Today From Bedtime Math: Crush and Smush That Apple Mush

50 apples = 1 gallon of unfiltered goodness! Smash apples into cider in this tasty challenge from Bedtime Math!
By Laura Overdeck
Nov 03, 2015



Nov 03, 2015

Apple juice and apple cider are both yummy drinks. How are they different? Apple juice runs through filters that pull out the pulp and other stuff to give you that clear golden liquid; then it gets cooked in a special way (“pasteurized”) to kill germs so it will last longer in your fridge. But apple cider is just raw juice right from the fruit. As you see from this fun gadget on a Connecticut farm, it’s pretty easy to make cider yourself. Here you drop the apples into the black funnel, then crank a big handle on the side to slice up the apples with turning spikes. The tiny pieces fall into the barrel below. Then that screw-shaped pipe on the left presses down on the lid of the barrel, to squeeze out the juice through cloth. Pour the juice into plastic bottles, and you’re done! A batch of 40-50 apples fills two half-gallon cider bottles…and a horse would happily eat the mush that’s left.

Wee ones: If you crush red, green, and yellow apples, how many colors is that?

Little kids: If you’re holding 8 apples and count down from 8 as you toss them in, what numbers do you say? Bonus: How many more apples would you need to crush a total of 10?

Big kids: If 50 apples make 1 gallon (16 cups) of cider to feed 16 people, how many people can you serve cider from 100 apples? Bonus: If those 100 apples each weigh 1/2 pound, how much does that barrelful of apples weigh compared to you?


Wee ones: 3 colors.

Little kids: 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Bonus: 2 more apples.

Big kids: 32 people, since it’s twice as many apples. Bonus: Different for everyone…subtract 50 from your weight in pounds, or subtract your weight from 50.

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