New record! Today we gathered 200 apples and made 11 litres of apple juice. Our production this year was made much, much simpler and more pleasant with our new toy, the apple crusher. The apple crusher was a bit of a splurge, but this is our fifth cider season and I thought we deserved it. Making apple cider is hard physical work, and grinding up quarter apples in our temperamental blender and tiny food processor was the worst part.
This year our operations were almost entirely outdoors, and although it was initially chilly, the sun shone throughout. I gathered up what good windfalls there were and then got to work picking apples from the tree. Benedict Ambrose assisted in this from a ladder; I enjoyed my annual climb among the branches. As we worked, we spotted a new neighbour on the other side of the tree--a hipster-looking young man with a big beard and a baby in a pram. The young man and then his wife ambled over after we hallooed at them; we encouraged them to make the most of the apples on their side. (They were, in fact, already doing this.) For some reason, our neighbours to our left and right seemed to think they need our permission to take the apples hanging over their gardens.)
After that we began the labour of washing, disassembling and storing everything. I had two cups of coffee and then set about turning 3 pounds of particularly battered windfalls into apple pie filling. Now there is apple crumble in the oven, and eleven litres of juice in the sitting room awaiting de-yeasting and re-yeasting.
UPDATE (October 16): We bottled it late (yesterday, October 15), adding 50 g sugar to each of the 2 demijohns a few hours beforehand so that the second fermentation will happen in the bottles. We filled 20 bottles (a record) and a glass from the bottom of each demijohn. Somehow B.A. was able to separate the cider in the glasses from the lees (dead yeast), and it was quite delicious.