The candidate, himself a wealthy man, convinced the country that his opponent was a snob who could never understand real Americans. As proof the candidate said his opponent didn’t like hard cider.
It was the election of 1840, and William Henry Harrison was running his
“Log Cabin & Hard Cider” campaign against incumbent Martin Van Buren. As you might imagine, Harrison’s campaign created a plethora of log house- and hard cider-related art.
A favorite among them is this not-so-subtle mechanical card
His campaign worked and Harrison became our 9th president.
As it’s spring, the season of grafting, here’s a little living history from the folks up at Genesee Country Village & Museum.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
In celebration of the day check out this overview of Irish cider culture then & now:
A Brief History of Apples and Cidermaking in Ireland
He’ll have one more.
Welcome to Pommel’s fourth cyder season! Last week I started several cyders, some old favorites and some new experiments. They are, from left to right:
- 6.5 gallons of the 1723 honey wheat cyser (so far this one remains a fan favorite) – Potential ABV 11.5%
- 1 gallon unchaptalized raw juice (cause I hate to waste fermentable juice) – Potential ABV 7%
- 6 gallons of the 1674 Penn spiced cyder – Potential ABV 8%
- 5 gallons for experimenting with fortifying and royaling – Potential ABV 7%
- 3 gallons raw Golden Russet (another house favorite) – Potential ABV 8.5%
All of them are fermenting with natural yeast only.
This season I’ve started using brew buckets. They’re certainly not historical, but they are more cost-effective than oak barrels. They allowed me to double production without doubling the expense. The juice will stay in the buckets for a few weeks before being transferred to glass carboys to condition for a few months.
Useful as the buckets are, I wish they
- Had a clear side or top to show fermentation
- Had their upper gallons marked (these are all 6.5 gallon buckets, but the printed markings only go to 5)
- Were wooden barrels
At least one of those wishes I could immediately grant myself. Seems a 6.5-gallon bucket will hold 7, so long as I don’t need too much head space.
I also purchased a digital scale which should cut down on the various mathematical conversions I’ve been doing. Though a stillard and scale would be more accurate (historically speaking).
The stillard (aka stilliard or steelyard) is the long object on the upper left and the scale is on the right.
Cidering can be dangerous, and not just because of the effects of alcohol. It has always involved large machines which are designed to shred and press flesh. That’s fine when it’s an apple being spindled and mutilated, but it can have painful, even fatal, consequences when it’s a person.
One such accident occurred outside of York, PA in 1800 and was later recorded by a local artist. According to Lewis Miller, David Miller (no relation, we assume) was busy grinding apples when his hand was caught between the stones. Lewis’s rendering of this incident is presented below.
October 13th 1800. David Miller loseing his hand in the Apple Mill dreadful Ground up. it was at George Spangler’s farm one quarter of a mile from York [PA]. he died on the 21nd day of October in his 23. year his brother Joseph Miller was present at the time and Stop, the horse to go forward. as Soon as he discovered his brothers hand in the mill. A young woman throw an apple at him, he turned round to See, who throw, and his hand caught….
Between the machines and the stinging bugs, cidering can be perilous.
Just a quick post to let you know I added half a dozen new titles to the Historical Cidering page, including John Evelyn’s Pomona, one of the earliest English works on cider.