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Freester's Post Lockdown 2020 Cider Thread

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freester

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Pressed this lot today. Slight overestimate came to about 70 litres so about 65 litres to ferment once I'd had a bit of juice! 22 litres I treated with camdens, pectolase nutrient and yeast (Mango Jacks Cider Yeast). Schoolboy error pitched the yeast today should have waited until tomorrow really. Ahh well let's see what occurs.

The left over scrat was donated to a local farm shop who has some pigs. One thing which made a real difference was a net with a drawstring on the press, and another net over the vessel collecting the juice.





 

freester

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What make and capacity is your press? (I have been promised a new one for Xmas....)
It's a 20l Stainless from Love Brewing. I believe Matt has one as well?

I reckon you get 5l each full press. I'd have gone bigger if I was doing it all again now
 

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Nice work freester, yes I have the same press and am very happy with it. It's nice qaulity, 100% stainless reduces the contamination risk and makes it easy to clean. I had wondered about nets though, as I do seem to get little apple chunks in my cider.....

I don't think it's too small as emptying the pomace only takes a few mins between presses. What is interesting though, is that I get more like 8-12 litres per press. This difference may be the apples, or perhaps the Selections scratter I have, which made my yields go up a lot. Maybe time to invest, freester ?

And well done for donating the pomace. Every year I mean to do that and then get lazy.....
 

freester

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I don't think it's too small as emptying the pomace only takes a few mins between presses. What is interesting though, is that I get more like 8-12 litres per press. This difference may be the apples, or perhaps the Selections scratter I have, which made my yields go up a lot. Maybe time to invest, freester ?
I think it's the apples. Sometimes the juice is running under it's own weight, not with the apples from this orchard.

It took a bit to get my customised garden shredder going this year. A bit of TLC. I'm sure the Apple Juice is wrecking it. Every year I say one more year. Selections or Speidel scratter. 🤔 Mmmm ?

PS forgot to mention the OG. The vessels were at 1.046, 1.048 and 1.050 so will come in at 6-6.5% just right I reckon. athumb..
 

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Came home checked out the FV I added yeast to. The lid was already bowing upwards I suspect it had begun to ferment but I threw another sachet of Mangrove Jack yeast in just in case 👍
 

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Checked in to the garage last night the FV with the added yeast is going like a train already. No action from the Trad but I wouldn't expect anything for a week or two yet athumb..
 

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Checked in to the garage. I think the yeast added batch may have finished will check with a hydrometer this weekend. One of the trads is going like a train the other more slowly. May go and scrump some more apples this weekend 🤔
 

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Busy Cider making day today. Went and gathered this lot with my son this morning. Child labour isn't free anymore this will cost me a few minecraft gold tokens! I'll get on and press this lot next weekend estimate 100L maybe...





A mix of what I suspect are small cider apples (bitter sharps) and some lovely eaters different varieties.

Then into the cider garage to rack off my first 2020 FV which I added yeast etc to. 21L in total I had to top it up with some 2019 trad so suspect this might not clear as much as I hoped as the 2019 was pretty cloudy. Ahh well no worries! It had only fermented down to 1.003 so around 5.5% but I'll measure it again before I bottle.

 

freester

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Press 2 today. A good day ticked away me scratting my 9 yr old son doing (most) of the pressing. 4x 30L FVs pretty much brimmed. 2 bins onto Campdens and Pectolase added. Will pitch nutrient and yeast tomorrow. The other 2 trad. All between 1.044 and 1.048 so not as strong as some years but 5.5-6.5% potential strong enough!

My setup:



Interesting to see how the trad oxidises brown but the juice on Campdens stays a lot paler:


Job nearly jobbed:


These apples were a lot more juicy - averaging far closer to 7L a press compared to 5 for my previous batch!
 

Shirley Bassett

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Freester,

How long does it take to press the juice out of each press loading?

I’ve got a press that uses a bottle jack and boards with intervening muslin wrapped cheeses of apple scrat, but it takes ages to load and unload, and I’m looking to speed up my cider production.
 

freester

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Freester,

How long does it take to press the juice out of each press loading?

I’ve got a press that uses a bottle jack and boards with intervening muslin wrapped cheeses of apple scrat, but it takes ages to load and unload, and I’m looking to speed up my cider production.
That's a good question that I don't have an exact answer to. What I did work out this weekend Was it took approximately an hour to fill each FV - 25-30 litres. I had around 7L a press so that works out something like 10-15 mins a press. Load, press, unscrew, bag the waste apples.

There are a few variables. How much juice you get each press this is dependent on the apples and how juicy they are, and also how focussed my 9 year old son is !!!-He also needs a bit of a hand to squeeze the last juice out, and load / unload the press. But will screw the press down while I am washing / scratting.

I think two people is the way to go - one washing / scratting, the other pressing.
 

Shirley Bassett

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As you know, the scratting side of the process is the quickest part, and I’m happy with my current set up.

However, I currently get about 10 litres an hour from the press. Even single handed your press seems quicker.

Does the juice flow through the sides, or exit the press via the bottom?

I’ve got a pub beer barrel with one end ground off, and I’m toying with the idea of scratting directly into it using a “delicates washing bag”as a lining, and then pressing this using the bottle jack. In this system the juice would exit the barrel at the bottom via the tap hole, which could be piped to the fermenting vessel.

By the way, the only potential free labour I can muster is the better half, but her contribution normally only involves tipping, sorry sipping it down her neck.
 

freester

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As you know, the scratting side of the process is the quickest part, and I’m happy with my current set up.

However, I currently get about 10 litres an hour from the press. Even single handed your press seems quicker.

Does the juice flow through the sides, or exit the press via the bottom?

I’ve got a pub beer barrel with one end ground off, and I’m toying with the idea of scratting directly into it using a “delicates washing bag”as a lining, and then pressing this using the bottle jack. In this system the juice would exit the barrel at the bottom via the tap hole, which could be piped to the fermenting vessel.

By the way, the only potential free labour I can muster is the better half, but her contribution normally only involves tipping, sorry sipping it down her neck.
10L an hour seems a little slow / intensive.

The juice falls through the side of the press. There are some pics above you can see where you load the pulp into a holey metal tube. Maybe that's the trick with your barrel is to drill some holes in the side?
 

freester

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Yes I pitch nutrient with the FVs I campden and add yeast to.

I'm down in deepest Dorset.
 

Shirley Bassett

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I used the modified beer barrel and made the cheese in the middle from a hessian sack. I got two presses done in 15 minutes and got around 15 litres. Definitely the way to go.
 
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