Cider Saga

Sketchbook has always known that cider was in our future--we love it and so many of our members and fans are hooked on this delicious, gluten-free beverage.  So--this Thursday, Sketchbook's Cesar Marron and his dad Celso drove up to Kline's Cider Mill in Sparta, MI.

While Celso checked out the pumpkins, Cesar checked out the apples.

Back in Evanston,  the girls started to unload the van.


The next adventure was transferring 220 gallons of apple juice from tanks in the van into the boil vessel.  This began around 9 pm.  Sean Curry was on van detail...

Amy ran interference (NOW! STOP!  NOW!)...


and then Shawn, Matt & Cesar monitored the influx of cider into the right vessel (check out the exciting name we have for this guy!)

...which created a gorgeous head of foam.


The next step was to raise the temperature to 75 Celsius, then pasteurize the juice. This took--well three hours--or until midnight or so. 

Then, the heated cider needed to travel to Fermentor #2 (yeah, we need to name these things)...and we caught this on riveting video:


Now the juice just had to cool so that the yeast could get happy, and start doing its work.

Well, come 3 am, the yeast was content, the brewers were nodding...and Sketchbook's first batch of cider was bubbling away.  We'll be pouring this beauty around Thanksgiving...but we don't know what to name it.  We're collecting suggestions on our Facebook page.

Shawn Decker