Help permies get a
new server
by contributing to the fundraiser
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Ulla Bisgaard

"Farmer Boy" apple Cider - Was it non-alcoholic?

 
Posts: 177
10
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In Laura Ingles Wilder's book "Farmer Boy", it has the family taking apples to be made into apple cider that even the young children drink through winter.  In other respects they were strict church-going Protestants, and there is no indication they drank alcohol.  Was this non-alcoholic, and how do you make and store it if it was?  How is this different to making apple cider vinegar?
 
gardener
Posts: 1576
Location: the mountains of western nc
464
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation wood heat
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
apple juice/cider can be canned. iā€™d assume they were in jars.
 
master gardener
Posts: 3171
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
1217
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll have to find my sources, but in colonial America cider was kept in barrels because it was safer to drink than much of the water. Yeast was introduced eventually and hard cider was created because it was more stable. Children would drink a diluted form of it. I'm not sure of the religious implications/tolerance but it was more out of necessity than pleasure.

**Edit** I had to look up the book in particular and see that it is set around the 1860's where there was a kind of a boom of cider production with cider mills and presses being sold everywhere. A link that might give you some insight can be found here.
 
steward
Posts: 15303
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
4715
7
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Quote from Timothy's link:

In the early days of America, people did not drink water very often. Diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera were real threats from drinking water.

Instead, hard cider was the drink of choice ā€” even children drank it. The alcohol in the cider killed bacteria, preventing diseases that water could carry. Between 1800 and 1830, the average American drank 23 gallons of alcohol each year; hard cider made up 15 of those gallons.


The only problem I see with this is the math.  15 gallons of cider per year is just over a quart a week.  Not really enough to survive on...  Unless the numbers are just for the alcohol within the cider.  
 
Timothy Norton
master gardener
Posts: 3171
Location: Upstate NY, Zone 5, 43 inch Avg. Rainfall
1217
monies home care dog fungi trees chicken food preservation cooking building composting homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Now I'm going down the rabbit hole!

For some information on "Childrens Cider" I have found the word Ciderkin brings up some results.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciderkin
 
Posts: 30
Location: Pombal, Portugal
4
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Haasl wrote:Quote from Timothy's link:

In the early days of America, people did not drink water very often. Diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera were real threats from drinking water.

Instead, hard cider was the drink of choice ā€” even children drank it. The alcohol in the cider killed bacteria, preventing diseases that water could carry. Between 1800 and 1830, the average American drank 23 gallons of alcohol each year; hard cider made up 15 of those gallons.


The only problem I see with this is the math.  15 gallons of cider per year is just over a quart a week.  Not really enough to survive on...  Unless the numbers are just for the alcohol within the cider.  



Right, to me it reads `alcohol within the cider', which I guess would make it more like 50-100 gallons.  That then probably has to be de-averaged, inasmuch as that practice must have been restricted to a subset of the population it's averaged over.
 
steward
Posts: 15143
Location: USDA Zone 8a
4151
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fresh apple cider does not contain alcohol.

This is because it has not been fermented.

Over time the fermenting turns apple cider into Hard Apple cider.

When my kids were growing up I used to purchase Apple Cider at the grocery store every year around Thanksgiving.  It was found in the aisle with juice and I believe refrigerated.

We also served this fresh apple cider at school functions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_cider
 
pollinator
Posts: 280
55
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think if they would have kept it in barrels or jugs in the root cellar it wouldn't turn. Perhaps they boiled it first to keep the yeast from growing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 331
Location: 2300' elev., southern oregon
103
forest garden fungi foraging trees food preservation cooking building solar woodworking wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy,

I used to buy gal jugs of "fresh pressed apple cider" from farm stands when working in the woods in rural NY. Leaving it in the truck and it would be fermenting in 2-3 days.
 
pollinator
Posts: 682
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
252
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just a guess here, but the cider is called "sweet" I believe, which would suggest it wasn't alcoholic.  Since they were storing it through winter, maybe it was kept frozen, and a jug was brought to the cellar to thaw every day?  Farmer Boy was set in upstate New York after all, and I understand it stays pretty cold through winter.

However, it's possible it was lightly alcoholic;  hard cider (just called cider in this country) isn't particularly strong, more like beer than wine, and a little bit of alcohol before bed makes you feel warm and sleepy...
 
Posts: 51
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm my corner of the United States, "cider" means fresh unfiltered apple juice.  It has a short expiration date and has to remain refrigerated in the grocery store. If you let it warm up, it will ferment and become "hard cider" which most kids won't enjoy the taste of.  Apple JUICE is the filtered and pasteurized stuff that is shelf stable until you open it.
 
Don't sweat petty things, or pet sweaty things. But cuddle this tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic