2021 Apple Harvest Cider Thread

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Moonraker

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I see you've got exactly the same press as me, do you find that the holes get clogged with the pomace? Mine gets to a certain point when as I increase the pressure there is a squelchy popping noise and pellets of pomace are fired out with a spurt of apple juice in random directions. I now line the cylinder with a fine mesh straining bag, but still get the occasional juice geyser spurting out. :^)
 

MattH1973

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Yes I think I do need to invest in something else for next year, the manual scratter and press have been fun to use and do work, but.......takes so much time, even for 20-30kg, as you have to chop all the apples first before you can scrat them. I'll likely invest in a Fruit Shark or Speidel next year and couple it with either a rack and cloth press or hydro, not decided yet.

Did you sulphite your au naturels to a certain degree (dependant on pH) to reduce the nasties and allow the natural yeasts to take over? Or did you leave the completely au natural to do their thing? I've decent results historically doing this in Exeter, but bad results here in Jersey the last two years going with a natural ferment, hence pitching with the MJ cider yeast this year, which is smelling good and bubbling away nicely after around 12hrs or so.
My au naturel has nothing added at all - Freester convinced me to try it this way - it comes out pretty well. The pH of my apples is quite acidic, and the love brewing guide recommends adding precipated chalk to take the edge off - with my yeast batches i do this along with camden and pectolase, but my au naturel is exactly that......

I think i am lucky that my apples are very acidic and with lots of sugar.
 

MattH1973

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I see you've got exactly the same press as me, do you find that the holes get clogged with the pomace? Mine gets to a certain point when as I increase the pressure there is a squelchy popping noise and pellets of pomace are fired out with a spurt of apple juice in random directions. I now line the cylinder with a fine mesh straining bag, but still get the occasional juice geyser spurting out. :^)
Yes - the utility room does get rather pebble dashed with flying pomace, but it has no other use so i can live with that. It's easy enough to hose down the mesh at the end. It's a good press that I am very happy with.
 

benludo

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My neighbour and I last year started Cider from local apples and he as a smallholder had access to Scratter and press, made 200 plus litres and majority was drinkable, some we let get to far as life impinged. A collection of 330 ml bottles and 2 let plastic. Primed and left to mature kept us going till this year.
We purchased a new scratter and press for future fun. See pictures. This electric scratter just laughs at about 100kg an hour and the cloth press is magical, all the pomace ends up dry, and infact this time we resisted the pomace rescratted and pressed again getting second pressing of around 1.020 first press was 1.045 . Records show we were early so going for a second collection in about 3 weeks.
 

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Metman79

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My neighbour and I last year started Cider from local apples and he as a smallholder had access to Scratter and press, made 200 plus litres and majority was drinkable, some we let get to far as life impinged. A collection of 330 ml bottles and 2 let plastic. Primed and left to mature kept us going till this year.
We purchased a new scratter and press for future fun. See pictures. This electric scratter just laughs at about 100kg an hour and the cloth press is magical, all the pomace ends up dry, and infact this time we resisted the pomace rescratted and pressed again getting second pressing of around 1.020 first press was 1.045 . Records show we were early so going for a second collection in about 3 weeks.
That's scratting made so easy!! Again jealous of the se-up and will have to invest for next year. Round two for us in two weeks or so once we get the majority of the apples off our tree and another batch from some friends. Fingers crossed ours gets into the 1.050+ category this time.
 

Metman79

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I've started making cider now, I'm based in Kent. I collect from neighbours' trees who don't use them, some wild ones going and still gonna collect from a farmer who doesn't use his orchard. definitely less apples than last year, but last year was a great year for apples in the UK and apple trees do tend to be biennial. So far I have close to 50 litres and will be picking more.

I'm thinking of doing half with wine yeast and half with the natural yeasts. Was wondering if the WLP and Wyeast cider yeast strains are just sacc or do they contain the mix of bugs with a "wild" cider ferment.

I need a new press. I'd like a rack and cloth one as they are more efficient than a basket one but they're expensive and I'm not good at building things. My current one is a basket press, the base snapped in half.
The last two years that I've used natural yeasts the Kloeckera wild yeast has dominated too much and resultant cider was not good. This year as mentioned I've sulphited and then used a cider yeast. Depending on how much I get in October's gathering I may do half without sulphite but adding the cider yeats and the other half, as Andrew Lea suggests, part-sulphiting to omit most of the Kloeckera and then hope that there's enough natural Saccharomyces in there to multiply and survive. I'm not sure if commercial yeasts can be supplied as a mixture of the two.

Same feeling on the press, after this year I'm not fussed about using the basket press again and would love to make my own, but we'll see if I get around to it before next year.

Good luck!!

Goo
 

benludo

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That's scratting made so easy!! Again jealous of the se-up and will have to invest for next year. Round two for us in two weeks or so once we get the majority of the apples off our tree and another batch from some friends. Fingers crossed ours gets into the 1.050+ category this time.
Where are you based? Some villages in our district of Shropshire have invested in similar set ups for the community.
 

Metman79

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Where are you based? Some villages in our district of Shropshire have invested in similar set ups for the community.
Jersey....not much chance of that, a few commercial operators around here otherwise the old school orchards do it the old fashioned way, with a horse and stone trough!! :D
 

jceg316

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The last two years that I've used natural yeasts the Kloeckera wild yeast has dominated too much and resultant cider was not good. This year as mentioned I've sulphited and then used a cider yeast. Depending on how much I get in October's gathering I may do half without sulphite but adding the cider yeats and the other half, as Andrew Lea suggests, part-sulphiting to omit most of the Kloeckera and then hope that there's enough natural Saccharomyces in there to multiply and survive. I'm not sure if commercial yeasts can be supplied as a mixture of the two.

Same feeling on the press, after this year I'm not fussed about using the basket press again and would love to make my own, but we'll see if I get around to it before next year.

Good luck!!

Goo
Ah yeah should have mentioned I sulphate all my cider. For the ones where I add yeast I've added it 24 hours later.

There's quite a decent krausen on the non yeasted batch after ~1 week, I was expecting it take longer.
 

The magistrate

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Hardly any apples on my garden tree or the other trees I collect from. I'm making turbo cider this year.Hope yours turns out ok @MattH1973 .
We had a tree-mendous crop last year but hardly anything at all this year. Just barrelled 5 gals from last years' harvest which is tasting v good. T'other half puts them in freezer bags which I then purloin. Freezing kills any nasties and removes the need for further pulping and squeezing.
 

Metman79

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Sorry Magistrate, rubbish news. We finished the 2nd lot on Saturday the day before we went on holiday. Managed an additional 6-7 gallons on top of the 3 gallons we made from early windfall. A couple of potential issues....we could only wait 20hrs after sulphite addition before adding the yeast as we had a ferry to catch. We also only has 1 packet of Mangrove Jacks cider yeast left, strictly speaking for a 5 gallon batch. Fingers crossed that it's all bubbling away when we get back on Friday.
 

MattH1973

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Bottled the first 15 litres (the yeast batches) yesterday. The 9% had fermented very very dry and the 7% almost as much. The DJs had almost totally cleared and the hydrometer samples tasted really smooth. Nice results from a small yield, well worth doing.
20211028_184630 by MattH3764, on Flickr

20211028_184632 by MattH3764, on Flickr
 

Metman79

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How is it looking @Metman79 , Everything ok?
All good in the end thanks, came back yesterday to a solid bubbling from the Speidel and a great fresh apple smell in the downstairs loo..... which is where it's fermenting as it's the coolest place in the house.
 

An Ankoù

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I've managed 20+ litres this year and it's hard work with a hand-driven scratter. I wouldn't mind getting on like the one shown in the OP. Can anyone recommend a good brand and model. I've heard of Vigo, but nothing else. Probably got enough apples for around 100 litres of juice.
I've got a pile of late apples to do over the next few days, if I can be arsed to put on my hobnail boots and tread them.
 

An Ankoù

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My neighbour and I last year started Cider from local apples and he as a smallholder had access to Scratter and press, made 200 plus litres and majority was drinkable, some we let get to far as life impinged. A collection of 330 ml bottles and 2 let plastic. Primed and left to mature kept us going till this year.
We purchased a new scratter and press for future fun. See pictures. This electric scratter just laughs at about 100kg an hour and the cloth press is magical, all the pomace ends up dry, and infact this time we resisted the pomace rescratted and pressed again getting second pressing of around 1.020 first press was 1.045 . Records show we were early so going for a second collection in about 3 weeks.
Hi @benludo,
I can't open those files. Any chance of any still pics or a link to an online supplier, or even just a brand and model name, I'm definitely going to upgrade my hand-driven kit ready for the next season.
Thanks in advance.
 

Metman79

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I've managed 20+ litres this year and it's hard work with a hand-driven scratter. I wouldn't mind getting on like the one shown in the OP. Can anyone recommend a good brand and model. I've heard of Vigo, but nothing else. Probably got enough apples for around 100 litres of juice.
I've got a pile of late apples to do over the next few days, if I can be arsed to put on my hobnail boots and tread them.
Good work, my second larger batch came out of 1.048 OG, but yep agreed it's a proper 1/2 days work to get through it. Speidel also do a good fruit mill but not used it myself. Either way will invest in the Speidel or Fruit Shark next year I think as it'll remove about 3+hrs of work as we'll not need to chop and quarter first followed by hand scrattng.
 
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