Prior to pressing, we sort out apples with bad spots, leaving only the best apples for cider.
Next the apples pass through the brush washer, up the conveyor and into the grinder, where they are ground into an applesauce like mixture.
Up through the 1800's hard apple cider was America's most popular spirit.
Pressing takes about 15 minutes at 2,300 psi. During this time, virtually all juice is squeezed from the pommage. As the juice flows out of the trays , it drains into a reservoir and then is pumped directly into barrels for aging.
On the press we fill a rack of trays 7 layers deep with the applesauce like mixture. Each layer is wrapped in a special pressure-resistant cloth that allows just the apple cider juices to escape during pressing.
We buy our apples from orchards here in Columbia and neighboring counties. Macintosh, Stayman, Fuji, Cortland, Gala, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. Mixing varieties in differing amounts we produce ciders with distinctive qualities and flavor.
Each pommage layer weighs about 2.5 pound after pressing. We save these leftovers for local farmers to feed to their pigs.