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Old 20-08-2017, 06:36 PM   #1
freester
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Default My 2017 Cider Thread

Well I had planned a small press and brew day today. Neighbour said a few apples were falling from their trees. I thought it was a bit early but headed round to pick them up and give the trees a shake and take any fallers. Wasn't expecting enough apples to give me more than 5L of juice but came away with this lot!



I reckon there could be up to 50L of juice there. Didn't have time to process that many apples today so I'll be busy next Bank Holiday weekend... I'll keep updating this thread.

BTW the red apples are an unknown eater variety. The green ones are (we think) an unknown cider variety.
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Old 26-08-2017, 09:18 AM   #2
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So yesterday I had my first apple day. During the week I had 'scavenged' a similar amount of cider apples from another location.

The processing line was setup in the garden. Garden shredder as a scratter and a 20l press. The fermentation vessels, pulp and juice buckets were soaked in some VWP solution then rinsed.



The shredder had a safety device on the top which meant we had to quarter the apples before scratting. This took aaaages and we took over two hours to fill the first 25l bin. I realised this was killing us timewise so decided to remove the 'safety hopper'...

Safety device on.


Then removed


I gave myself a stern H&S briefing and told myself to not attempt to unblock any stuck apples without turning the blade off . Then I cracked on juicing.

This made a world of difference and I was able to scrat and press the next 25l bin in under an hour by myself.

So I finished all the apples. I ended up with just under 80l of juice...



I added campdens to the fermenting bins before I poured the juice in. The gallon demi john is going to be an 'au naturel' brew experiment. No campdens I've added an airlock and I am going to let nature take it's course with this one.

Last night I tested PH (around 3.6). Added pectolase and tested the gravity.

One of the bins ended up with juice from mainly all the cider apples (more by luck than judgement). Interestingly this juice tasted a lot more tart than the other two which had a better mix of eaters and cider. But the hydrometer shows it has more sugar.

So one bin @ 1048 (cider apples) the other two around 1042.

Plan for later today is to add nutrient, pitch yeast and let it work its magic.

I think I'll add the same yeast (Love Brewing standard cider / champagne) to the cider apple bin and one of the others - this is the yeast I used last year so a good control / non variable. Then I've got a choice of 3 for the last bin. Mangrove Jack M02 Cider, Harris Premium Cider Yeast, or Youngs Cider Yeast. Any votes?

What I learned today.

I'm knackered!

Chopping apples more than doubles the time to make the same amount of juice.

Apple pulp gets everywhere.

The dried pulp weighs a ton (it ended up in my garden waste bin).

Forgot that this time of year the Wasps would be a PITA. I fished a few out of the juice but I hope if I missed any it won't affect the juice.

The aftermath before clean up...

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Old 27-08-2017, 04:35 PM   #3
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Well the 'au naturel' has frothed a bit and a slow but steady flow of bubbles through the airlock...



I can see a bit of froth looking at the side of the bins but no obvious action yet. No rush I guess these are essentially 24 hours behind the au naturel.
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Old 28-08-2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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Well one of the bins (brand new one) seems to be quite airtight and a slow but steady bubbling through the air lock.

The other two bins I used last year and I don't think were so airtight. Although I could hear the contents fermenting last year they never really bubbled through the airlock. They show a bit of pressure differential on the airlock but no bubbling. Hopefully they'll start making a bit of a noise later today!
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Old 29-08-2017, 07:54 AM   #5
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Wow what a great setup, will be following with interest !

Fine work so far matey

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Old 29-08-2017, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roddy View Post
Wow what a great setup, will be following with interest !

Fine work so far matey

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Thank you Roddy.

Judging by the complaints about the smell in the garage from Mrs F and Freester Jr I think fermentation has well and truly started...

I went for the Harris Premium Cider Yeast in the final bucket because Freester Jr liked the label on the sachet the best!

Now I've had time to recover I'm contemplating gathering some more apples and having another scrat / press day soon.

I'm also thinking ahead. After fermentation this batch will need racking off the lees. Last year I had a carboy and a couple of demijohns. I don't think this will be enough this year. I might just transfer into a couple more fermenting buckets. But I'll see.
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Old 31-08-2017, 09:28 AM   #7
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Well the bucket I added the the Harris cider yeast to is going like a train. The 'au naturel' is bubbling slowly.

The other two buckets are fermenting but a lot more slowly. The temperature dipped below 20 in the garage over the last few days. I think the next ferment may need to come indoors...

I put an advert in my local village newsletter asking for unwanted apples. The newsletter went out today and I've already had one call from a gentleman who has 3 apples trees and 1 pear tree (mmmm perrry).
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:40 PM   #8
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Not a bad haul in the miserable weather yesterday. Some pears and some cider apples. Thinking about another press this weekend.




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Old 08-09-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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So after 2 weeks, two of the bins are down to 1002 and the other 1004. Check again tomorrow with a view to racking off this weekend.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:10 PM   #10
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Well another press today. 70l of apple juice into fermenting bins. One demi john of pear juice. 12l of apple juice into milk cartons to be distributed as juice to people who let me take their apples. And I topped up my 'au naturel' demi john just under the collar with some fresh juice. This has started bubbling away again already!

I'm knackered. It's hard work at this scale. 2 people speeds the process up considerably.

I've run out of pectolase and need a few other bits. One the plus side I've now got 150l in the garage. I think I'm at capacity. I'd love to do one more press but I'll wait until the end of the month or even into October.
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