Another year of bicycle powered cider, and a new apple washer

Weekend before last we spent in Maine making cider with other enthusiasts. This year a bike powered apple washer was added, which was pretty ghetto in construction but did a surprisingly good job. We ran about 1200kg of apples this time. I put a full writeup on my blog:


Very impressive! Nice to have a group interested in cider making, it makes the process more fun!

Very nice.

We turned 1589kg of apples, many of which came from the orchard we planted about 12 years ago, into 1041 liters of cider. Full writeup here:


Strong work there!!


Very impressive! Do you know if the washer will remove Surround from the apples?

Holly - thanks for the great writeup! For another angle on the same event, here’s my writeup: Cider Weekend 2017: The Fruit Of Our Labor | Five Islands Orchard

To the question of whether the astroturf tumbler/water spray removes Surround, I suspect it removes a fair amount, since the internal action is fairly vigorous, but the apples never get dry before they go into the grinder, so it’s hard to tell. Assuming I spray surround again next year, I’ll try to remember to set a few aside after washing to get a read on the removal rate. Perhaps I should be more fastidious about these things, but figuring the stuff is pretty inert, I’ve been content to rub it off on my shirt and eat the fruit right off the tree, figuring that apples have pectin and Kaopectate is medicine…

For that matter, I made the mistake of Surround-ing some of the larger peach trees, and learned the hard way that it’s completely impossible to get the stuff off a peach. Nonetheless I ate those right off the tree as well, to no ill effect.

Adding the spray routine definitely complicates my decision (made 10 years ago) to temporarily fill in the 28’ row spacing between the standard-root trees with peaches (which are generally short-lived here in the damp, northern marine climate); since pests seem to mostly ignore the peaches, I will try to keep the spray away from those trees next year, so my sister can possibly sell some at her roadside stand. As it is though we didn’t suffer much with several hundred pounds of peaches; my mom made a ton of really great peach jam, salsa, chutney, etc.

As the standard apples grow and start to crowd the ‘temporary’ peaches, we’ve had enough success that I’m tempted to start peach block that can be treated separately (or not at all). If history is a guide, it doesn’t take much to convince me to fire up a chainsaw and clear some more newground…

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I’ve only used Surround on olives, and it’s pretty easy to wash it away.

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