This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Under this name a variety of mixtures are sold and drank in large quantities - many of which are quite unwholesome, and soon show their ill effects upon the digestive organs. A good and pure article of cider requires but little labor in its manufacture; and if the following directions are heeded, many can enjoy this truly excellent beverage.
The apples are gathered before they are fully mature, and placed in a cool, dark room, upon dry straw, for about a week before use. I then take two thirds tart and one third sweet apples, rejecting carefully any that have appearance of decay; put them in a tub of water, to free them from dirt and impurities; then grind them to pulp. To avoid particles of fruit getting into the juice, a clean, coarse bag is put into the press to receive the pulp. Fill the receiver with pulp, close the bag, and apply the screw gradually until the juice ceases to run freely. After waiting five minutes, apply strong pressure, and press all out. For barrels, those used for whisky or alcohol answer well, if cleaned thoroughly with boiling water, and while still moist sulphurated by hanging into them a tape dipped in melted sulphur, lighted and allowed to burn out. The tape should be about five inches long, and attached to the underside of the bung by a wire hook. The barrels should be placed in an airy and cool cellar, on skids, and are then ready for the reception of the juice as fast as it comes from the pre39. When full, the holes are closed with corks, in which are inserted glass tubes of an inch in diameter, and of the form shown in fig. 16, made air-tight at their insertion by sealing-wax. A cup, or other vessel, filled with water, is placed under the free end of the tube, which should be covered by the water at least one and a half inches.
Fermentation will soon begin, and violently at first. The water in the cup must be replaced as evaporation takes place, and care taken that it never gets below the end of the tube, to prevent air coming in contact with the liquor in the cask. The tubes are not removed from the casks until the bubbling in the water cups entirely ceases, which is not sometimes for many months, or even until spring. I prefer to keep the casks in this condition until that season, when the time for drawing off the cider arrives. The nearly clear liquor is then drawn off - carefully avoiding shaking the casks - into new ones cleansed and sulphurated as before filling the casks full. To have a supply, to keep the barrels continually full to the bung, which is a matter of the first importance, some of the cider is put into small casks, turned over, that the contents may cover the bung, to prevent acidity. During the following autumn, about the end of October, the cider is again drawn off into prepared barrels kept always full, and in the following spring it is ready for bottling, and will keep for years.
I have now some that is three years old, perfectly clear and of excellent quality.
If from any cause the cider should not be clear, draw off the best portion into a clean cask; then dissolve one ounce of Russian isinglass in enough warm water to cover it, and when cold, add to it one pint of the cider; pour all into the cask, and shake thoroughly. In about two weeks the cider will be found clear, and all sediment at the bottom.
The pulp from the press should be put into open vats, the press and bag carefully cleansed, and the water added to the pulp, which may be half its bulk - the whole placed in a warm room, and stirred frequently until it becomes acid; then press the whole and put into vinegar barrels. In a few weeks it will become good and pure vinegar. Gauze put over the vats and bung-holes of the barrels will prevent the entrance of insects. After the vinegar is acid enough, the holes may be closed.
Very valuable discoveries have lately been made by a French savan, L. Pasteur, proving that fermentation in wine is caused by a microscopic plant or fermental particles, which are destroyed by heating the liquid to 100 to 250. deg I shall make careful experiments, according to these discoveries, and report, as we may find a simple process of preserving cider and light wines for many years.