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County Ag Report: Apple Cider Mill

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 11:30 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - It’s that time of year, when you warm up with a hot mug of apple cider. The MSAD #1 Educational Farm is happy to provide...along with a side of learning.

“We have a relationship with the cider pressing to chemistry and biology but its really more of the experience component of their class... They appreciate the opportunity to get outside of the classroom and actually do something it really enhances their experience I think,” said Vicki McCurry, an agricultural science instructor.

High school students learned how to press and bottle apple cider this week. The Educational Farm team and Farm Manager John Hoffses walked them through the steps.

“We need a sounds apple nothing with a broken skin, and they get ground up what looks to be apple sauce, and we put it in a press blanket and put about 22 hundred pounds of pressure on it to squeeze all the juice out of it we can,” explained Hoffses.

Next the cider is filtered four, sometimes five times, before being pumped under a UV light to be treated. At the end of the day, the batch is tested for bacteria, and once it passes the test...it’s ready to be bottled. Hoffses says each 42 pound bushel of apples produces about three gallons of apple cider.

“It all depends on what we have for orders, if we have a lot of orders we may press ten totes, we may press two,” said Hoffses. “We try to mix as many varieties as possible, we have 25 varieties here on the farm so the more we can use the better.”

The Educational farm sends their cider, even what the students made this week, to schools and stores as far south as Skowhegan and Thorndike.

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