Did you know that cold, refreshing glass of apple cider that you get after picking apples in the fall is available any day of the year? Keep reading to find out how it’s possible to make freshly squeezed cider year-round.
Making cider is a great way to use up some of the lower-grade apples. Number two, and a few number three apples, are used to make our cider. After apple harvest in the fall, number two, and a few number three apples, are made into cider in the Apple Barn. Some of this cider is bottled up right away and sold during the fall, but a lot of it is kept maintaining a steady cider supply for the rest of the year. The cider is frozen and can be thawed at any time to replenish the apple cider supply. Before cider is pumped into the stainless-steel tank for bottling, it is held in a 275-gallon juice crate. Cider is bottled in our bottling room in the Apple Barn, right next to where cider is made from fresh apples in the fall. Before beginning, everything is sanitized from the spouts to the floors.
After sanitizing, the thawed-out cider is mixed. Over time, the solid and liquid parts of the cider separate due to differences in volume. It takes about 20 minutes to mix the product to have equal distribution throughout the cider. Then it can be pumped from the juice crate to the tank in the bottling room. The tank has hoses at the bottom that connect to the spouts that fill up the sports bottles, half liters, and gallons that are sold in the Apple Barn. The bottles being filled up are placed on a circular table at the beginning of the machine. The bottles are fed from the table onto the conveyor belt. Once on the conveyor belt, the bottles are filled up with cider four at a time. The filled bottles now move along the belt down to the capping station. Here, two Kimmel employees put caps on the bottles and place them on a cart. The cart is moved from the bottling room into a cooler. A staff member will inventory each bottle of cider produced and finally input it into the computer system making it ready for you to take home and enjoy.
Not only does Kimmel’s apple cider make a delicious drink but it’s used in other Kimmel products as well including our apple Cider donuts and apple butter. This is just one of the ways Kimmel works to maintain sustainability, by making sure to use all their products and leave no waste. Adding apple cider to baked goods is something you can do at home as well! Add it to cakes, cookies, bread, or anything else that can be imagined. This fall staple may become a year-round treat for you and your family.