Apple juice extraction efficiency, & methods.

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Appleyard

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Years ago, I used to squish apples, laboriously, with a 6x6 baulk of oak. This for fermenting on pulp, for CJJB's apple wine. Hard work, apples not pressed.

My dad had one of those blade-in-a-bucket things, driven by an electric drill, the choppings then being pressed. From the little I saw of it, it was inefficient in terms of extraction.

I have watched a Youtube video of one of those green things (you know the sort) which you turn by hand. It too seems to produce a rather coarse pulp for pressing, so probably not very efficient. 50:50, at a guess? Anyone?

A couple of years ago, I purchased a used kitchen sink, with waste disposal unit attached. This is excellent, producing puree which goes into a filter bag in an 18L press. I sit the sink on a couple of sawing horses, and run the output into the press. Juice runs out before pressure is applied, and I reckon there's about 4:1 juice:residual pulp, or better, depending on the apples..

The waste disposal unit overheats if used continuously, so I tend to chop/debug a sinkful of apples, then feed those through, let it cool while I cut more apples, repeat, repeat... I might couple it to a separate electric motor, as others have done.

What is your experience with extraction efficiency?

Also, have you added a separate electric motor to a waste disposal unit? How? I was thinking "electric lawn-mower induction motor".

Do you care about oogly dooglies in the apples adding their own juice to your brew?
 

freester

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I agree the 'quality' of the pulp certainly contributes to the amount of juice extracted. The variety and ripeness of the apples contributes so it's not always a level comparison.

I've heard waste disposal units work well. I use a an old garden shredder to scrat.

Oogly dooglies? I assume you mean the odd bug? I don't worry about them at all. The volume of bug juice to apple juice is miniscule. The cider fermentation bin is very acidic nothing is going to remain and all of my juice goes through 2 muslin filter bags before it ends up in the FV so definitely no insect parts remain!
 

Appleyard

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Oh, a garden shredder! Any particular sort (chopping blades, crushing gears...)? I have heard of these being used, but have no information on how, or what the pulp looks like. Have you a picture? That would be good!

Yes, "oogly dooglies" are (exspecially) codling moth larvae, but also others. It's not the quantity of juice and frass that's the problem, it's the thought that counts! I tend to remove damaged bits when cutting apples before pulping (they go through much better when cut, too).

Re ripeness, yes. I made the mistake of picking rather too early, so the juice was rather ;less in volume than it could have beem, and not so sugary. Next year I will not be so hasty. There were still a few apples clinging to the trees even last week! However, these tend to have gone a bit "sad" inside. Crab apples are not prolific juice givers, and tend to be harder than nice big juicy apples! They overheat my waste disposal quicker, also probably because I don't cut them up, they tend not to have many ooglies in them.
 

freester

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There are a few pics of my shredder the first time I used it in my 2017 Cider Thread. I got the shredder 2nd hand from my Father in Law. The scrat is quite fine and if the apples are juicy enough will usually run under it's own weight before I press. Picture of the scrat before pressing here:



Harvest is a game of nerve. The longer you leave it the riper, more sugary and juicy the apples. But the more you lose. That said most cider apples are ready for harvest much later in the autumn and as they are smaller / harder happily stay on the ground for weeks.
 

Appleyard

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That looks like one o' they there stainless presses, cor! The pulp's a little coarser than the waste disposal grind, which looks like this:
 

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freester

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Yes it one of those stainless ones. A treat to me a few years back but if I was doing it again I'd probably go a bit bigger than 20L.

For sure your scrat looks almost like a pulp.
 

Appleyard

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That's also quite an interesting 2017 cider thread, and it has encouraged me to go out on the rampage, looking for apples, next year! Blossom spotting appears to be a good start.
 

freester

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I live in quite a rural area. There is a newsletter that goes around 3 or 4 villages in the locality. I put a 'wanted - apples' advert in the newsletter in the September of that year. My phone didn't stop ringing for a week! But I identified 2 or 3 good orchards where I could take as many apples as I could manage that had good varieties that made a nice cider.
 

Stuart Wilson

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A few years ago I splashed out and bought a proper power scatter. Before that I used a food processor, and preparing a batch of cider took all day.....8 in the morning until 5 at night. My juice extraction efficiency was about 45% by weight. With the scratter the whole process takes a couple of hours....it can apparently pull 600 lb per hour. Extraction efficiency now about 65%. Expensive...but pleased I got it. The thought of quartering every apple and feeding them though food processor about 6 at a time was putting me off cider making.
 

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Appleyard

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Here's a thread I posted a while ago showing the apple mulcher I purchased a couple of seasons back. Includes video.
Here's a little clip of feeding apples through the waste disposal. They'd go through a lot faster if the rubber splash guard was removed from the plug 'ole, which I shall do next time, and a proper shover would be good. This was though just filmed to show roughly what goes in and what comes out, apples can be stuffed through a lot faster if you're not faffing about.


Couldn't upload video, was too big!
 
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landcare

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I use a garden shredder (Al-Ko) blade type. Purchased secondhand, cleaned, painted and kept just for apple scratting. The pulp is the same as in Freester's photo, I get an average 50% efficiency using a home made screw press. After 4 -5 seasons of processing 500kg apples/year the juice got into the motor bearings so I purchased another cheap s/h machine for a donor motor.
 

Appleyard

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The reason I want to keep on with the waste disposal unit is its great efficiency. I've only got two apple trees, and they've taken it into their pips to be productive only on alternate years, and not both at the same time, so I have to go out looking for apples. There's a book available from the USA about a "whizzbang" pulper, but it can't be very specific, and I reckon I can do it anyway. I need a suitable motor, though, probably around 1,800 RPM, 1kW or thereabouts. I'll have to find out what RPM the waste disposal does spin at, it might not do to drive it too fast, or too slowly.
 

jof

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Higher yields in alternate years is quite common for some types of apple trees.
I did my cider the slow way with a food processor & fermenting on the pulp for a few days before squeezing out the juice.
I'm not expecting apple wine though, as I didn't put in any additional sugar
 

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