champagne yeast, to be pitched Monday.  We played some tunes after dinner and chocolate cake, but found ourselves too tired to really make it happen, so we retired to the red barn for another round of Settlers, then turned in – another very full day.

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