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Old 02-07-2013, 04:40 AM   #1
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Default Steam juicer for apples

Hi all. I am entertaining the idea of purchasing a steam juicer for this fall's apple crop and also for my 18lb of rhubarb waiting for its fait as my next wine batch. Anyone have experience with one. Seems to me like a great way to extract the juice from chokecherries as well (don't want to deal with all those pits). What is your preferred method of extracting juice and why?

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Old 02-07-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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I really want one for my prickly pears. But, alas, I have to wait until I kill my electric juicer. From everything that I hear, they are wonderful. I have heard a few comments saying it is better to spend the extra money for the stainless one. Some how I will have to convince the husband that it is an essential purchase and won't affect the cost of my "cheap" wine!

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Old 02-07-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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I only used one once. My friend and I picked chokecherries. I made a batch "my" way by crushing the fruit, etc. He steam extracted his, and gave me the juice.

He loved the results of his, but I think it had a faint "cooked juice" kind of taste, and lost some of the richness that comes from fermenting on the skins.

You could try both ways. I'm more of a fan of crushing the apples, and fermenting them that way and not using just juice.

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Old 02-07-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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I enjoy using the steam juicer (to which I place the pulp in a straining bag and ferment also). I have not detected a cooked taste, but I have not done many batches with steam juicer other than chokecherry, mulberry, blackberry, rhubarb and elderberry---all of which I have made exact same wine using traditional method of using fresh fruit. I liked them both. Does take some time to process all the fruit.
I do not think I would process apples in a steam juicer, but would rather use a centrifuge-style juicer. I processed a blend of sweet-tart apples in the steam juicer and felt it did taste cooked, made jelly from it.

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Old 02-07-2013, 10:50 PM   #5
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Sara, what do you get out of steaming berries and then putting the berries back into the must? Sounds like its defeating the purpose of steaming them? We have also used our steamer for berries, but dont put them into the must, but now usually we just crush the berries and macerate them overnight with enzymes and then gently press them or leave them in the primary a couple of days and squeeze them before any bitterness seeps out of the seeds. As far as apple, you might get a whole lot more pectin than you want, I dont think the effort would be worth the trouble plus heating such a delicate fruit as an apple would probably drive away a lot of its essence. You could get a small press and press your own juice which would be better probably than steaming and the press could be used for many more things than the steamer. I really do like to steam elderberries and blackberries together and use 4 gallons of the pure juice plus a gallon of honey to make meads with. Good luck, WVMJ

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Old 02-07-2013, 11:15 PM   #6
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Sara, what do you get out of steaming berries and then putting the berries back into the must? Sounds like its defeating the purpose of steaming them?
To me adding the pulp to the ferment just builds the extract. Many old timers do the same thing.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:22 AM   #7
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Many old timers do the same thing over and over without knowing why they are doing it What is the difference between steaming and adding back the pulp and just tossing in all the fruit and bringing it to a boil for a few minutes, which would be a lot easier and faster and have the same result as adding back the pulp? We actually did an elderberry like that, just boiled up the fresh fruit, it turned out just as good as steaming and was a lot easier. We figured since they cook jelly and jam and it all tastes great why not fruit for wine? WVMJ

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Old 02-08-2013, 01:43 AM   #8
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I feel like I might get more juice going the steam route. Also I spoke to a lady at the LHBS here and she steams her apples after peeling and coring and then makes sauce of the pulp. Then she steams the skins separate and gets more juice. Nice to think that all the pulp could be fed to the kiddies instead of just pitching it. Last year I blitzed my apples in the food processor and then poured boiling water over it (40lbs) it was a tedious mess and I feel I didn't extract everything. I wonder if the freezing method would break the fruit down as much as steam?

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Old 02-08-2013, 02:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
Many old timers do the same thing over and over without knowing why they are doing it What is the difference between steaming and adding back the pulp and just tossing in all the fruit and bringing it to a boil for a few minutes, which would be a lot easier and faster and have the same result as adding back the pulp? We actually did an elderberry like that, just boiled up the fresh fruit, it turned out just as good as steaming and was a lot easier. We figured since they cook jelly and jam and it all tastes great why not fruit for wine? WVMJ
But when you steam juice you are not boiling the fruit, the steam ruptures the cells. But I understand your thought process and the key is discovering what works for you in your situation and what you like. You never know until you try it, if you can.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:46 AM   #10
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I feel like I might get more juice going the steam route. Also I spoke to a lady at the LHBS here and she steams her apples after peeling and coring and then makes sauce of the pulp. Then she steams the skins separate and gets more juice. Nice to think that all the pulp could be fed to the kiddies instead of just pitching it. Last year I blitzed my apples in the food processor and then poured boiling water over it (40lbs) it was a tedious mess and I feel I didn't extract everything. I wonder if the freezing method would break the fruit down as much as steam?
If steam juicing apples/pears for fermentation I would personally leave the cores out because the bulk of the pectin is in the core and peels. But when cider is fresh pressed the whole apple is used, peel, stem & core. When you steam juice anything you can also turn that pulp into fruit butter or fruit leather, same goes with traditionally juiced fruits/veggies. I have used the pulp in pies along with whole berries, etc. Call me crazy but I even keep a gallon ziploc bag in freezer, one for cores, one for apple peels and when bags are full I either steam juice them or just process on stove with water to make a natural pectin which I use for jam/jelly making.
In my experience freezing helps break down just about every fruit out there, just the science of freezing, but you still have to be able to crush and press that apple pulp if you go the traditional apple juice/cider prep route to get the best yield. Several studies out there talking about yields using crushed/chopped/ground apples which are then pressed versus no press.
Does your area have anyone with a fruit press for rent? Or an area winemaking group, as you can typically make friends and borrow equipment? Heck, you can even make a press using two five gallon buckets.
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