It is officially fall- Joe has started scouting for deer, the leaves are starting to turn, and the apple trees are loaded with delicious fruit.
So, we are making some hard cider. We have a good number of apple trees producing and one started dropping apples all over the place already.
Here's the apple cider-makin' process- Brilyn and Jocelyn pick up apples that are not too wormy or rotten and throw them in a laundry basket, Joe carries the basket in the house (good thing he's a big big man), Joe cuts the apples into chunks with a filet knife (God watches over Joe to prevent loss of digits), Jocelyn pushes them through the juicer, Brilyn screams "up up huggy huggy!" over the noise of the juicer (think space ship landing), Joe or Jocelyn strains the cider through cheese cloth, Joe puts it in a big jug in the fridge. REPEAT REPEAT until we have FIVE gallons. This takes us, oh.....20 hours of work.
From here on out, the process is really a one-person job, so Joe takes over. He pours the cider into a big bucket and adds 6 pounds of sugar, stuff to kill bacteria, stuff to balance the acidity, etc... Then he lets it sit over night at 70 degrees, then adds some yeast made especially for the purpose of turning cider sugar into alcohol. The equipment and ingredients for this process cost an even $100.00. After this we will still have to buy a corker and some corks.
After Joe adds the last of the ingredients last night, I mention to him that I hope it tastes good. He just shrugs and says he doesn't care how it tastes, he just made it so he can have free alcohol.
FREE?!? Let's recap: 20 hours of work for two people with their Master's degree, let's estimate 20 dollars an hour- $800.00, plus a few more hours of research and adding ingredients and such-add another 5 hours for Joe-$100.00, plus the equipment and ingredients-add another $100.00. So we are looking at our cider being worth about 200.00 dollars per gallon this time around. I still really hope it tastes good.