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Old 26-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
bbslaw
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Default Micro batch of cider

We were given a carrier bag full of apples from the in-laws and they're not eaters and there's too many to cook with, so I was thinking of trying to make cider. But this will be a micro, tiny, wee batch. So I don't want to buy any new equipment.

Was thinking of scratting them in the kitchen blender. Will this kill it, or should it be OK for a few small batches?

Then pressing - I don't have a jack or any way to knock up a pressing frame, so was just thinking of wrapping the pulp in a muslin and then squeezing it between two biscuit boxes (family circle plastic types) - bottom one with a small hole in it to let the juice out, top one weighed down with dumbells or tin cans or anything else I can find. Do you think this will work, or will I need much more pressure to get the juice out?

If I get juice out, I was then planning to add a campden tablet, then cider yeast, rack off after fermentation, mature and bottle.

Is this all too simple? Please bear in mind it's not worth me getting too involved for such a small amount of apples, but if I can get a few litres of drinkable cider in the spring, I'll be very happy.
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Old 26-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

I live just down the road from you - I have a press you can use at my house.

If you feel so inclined I would accept a gift of 5 new air-traps (50p each) to help me with my brewing free beer for the disabled.

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New Brewer Year Target=350 litres (Sept-Sept Total so far=40 ltrs : Vinegar=18 ltrs)
On the go:
Pear 4ltrs - 1st racking
Plum ~20 ltrs - fv - took no recipe notes, damn!
WOW Blackcurrant 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Elderberry 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Pear#2 DJ -fv 26/09/13
Rhubarb PET - fv 25/09/13
Plum Medley PB FV 28/09/13
Done:
Black Cherry 18ltrs Vinegar - Bad Working Practice
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Old 26-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

A bucket and a lump of wood would be better than your blender just mash 'em up.

How about a press you can stand on? Put the mushed up apples in an old pillowcase between 2 sheets of ply or planks with a few holes in the bottom one, all stood in a tray to catch the juice. Don't know about you but I know I'm a lot heavier than any weights/cans - I don't think you'll get enough pressure from a few heavy things
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Old 26-09-2013, 02:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

Don't know if you have a Juicer, but this is an option and one that is making me consider getting one....

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/p ... the-future
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Old 26-09-2013, 04:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

Do you know what juicer that is, and how much it might cost, please?
I did look but there's no such details within the link/website.
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Many thanks for your time to read and reply,
Kevin
=====
New Brewer Year Target=350 litres (Sept-Sept Total so far=40 ltrs : Vinegar=18 ltrs)
On the go:
Pear 4ltrs - 1st racking
Plum ~20 ltrs - fv - took no recipe notes, damn!
WOW Blackcurrant 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Elderberry 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Pear#2 DJ -fv 26/09/13
Rhubarb PET - fv 25/09/13
Plum Medley PB FV 28/09/13
Done:
Black Cherry 18ltrs Vinegar - Bad Working Practice
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Old 26-09-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

From watching the youtube video they are Breville, not sure which model though. Any juicer would do, just dont run the motor for more than three minutes without 5 minutes to cool down, or you might overheat the motor.

I keep seeing these guys, they've gone viral. America, New Zealand and on the East Midlands news!
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Old 26-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

Yes, I hadn't thought of that, thanks. I'm guessing it'll be no good for the amount of work I'd put one through. Thanks for your time to reply.
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Many thanks for your time to read and reply,
Kevin
=====
New Brewer Year Target=350 litres (Sept-Sept Total so far=40 ltrs : Vinegar=18 ltrs)
On the go:
Pear 4ltrs - 1st racking
Plum ~20 ltrs - fv - took no recipe notes, damn!
WOW Blackcurrant 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Elderberry 4 ltrs - fv 25/09/13
Pear#2 DJ -fv 26/09/13
Rhubarb PET - fv 25/09/13
Plum Medley PB FV 28/09/13
Done:
Black Cherry 18ltrs Vinegar - Bad Working Practice
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Old 27-09-2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

Thanks for your suggestions; I'll see how I get on.
Thanks for your kind offer Kevin, but I'd like to try and 'do it myself'
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Old 29-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

So it's all done. Took most of the day, but 9kg of apples whizzed in the kitchen blender, then pressed in a muslin bag between chopping boards on a tray yielded around 5l of juice. Added a stewed cup of tea for tannin. OG was only 1.034 so added 250g of brewer's sugar in 500ml of boiling water to take it up to 1.045. I added sodium metabisulphate - 10ml of a solution containing 1tsp in 100ml and will leave it for 48 hours before pitching yeast. I've got white wine yeast and ale yeast (both Young's from the hardware shop) to choose from - was thinking of using the white wine yeast. Any thoughts?
I reckon the yield was pretty poor and I could probably have got loads more juice out, but I'm quite happy overall - if this works well I'll buy a proper scratter and press next year and go large!
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Micro batch of cider - advice on scratting and pressing

Rehydrated and pitched the wine yeast today. The juice is an 'interesting' cloudy orange, but smelt appley, so it should be OK. Fingers crossed now...
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