TA News

The Power of Apple Cider

By, Madison Hatch

This year, the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course did a unit on studying apples and apple cider. Each student participated in collecting a variety of apples from different locations, making cider and conducting a lab. My favorite part was getting to taste the freshly made cider. Surprisingly, the flavors of the different apple ciders varied a lot. Some were very sweet while others were very bitter. 

When Making apple cider there were many different jobs that each student participated in. Some of the jobs included washing and pressing apples, measuring apple and cider density,  cider temperature, cider sugar content, pH and color. The first step to making the cider was washing the apples. We then had one person turn a crank to crush the apples into chunks while another person poured the apples into the crusher. When the basket underneath was full, a round piece of wood with a metal plate was placed in the basket and a metal rod was turned to press the mash. Finally apple cider oozed out from the bottom. After the cider was pressed from the apples, the juice in the bucket was brought over to be pasteurized and tested. 

I would like to thank the Fernandezs, the McConaugheys, the Peobodys and the Fairbairns who let us pick their apples on their property. Amist picking, cleaning, churning, testing and pressings the students of the Environmental and Outdoor Education course were able to make around ten gallons of apple cider. Not only were the students in our class able to taste the cider, but we produced enough to share with other people and run a lab experiment. 

In the lab experiment, we gave different classes samples of cider and asked if they could taste a difference in the samples. Some of the samples were pasteurized and some were not. The results showed that the samplers did taste a difference between the unpasteurized and pasteurized cider. In addition, about half of the samplers also tasted differences in identical ciders. It is believed that the pasteurized cider retained the original flavor and the unpasteurized cider changed flavor quickly.

I will always remember how exciting the apple unit was when I was in the Environmental and Outdoor Education class, and when the cider touched my tongue and exploded my taste buds. Not only was the taste exquisite, but the smell was just as good. This is why I’m excited for next year’s soccer season when I can smell the freshly pressed cider being made at Thetford Academy.



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