First try at Cider


#1

This is my first try at Cider pressing. I got 4 gallons out of 2 bushel of apples. I’m not sure that I’m happy with that. At 26$ a bushel it works to 13$ a gallon! Yikes!

Oh well, my young orchard will soon make them for me and I won’t be buying them.


#2

It looks like they could have been ground up more before pressing(the pic of the pressed apples in the plastic bag). Might be why you only got 4 gallons out of all those apples.


#3

I don’t know how to grind them better. I bought what I thought was the correct tool. It was kinda expensive also.
I hate to not use it. I may put a motor on it and spin it about 3000 RPM. :smile:

The apples were not real soft either.


#4

The stuff coming out of your grinder looks OK . It just looked like some of the pressed stuff was cut up instead of ground up. Even if the apples are cut and then put through the grinder they don’t get ground up well enough to get a good press on them. I agree you should have gotten way more than 4 gallons from 2 bushel of apples.


#5

I’ll bet it tasted great.


#6

Did you cut up the apples first? On my grinder you want to run whole apples through as slices can sneak through without getting shredded. The only exception is really huge apples may need to be cut in half. One other thing is you want to sweat the apples to let them soften before pressing, they may have been too green. I always let my apples sit for at least a week before pressing.

You didn’t do horribly with 2 gal per bushel, the hand screw presses have an efficiency max of around 60% (1 lb of apples give .6 lb juice) and that gets you about 2 3/4 gallons per bushel. You are around 45% efficiency which is the lower end of what the presses do.


#7

I did all sort of cuts during the process. I was quartering huge apples to start with and they didn’t want to feed well so I did cut them more and yes, exactly some slices got through.
You have to crank the thing a little harder than I expected and I tried all sorts of things.
None of these apples would have went in whole. They wouldn’t go in the machine.

Yes, they were also a bit hard. However, my family and I went to opening day at the u-pick and we were all together and wanted to make cider. The fun was worth it at any cost.


#8

Nice batch of cider! That’s about the yield we get and our press looks similar. It really depends on the apples. We like to age them, enough to shred good and to get better flavor. But not too soft; they don’t shred very well that way either. It’s a balance I’m sure you’ll find, especially when you have your own apples. It’s a great way to use the not so great ones (which there always seem to be plenty of :grinning: But I don’t blame you for buying apples to use your new cider chopper/press. When you have the tool you have to use it!


#9

The first batch I was just happy to get some juice from. There are a lot of things to be coordinating and learning. By the 6th or so batch you will be on autopilot.

Sue, thats a good point about not letting them sit too long. You get less efficient juicing with softer apples as more pectins come out and clog up the juice flow. Its a “not too tart not too sweet” thing you learn from experience.


#10

For whatever its worth, I saw some recent posts elsewhere that did 2 things:

  1. Freezing the apples makes them a wet, pulpy mess, and much easier to press
  2. Folks put frozen apples in large bags, let them thaw, and pressed them in…a new, unused mop bucket. seems to work…not that your approach won’t, but even that may be helped by freezing the apples.

#11

I go for a more efficient juicer but don’t make more than a few gallons of cider typically at a time. Most I make is 10 gallons per year . https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001RLPFA6/ref=mp_s_a_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1474539305&sr=8-7&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=jack+lalanne+juicer&dpPl=1&dpID=51kjlkMXPnL&ref=plSrch. See this old post Good options for small-scale cider press?. For the harder stuff here is the basics http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/fermenting/how-to-make-hard-cider-zmaz07onzgoe.aspx. Many recipes have you add water so what you can do if your fruit pulp coming from your juicer is not dry add that water to the pulp. I make sweet cider in most cases but if I wanted to I would ferment pulp and water into alcohol using a strong yeast such as champagne with some sugar or honey. That’s more of an apple wine or mead with apple flavor than hard cider but it’s very efficient. I do the same trick with wild cherries , rather than separate the juice I ferment with pulp in because it’s easier and then I strain out the pulp after the initial fermentation. Juicers like The one in my link can’t handle seeds and pits such as grapes and cherries. Those juicers do great with apples, carrots and things like that. They do pears but not well because pears are mostly thick pulp not juice like an apple. If your apples are not sweet enough use the pears as a sweetener when making sweet cider. I use a steam juicer for cherries and grapes. The best sweet ciders in my opinion are about 20% pear juice. Maybe it’s just that I have more pears than apples but I believe the two fruits compliment each other. Add Aronia’s 40:1 and it taste reminiscent of grape juice. Aronia’s are easy to raise and bump the orac content of apples and pears significantly.


#12

Pressed about 3/4 bushel of red fleshed apples a couple days ago and got just about 2 1/2 gallons of cider.


#13

Had a question for folks who use one of those fast spinning grinder/juicers (like Clark uses). We have one, and it seems to work well enough but it produces a lot of foam along with the cider. And this foam is very stable as foam, it does not “melt” back into liquid if you leave it sit.

Just curious if others have this problem, and if there are any tricks to reducing the amount of foam that gets produced.


#14

Steve I get tons of that foam. When I ate oatmeal I mixed the foam with my oatmeal as a sweetener and added cinnamon and it was wonderful! The pulp coming out of my juicer was mostly dry and fairly efficient.


#15

Chris,
I can’t wait to eat a Hartman red fleshed apple! Looking forward to red cider!


#16

I hope you are not disappointed with the apple. To me it taste like an apple but no “wow” to it. The main thing is it is sweet unlike what most red fleshed apples are described as. It also seems to be highly disease resistant . The red fleshed apples I made the cider out of were the new one I found a few days ago. Another good apple that I plan on taking further but it is a sweet/tart apple that made fresh cider with a little bite to it . I mixed it with a sweeter batch I made.


#17

They will be great! For me apples are multipurpose. Cider apples are great and sweet apples are great. I’m growing a couple of wickson for sweet cider now and they look like they will be in production in the next 1-3 years. The red apples I few as extra healthy and I can blend them to taste how I want them to.


#18

Greetings:

I built a cider press years ago when I was in High school. Hooray for wood shop class!. We pressed a lot of cider on it over the years. The press was fine but the grinder was manually operated. We averaged about 2-2.5 gallons of cider per bushel.

Later when making cider on a commercial scale (250 gallons a week), I noticed two tips to increase production. First, always squeeze warm apples not cold ones. Apples that are at room temperature will give more juice than those pressed cold from the cold storage room.

The second issue is the grinder. A commercial hammer mill will grind up the apples so fine that they are almost like applesauce when they feed into the press. A manual home grinder just doesn’t grind find enough to extract the same amount of cider per bushel. If I recall correctly we got 3-3.5 gallons of cider per
bushel squeezing commercially. It does depend a bit on the varieties used and how dry or juicy they are as well.


#19

From the research I’ve done, this looks like a top notch apple grinder. Though it sure is expensive.


#20

Yes! I’m glad these exist. I know I can build a press, but I am saving my money for one of these guys. When high-velocity moving parts start to enter into the build design, my Civil Engineer brain starts to explode.