My 2017 Cider Thread

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Brewdays!' started by freester, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Aug 20, 2017 #1

    freester

    freester

    freester

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    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!

    [​IMG]

    I reckon there could be up to 50L of juice there. :mrgreen: 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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  2. Aug 26, 2017 #2

    freester

    freester

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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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    [​IMG]

    Then removed
    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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...

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Aug 27, 2017 #3

    freester

    freester

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    Well the 'au naturel' has frothed a bit and a slow but steady flow of bubbles through the airlock...

    [​IMG]

    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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  4. Aug 28, 2017 #4

    freester

    freester

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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!
     
  5. Aug 29, 2017 #5

    Roddy

    Roddy

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    Wow what a great setup, will be following with interest !

    Fine work so far matey

    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
     
  6. Aug 29, 2017 #6

    freester

    freester

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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.
     
  7. Aug 31, 2017 #7

    freester

    freester

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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).
     
  8. Sep 4, 2017 #8

    freester

    freester

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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.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Sep 8, 2017 #9

    freester

    freester

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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.
     
  10. Sep 9, 2017 #10

    freester

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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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  11. Sep 11, 2017 #11

    Deltabrew

    Deltabrew

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    It sounds like it's coming on really well!
    I've never used air locks on buckets, if it doesn't leak around the rim I just unclip it a bit to let the gas out, works fine.
    What kind of press is that? I haven't seen one of those before.
    Regarding what to do with your leftover pulp, see if there is anyone nearby with some pigs and give it to them they love it. I always take mine to the local pig keeper and he gets me a leg of lamb or two in exchange! You're probably wondering why not some pork, apparently his wife gave them all names, they got attached and now they are kept as pets :doh:
     
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  12. Sep 11, 2017 #12

    freester

    freester

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    Another busy afternoon yesterday.

    I racked off the initial fermenting bins. So I've got approximate 64l settling / conditioning (interesting how inaccurate the markings are on the fermenting bins I thought I had nearer 70l).

    I pitched nutrient and yeast into this weekend's press. Tried a different make of yeast in each bin... Love Brewing Champagne, Mangrove Jack M02 Cider, and Youngs Cider Yeast.

    I also pitched yeast into the Pear Juice Demi john. This was a 1800 last night. It's frothing through the airlock this AM. Time to construct a ChippyTea Blow Off Valve â„¢ (http://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=48970) this evening me thinks.

    [​IMG]

    Thank you!

    Yeh I was sort of aware I could do that but all the buckets I've ever scrounged / borrowed / bought have had a hole / grommet for an air lock in the lid.

    I got it from Love Brewing. It's an all stainless cross beam - 20l capacity. It's got a badge on it suggesting it was made in Italy.

    Interestingly someone in the pub mentioned they know someone with pigs last night. So I'm going to investigate this option next time!
     
  13. Sep 11, 2017 #13

    britton

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    Are those air locks on the demijohns on the bottom left?
     
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  14. Sep 11, 2017 #14

    freester

    freester

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    No - they are 'safety stoppers'. DJ stoppers that allow the DJ to vent...
     
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  15. Sep 12, 2017 #15

    britton

    britton

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    ooo i like the sound of those...
     
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  16. Sep 12, 2017 #16

    Deltabrew

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    Thanks for the info on the press, I had a good half hour looking at the 'Love Brewing' sites various presses! They've got a big selection on there, i've never seen the water filled bladder type before either.
    Do you use a filter bag with yours?
     
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  17. Sep 12, 2017 #17

    TheSalad

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    Also following with interest. Great work freester.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
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  18. Sep 13, 2017 #18

    freester

    freester

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    No problem!

    Yes I do use a straining bag. I'm not sure it's 100% necessary with this type of press. But if anything it helps take the dry pomace out once you've pressed.

    It seems a nice well made thing. My one little complaint is the holder for the pulp is a little narrow. So when you pour the pulp in some can end on the juice tray if you're not careful. A few bits ended up in my first batch. Most recently when I poured the pressed juice into the FV I poured it through a second strainer bag to catch any bits that might have escaped!

    Thank you!

    It's all bubbling away nicely in the garage. Temp is around 12-15 deg C (night-day).

    I'm planning one more collect / press late Sept / early Oct. Focussing mainly on Cider apples which are ready later in the season it seems.

    I may do a press this weekend for a friend. He runs a catering business and cafe and has a big Cox apple tree in his garden. This will be for freshly pressed apple juice for his business...
     
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  19. Sep 18, 2017 #19

    MattH1973

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    this is awesome...... 150l

    what make of garden shredder is that ?
     
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  20. Sep 18, 2017 #20

    freester

    freester

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    A slight overestimate - the markings on the FVs are a little inaccurate. I reckon there is about 140l. I'm definitely going to do one more press. I think I'll be at max capacity with regards to conditioning and bottling then at around 200l!

    I'm away from home for a few days will get back to you at the end of the week. It's an old one my Father in Law said it'd been standing in his shed doing nothing for the last 10 years at least.
     

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