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Public Cidery

Got Apples? Wanna make cider?

Sullivan County Natural Resources Department has cider making equipment available for public use.

Staff and trained volunteers will be ready to help you turn your apples into fresh-squeezed cider.  We ask that you have at least 2 people in your group that can help at the cidery, though 3-4 are preferred.  Children are welcome as long as they are supervised by an adult. This adult is not counted in the 2 helping at the cidery.  Appointments must be made at least 2 days in advance. The cider pressing season isn't very long - only from the beginning of September until mid-October, so make your appointment today!  

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Bring your apples and turn them into fresh squeezed cider!

Open September - mid-October

Tuesday - Saturday; 8:30am -5pm

Pressings by Appointment Only

Make an Appt. Call 203.494.3982 or

email publiccidery@sullivancountynh.gov

NEW! Meet People! Share Resources!

The public cidery is a place for building community. The cidery coordinator will help connect you to others who want to press cider, people with apple trees, and volunteer opportunities. Check out some of the options for connection below.

I have apples in my yard and want to share them with others. 

  • Fill out this survey to let us know who you are, where you are located, how to contact you and other information about your apples. The Cidery Coordinator will contact you to discuss options and confirm your desire to share your apples with others.  

I have some apples and want to make cider with others who have some apples too.

  • Give us a call or email us to let us know how many apples you have and when you are available to make cider. We will do our best to schedule you with others who want to meet new people as well as make cider. 

  • Share the experience, share the costs (apples & cidery fee), and share the cider. 

I don't have apples and want to make cider. 

  • Check out our local orchards list if you want to buy apples to make cider.

  • Contact the cidery coordinator to find out if there are others in your community that have apples and want to share them. 

  • Become a Cidery Volunteer.

CIDERY EQUIPMENT

Includes a fruit washing station, an electric fruit grinder, a Lancman water press, and an iced bin to cool cider.

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Making Cider

The best cider is made from a variety of apples, including some that are more “sharp” or “bitter” tasting. Everyone’s tastes differ, but in general pressing at least 3 varieties of apples with different flavors will produce the most satisfying cider.

 
Each pressing requires 4.5 bushels (~192 lbs) of apples and produces 11-12 gallons of cider. On average, a 5-gallon bucket of apples weighs 20 lbs, so 10, five gallon buckets of apples or 7 milk crates of apples roughly equals 4.5 bushels. 
The press must be full for proper use, so if you don’t have access to many types or to 4.5 bushels of apples, we suggest you connect with others who have apples and come to the Cidery together.

 

Apples for pressing must be picked from the tree or fall onto a tarp or cloth.  Drops are not allowed as they can be contaminated by wildlife and harbor dangerous pathogens. It is best to pick apples when they are dry. Store apples

in clean containers and plan on pressing as soon as possible. Keep apples as cool as possible between picking and pressing, ideally at or below 45 F. Don’t store wet apples as this can cause them to rot.


The juice you make will not be pasteurized, so it will have a limited shelf life.  You might consider freezing it or cooking it into apple juice to preserve it for later. Cider is for personal use only and may not be sold commercially.

Volunteers

The Process

Cleaning Apples
We will provide facilities where you can rinse your apples, but the apples you bring should be intact with no breaks in the skin or rot.


Grinding Apples
Children ages 10 and older can participate, younger children need to be supervised at all times. 


Pressing Apples
Our bladder press uses water power to make the cider, about three times as much cider as a hand press can make (and no turning!)


Jugging Cider
The cider is bottled in sterile, food-grade jugs which freeze well. Jugs, caps and labels are supplied. Cider will be set on ice to stay cool.


Cleaning Up
All participants are expected to help with cleaning the equipment after use. 

What do I bring?
All you need to supply are the apples and coolers to bring the cider home. Please also bring a mask and a hat (for inside the cidery) Everything else is supplied by us.


How long will it take?
About 1.5 hours is needed to complete a pressing, which includes washing, grinding, pressing, jugging and helping to clean up the equipment.


When is the Cidery open?
September - October. You must make an appointment to visit to the Cidery. When you arrive, volunteers will teach you the process of making cider. There is a 4 pressing limit per group.


How much does it cost?
$15.00 per pressing, which pays for the jugs, lids, and stickers.

Where is the Cidery located?

Sullivan County Complex on County Farm Rd. in Unity, NH. 

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Questions? Contact us at publiccidery@sullivancountynh.gov

Directions

From Claremont:

Take Chestnut St (2nd NH Turnpike) toward Unity, about 4.8 miles. At the Sullivan County Complex sign, continue straight onto County Farm Rd.  Just after the cemetery turn right onto a gravel road.  The blue building on the right houses the Cidery.

 
From Lempster and Route 10:

Take 2nd NH Turnpike toward Claremont 10.1 miles. At the Sullivan County Complex sign, take a left onto County Farm Rd. Just after the cemetery turn right onto a gravel road. The blue building on the right houses the Cidery.

Volunteer Training

The Public Cidery is run by a coordinator and volunteers. Without our steadfast volunteers, we wouldn't be able to open the cidery for a much time each season. Volunteers help community members to go through the steps of turning their apples into cider and depending on their schedules, usually help with 2-4 pressings each season (September - mid-October). If you would like to volunteer, please let us know and attend one of these events.

Volunteer Refresher 

August 28, 2023

10 - 11:30am

at the Public Cidery in Unity

New Volunteer Training

Contact Mark Richards

to schedule training.

If you are unable to attend the refresher training or are a new volunteer, contact us and we will train you "on the job". 

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Cidery Mural

The Mural on the Public Cidery building was designed and created by our Summer Artist, Allison Zito. The design was based on ideas and suggestions from local art students and Sullivan County Natural Resources staff. The mural was painted by 25 community volunteers in August 2021 and unveiled in a public ceremony in October the same year.

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Cider Day
Cider Day

Some years, Sullivan County hosts a Cider Day in September to kick off the cider making season and to support and promote local artists, performers, and producers. It is a celebration of rural New Hampshire community and usually includes apple tasting, fresh pressed cider (free), music, games, and other activities. We hope to grow this program each year and are looking for exhibitors and vendors. Please contact us if you are interested. 

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We often share free cider pressed at the Public Cidery at the Claremont Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff on the first Saturday in October at the Visitor's Green in Claremont, NH. Visit the Sullivan County booth to check it out. 

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