Julie Reed

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since Jun 23, 2019
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Recent posts by Julie Reed

Well... yes and no. They taste quite different. The way they get from apple to drinking is completely different. They are technically the same thing in that they both come from fermented apples. You could take an egg and hard boil it, or fry it over easy, and say they are both the same- a cooked egg. The person eating them might disagree. That’s the best analogy I can think of.
Bottled cider is called hard cider, but the difference is that it is processed in the same way wine is made. Here’s a clip from Wikipedia under the heading of Cider:

“Steps taken before fermentation might include fruit or juice blending, titratable acidity and pH measurements and sometimes adjustments, and sulfur dioxide and yeast additions.Fermentation is carried out at a temperature of 4–16 °C (39–61 °F). This temperature would be low for most kinds of fermentation, but is beneficial for cider, as it leads to slower fermentation with less loss of delicate aromas. Fermentation can occur due to natural yeasts that are present in the must; alternately, some cider makers add cultivated strains of cider yeast, such as Saccharomyces bayanus.
During the initial stages of fermentation, there are elevated levels of carbon dioxide as the yeasts multiply and begin to break down the sugar into ethanol. In addition to fermentative metabolism of yeast, certain organoleptic compounds are formed that have an effect on the quality of cider, such as other alcohols, esters and other volatile compounds. After fermentation, racking occurs into a clean vessel, trying to leave behind as much yeast as possible. Shortly before the fermentation consumes all the sugar, the liquor is "racked" (siphoned) into new vats. This leaves dead yeast cells and other undesirable material at the bottom of the old vat. At this point, it becomes important to exclude airborne acetic bacteria, so vats are filled completely to exclude air. The fermenting of the remaining available sugar generates a small amount of carbon dioxide that forms a protective layer, reducing air contact. This final fermentation creates a small amount of carbonation. Extra sugar may be added specifically for this purpose. Racking is sometimes repeated if the liquor remains too cloudy.
Apple-based juice may also be combined with fruit to make a fine cider; fruit purées or flavourings can be added, such as grape, cherry, raspberry, or cranberry.
The cider is ready to drink after a three-month fermentation period, although it is more often matured in the vats for up to three years.”

By contrast, fresh cider allowed to sit in the fridge for a week starts to naturally ferment (“Fermentation can occur due to natural yeasts that are present in the must”), gets ‘fizzy’, and will develop an alcohol content of up to maybe 5%. That’s the original source of hard cider. The bottled stuff is essentially Apple wine, given the process used to make it.
Holy cow! Well, I was referring to fresh cider, which is cheaper, and US prices, so there’s that. Cider vinegar is about $5/gal currently for store brands, twice that for ‘trendy’ brands. I don’t know anyplace that sells hard cider by the gallon. Bottled ciders are all over the map price wise. But that’s not the same product as hard cider.

Steven Goodfellow wrote: You can also make cider but there are a few hoops to sell alcohol.

The orchard I currently drive to sells ‘raw’ cider, which will ferment, but would require special handling to do so. I buy it specifically because it’s not pasteurized, which means I can make either hard (fermented) cider, or vinegar with it. The best cider comes from a blend of apples, which they also have. So as long as it’s sold within a few days of pressing, alcohol laws won’t apply, but it still can easily become such. The bigger issue is actually the health department, which takes a dim view of unpasteurized products.
That is definitely value added to the drops (apples that fell to the ground) or otherwise less saleable apples. It would not pencil out using apples that could be sold, as a gallon of cider takes about 40-60 apples to make, and at even $1/lb for the apples (wholesale value) that becomes $15-20 a gallon before labor or bottle/labeling costs. I think anything over $10/gal for cider would be pushing it.
But overall, adding value beats losing value by having to sell wholesale to reach customers in a supermarket.
It’s funny, when I read the title in my email I thought- what’s the point of even trying? The average grocery store customer isn’t going to care or even understand what a permaculture Apple IS.
So I’m glad it resolved to the idea of buying local instead of trying to reverse engineer a tangled process of marketing to the masses.
In my quest for unpasteurized cider, I have found many small local orchards that have u-pick days. I’m guessing any state where apples can grow has them. Some will be organic, some not, but it’s a start in the right direction. My current favorite is a 4 hour drive, so not exactly local, but the apples are amazing, and at $3 per pound, not outrageous. It sucks that apples have such a limited season, but they are fairly easy to store and preserve. For folks without enough land, or those of us too old to start an orchard and hope for it to produce much in our lifetime, it’s a good alternative!
Awesome ‘everybody wins’ solution Christopher! So happy that solved it. Or maybe you have mad people skills too? 😉 Observe-
A friend of mine has a 4 unit rental property, with each unit being a separate small house but they share an acre lot and driveway. So there was 4 trash bins going (and overflowing, and trash scattering) and he tried doing what you did, a common easily accessible dumpster and charging each tenant $x per month for trash to cover the cost. Didn’t fly. They could not all agree on a fair price per person because “this house has a single guy and that house has a couple with 2 kids” so obviously each place generates a different volume of trash. The ultimate silliness of it was that they were all now paying the same or LESS per month than they had paid for individual bins, AND the dumpster held more trash than 4 bins combined. So he had to change his lease wording to include trash removal as part of the rent, and raise the rent to cover the dumpster.
1 week ago
This thread makes me realize how far we have come (in some cases) when issues of polluting the air crop up. When I was a kid the local junk yard used to burn their tires. I’m talking about huge piles with hundreds of tires, and literally smack in the middle of a small town. Black clouds of smoke like you see in disaster movies. That acrid burning rubber smell for miles. And we thought nothing of it. I mean, we hated it, but it was acceptable then. Twice a year you’d go outside one day and realize Jack’s garage was burning their tires. You shrugged it off, knowing it would be done in a couple days, and thought (in our case) at least you were a few miles away.
I realize that doesn’t make the neighbor burning plastic in a barrel ‘ok’, but at least these things are being addressed as unacceptable in most places now. If you’re sure they don’t have cameras, maybe sneak over in the dead of night and toss a handful of firecrackers into the barrel, to make it interesting for them next time?
1 week ago
Wellll.... it is the woodworking forum, but otherwise I agree, schedule 80 pipe would work great!
1 week ago

Doubling up supports more weight  but not increase the span

Doubling up supports more weight for the same span, or in the case of a swing set, the same weight over a greater span. Reason being you are not hanging one swing in the middle and putting twice the weight there. A beam transfers weight to the end supports, and the closer the weight is to the ends, the less is carried in the center of the beam (where it will be weakest).
The other factor is that with 2 boards you are combining strengths, so if one has a weak spot, the other compensates. Adding the plywood in the middle makes a very strong header.
1 week ago
That’s awesome Nicole! It will weather beautifully too! It’s too easy to buy a fancy prefab kit, but this is better quality, personal, and unique (and free!). Every project like this is a rung on a ladder- what else can I do? It’s funny, I grew up in a logging and sawmilling family, and ran chainsaws and handled axes and other wood related tools from a young age, but was always intimidated by wood. Metal is predictable. I could heat or weld it and know exactly how it would react. Wood had knots and grain that could split, it warped and swelled and shrunk... and I’d think about how building something like your grape arbor wouldn’t look right because it wasn’t perfect looking. Now I realize how much better things look in natural shapes and angles, with curves and crooks, and a profile that becomes part of the landscape. Your arbor will quickly look like it grew there, same as the grape vines. Thanks for sharing! And I hope you’ve inspired dozens or hundreds of people to try their hand at roundwood construction.