Fruit, Fruit, and More Fruit

My kids had the day off for a teacher in-service day. So I took the day off to go apple picking with them. Lots of apple-picking.

But first, I awoke to a big bucket of muscadines (36 pounds worth!). With my daughter’s help, I halved, or at a minimum split, them all. And with my wife’s help, I crushed them all. That was followed by moving the crushed liquid and pulp (including skin and seeds) to a fermentation bucket. I bagged the material, of course. Only 1 gallon of liquid at the moment, but 4 gallons total bulk. I think after fermentation, a lot of that will be liquid. But right now, not sure how to go about getting a good SG measurement. Tomorrow morning I will add the yeast to get everything started.

Once the muscadines were crushed, and I had added a little less than 1/4 tsp. potassium metabisulfite, we left the house for Sky Top Orchard in North Carolina.

(Oh, yeah, the new braggot is going well, with a good krausen – more than I remember seeing the first braggot I attempted.)

Sky Top was fun, though the car ride could have been a little quieter… We picked quite a number of apples, with the goal of cider, apple liqueur and apple butter (and some for eating). Final take was:

  • ~40 pounds of Mutsu, the base for a batch of cider.
  • ~20 pounds of Arkansas Black (also for cider, apple butter, eating)
  • ~20 pounds of Jonathon (cider, apple butter)
  • ~20 pounds of Stayman Winesap (cider, and liqueur)
  • ~20 pounds of Fuji (for eating)
  • ~10 pounds of Asian Pears (for liqueur)

Right…so our kitchen is now filled with apples. And of course, there’s still near 40 pounds of muscadines to be turned into jelly. I’m thinking some straight, some with red chili pepper (dried? fresh?)… Only problem I see is a busy week ahead of us. The muscadines present the most difficulty. I need to “sweat” the apples before milling and pressing them anyway.

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