Making cider at home

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Any of yous tried making cider before?
This weekend just gone I got about making up some cider. 3 days of work yielded 22 litres. An interesting experience but one I am going to have to stream line if I do it next time around.
The apples were free, scavenged from a few trees round the neighbourhood.
Cleaning them was no problem, dunking in a big tub.
Cutting them up and cutting out the odd bad bit or bug was laborious. I did have some help at one stage which speeded things up a bit.
Shredding the apple pieces in a kitchen whizz was also time consuming. Its gets easier the longer you go on. But. If done every year I reckon I will have to make some sort of apple scratterer.
Then came the pressing. Roftl (not).
I had made up a frame from old off cut pine 4 x 2 to hold a car scissor jack (850 kg limit) and an old chilly bin with a hole cut in the end.
Worked ok to start with however the hole was too small to let all thenjuice out and it filled up the chilly bin past a certain compression point.
From there I borrowed a (small) grape press. Worked to a point but did not extract as much juice as I hoped.
So, I drilled holes in a 10 litre plastic bucket and went back to the scissor jack press. Got more juice than the hand press. Still not enough holes though. Near the bottom of compression the frame cracked.
Drilled more holes in the bucket and strengthened the frame.
Next press was the best yet.
After a bit more stress the frame came apart at one end. A few screws put it back together.
A couple of final presses and 22 litres were deposited in 5 carboys.
2 are relying on natural yeasts for fermentation. One I will add a little bit of extra yeast in to. One I have sulphited and will add yeats in. The final carboy is only 1/2 full. I will have to cut in some more apple juice, sulphite and then add yeast.
Interesting exercise. Note to self for next time (if there is a next time).
Build an apple scratterer. Build a sturdier frame Use a bottle jack with maybe 1 ton plus capacity Find a really good basket to hold the pulped apple juice. Hope the finished cider is worth all the effort.
Worth trying from start to finish at least once though.
rob
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Good Luck Rob. Am visiting NZ next Nov/Dec .... will look for your competition to Benger's Gold Wild stuff :-))
--
Gopher .... I know my place! On the Dorset/Somerset border. Home of cider!

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if the cider is rubbish, look out for a couple of kegs with your name on it. roftl.
two things I forgot to add about the process - bastard flies and a sore back.
rob
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Try to keep the SO2 under 20 ppm at inoculation. Wine yeast are more resistant to SO2 than wild yeast. The alternative is to hit the juice with a large inoculation to swamp out wild yeast (note: wild yeast aren't always bad but can be surprising).
1 lb potassium metabisulfite / 1 gallon of water = 5% solution SO2. ppm x gallons x .063 = ml of 5% solution This formula isn't exact because sugars and aldehydes suck up SO2.
If you want to keep some sweetness in the cider, the easiest thing is to put the bottled cider in a refrigerator (40F - 4C) or sterile filter.
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Billy
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wrote:

the wild yeast brew has been sitting for 2 days now and the fermentation has really (and I mean really) slowed down to the point of being almost non active. Maybe either not enough yeast or not enough sugars. I will look at pitching a little bit of yeast in to the stuff tomorrow maybe. See what that does.
rob
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Do you have a hydrometer to test for dissolved solids, i. e. sugar? If the density is below -0.5, fermentation may be over. Apple juice doesn't have that much sugar to begin with. How do you start your inoculation? Use yeast to juice ratio of 1 kg / 1000 gal. Add hot water to juice and bring to 37C, add yeast, wait until yeast foams or 20 minutes (which ever comes first), and add to juice. A fermentation lock is helpful in keeping insects out and indicating rapidity of fermentation.
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Billy
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wrote:

thanks for the info billy. my approach was more "close enough might be good enough" and "she'll be right, maybe".
A couple of days fermentation is pretty short though isn't it? I mean, some immediate activity and then slowing down to almost nothing.
rob
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wrote:

Much to sort thru, but some info and ideas to get yer head thinking about fermentation.........
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewforum.php?f=9&sidpa9cadf55c6df9c4638bcd171e81e50
(covers the range from prisonjack to Hi Q cider.... ;-)
I've two batches going now, but from concentrate, not from fresh pressed, wrong season (found some flash pastuerized cider today at the local market, three gallons would cost me over thirty dollars U$).
Next year is a different story. I like your idea of using a scissor jack or bottle jack....thanks for the ideas and experiences.
I pulled a sample from my first batch yesterday. It had been fermenting 8 days and is down to one burp every thirty-five secs. I'll send it to secondary fermention next week. It was dry and didn't have much apple taste (I don't have a very refined palate when it comes to "wines"). It had more of a chablis/white zin taste to my unrefined palate. I am considering addition of more juice to the secondary fermentation to sweeten it.
All in all, this has been fun and a good education. That is what I am enjoying....that DYI thingie.
I used champagne yeast and no sulfites.
Charlie
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Cider is like wine in that different sweetnesses do different jobs. Dry cider is good with a meal that would take a white wine. Sweet cider will go with desserts and sipping wit' your homies, and cidre bouche (sparkling) is for special occassions. Like when you are out with your sweety.
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wrote:

Ok. Dry is easy. We just bottled the first batch and the sampling was very good. Lovey, who is no great tippler, pronounced it quite good and will have no problem enjoying.
For a sweet, when/how do you backsweeten without restarting fermention?
And......how do you do sparkling, or rather when? Do you bottle after primary? Do you add more juice or sugar to your primary fermented and bottle to continue fermentation/carbonation in bottle?
You get the jist of my questions, neh?
BTW, our first foray into fermenting cabbage (kraut), has turned out great. Homedone kraut, which I had never had, is effing wonderful and amazingly simple! An entirely different product than the storebought stuff!
Charlie
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Yeah, but it makes your house smell funky.
Anyway, have you seen (and this seems like a silly question) the article in Wikipedia on "Home Brewing Beer", http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrewing_beer ?
Under Packaging (?): Packaging Another fermentation vessel with fermentation lock, used for the second fermentation
Once the secondary fermentation is finished, the beer is ready for carbonation. There are two methods of carbonation. The first method does not require much capital expenditure per batch but is more time consuming. About 3/4 cup of corn sugar (dextrose) or other fermentable sugar is added to the beer, which is then transferred to bottles and then capped, or placed in a keg. The fermentation of the priming sugar in the closed container by left-over yeast suspended in the beer creates carbon dioxide which then dissolves into the beer. This takes 1-2 weeks. The second method involves pressurizing carbon dioxide into the beer into a special type of keg - either a Cornelius keg, the kind used in restaurants for soda storage, or a pressure barrel. Canisters of carbon dioxide, or soda chargers, can be released into the pressure barrel directly. The carbonation process then occurs almost instantaneously.
und so weiter,
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Billy
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thats the way I am looking at going.
rob
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wrote:

Yeah, well, *I* make my house smell funky.
The kraut is in the garage.

Hmmm.....your question appears to not be silly in that I had *not* read this wiki reference, and was suffering indecision with too many options for carbonation and was being lazy and asking one who has much experience with things fermentable in order that I could escape responsibility for my own decisions. Your rap upon me noggin prompted me to do further research and come to a reasonable conclusion and calculation of what is needed.

und ich danke Ihnen
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Charlie

"There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every
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I wish it was as easy to rap myself on the head (sigh).

Du bist damit formale, Junger. Ich glaube das wir konnen sich duzen, Ja?
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Billy
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wrote:

Hmmm.......too old to raise yer arms that high?

Ich wurde eines besseren belehrt zu respektieren meine ltesten. Ich werde glcklich sein zu ndern, dass Sie alte Ziege.
Charlie
"Die ltesten Bume tragen oft die sesten Frchte." ;-) -- German Proverb
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Huh?!! Wen ist eine alte Ziege? Hinter dem Holzschuppen Kind.

Naturlick, das stimmt.
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Billy
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wrote:

Ha! Sie denken, Sie haben genug poop links zu geben, um mir eine gute Tracht Prgel, alte fart?
--
Charlie, die den Telefon-Verzeichnis in den Sitz seiner britches

Der Teufel scheit immer auf den grten Haufen. -- German Proverb
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Wahrlich, eine schreckliche Kind.
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Billy
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"Charlie" wrote in message wrote:

http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewforum.php?f=9&sidpa9cadf55c6df9c4638bcd171e81e50
got the idea here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
fvkiSHOsY His frame looks no stronger than mine & his jack is a 4 ton (mine is 850 kg). Maybe he used stronger pine timber. He wasn't try to press as much, as far, as I was. His press cost 40 euros, mine was about 1/3 the cost so maybe cheap = shit. Roftl.

I want my cider to taste like the natural brewed stuff I have enjoyed occasionlly form small brewers. I don't want it to taste like the bollocks commercial stuff I have tasted occasionly. DIY, great eh. 3 days of hard work to make some nice tasting cider, only to have the bastard thing stop fermenting. Not roftl.
rob
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Depends on fermentation temperatures. 95F (35C) and it can finish overnight (apple juice is about 13% sugar vs. grape juice at 26% and up.) Still, you need a hydrometer to tell you where you are or put it in a refrigerator, 40F - 32F (4C - OC) (and start drinking it now :O)
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