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Old 12-07-2011, 03:40 AM   #1
hammertime258
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Default Cider with an electric juicer?

I'm creating my first batch of hard cider and was planning to pick up some apples at a local farmer's market and use my home fruit/vegetable juicer to do it. Has anyone tried this before? I'm curious as to whether I'll need campden tablets, or any other considerations I'm not thinking of. Any help is appreciated!

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Old 12-07-2011, 07:58 AM   #2
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yup go for it, it works well. no harm in using a campden tablet but you can get by without it. i suggest: if possible select a mix of mostly sweet and some sour apples (and bittersweet if you can get them) juice the apples, add campden if using, let the juice sit and clear overnight or for 24h, siphon off the clear juice from between the foam and sediment and pitch your yeast.
alternatively, just ferment the whole lot, it will clear and settle but you will have a lot of sediment.
you can add pectic enzyme and yeast nutrient but if will ferment and clear in time without these
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks for the tips- ill definitely give it a go!

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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It will work, but it will be extremely time consuming and the yield will be poor compared to pressing. I have a Champion juicer with 1/3 HP motor and trying to get a significant amount of juice is very slow.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
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It can also be quite expensive doing it that way. With a press, I think it takes about 12 lbs of apples to make a gallon of juice. A juicer will probably require even more. You may want to look for a lower grade of apple, such as you would for baking.

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Old 12-07-2011, 05:53 PM   #6
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Right, that's what I meant when I said the yield would be poor.

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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You should find a LHBS and ask them if they rent juicing equipment, and if they don't urge them to invest in some. My lhbs rents out these units, its sweet, I motored through 400 lbs of apples in an afternoon.

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #8
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Just test it on one or two apples first.

I tried exactly what you are trying and apparently my juicer is the kind where it doesn't get as much solids out as it should. Needless to say the 1-gallon batch is still just sitting in the fermentation chamber unbottled because half of it is a fat layer of apple-solids that won't drop regardless of how cold I cold-crash it. I'll probably just dump it or mix it in with my next batch of apfelwine.

But, long story short, run a small test batch first.

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Old 12-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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i agree with all of the above, juicers never get to the efficiency of a good press, but some of them do ok, and it does depend on the apple as well. i usually don't have access to a reasonable press and make a good few 5-10L batches with a juicer or hand pressing each year, with these small batches and cheap local apples or freebies from friends it's not a problem. punky soft varieties don't juice well at all in my juicer and just turn into applesauce, firm apples do really well. hard crabapples are amazing, the waste is totally dry.
as stated above, it's a good idea to try a small batch first; if you have to clean the thing out every 5 apples and it takes you hours to get a few liters, then it's probably not worth the effort. however some people say that lots of pectic enzyme will help with mushy solids. i don't have experience in those matters... but- mushy waste from the juicer can be cooked and sieved into applesauce, or the hot juices from it strained off, polluted with rum and spices, mulled, and used as medicine, i have extensive experience here

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Old 12-10-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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i just juiced some apples to top up an older batch when racking, so i weighed them before and measured the juice output. i used elstars, my standard base variety along with cox orange pippin. they juice pretty well. started with just over 2 kg, ended up with 1.5 liters, tried to avoid measuring the foam, so just under 1.5 L. fans of outdated and difficult measuring systems can convert that into parsecs and cubits or whatever. anyways there's probably a middle of the road reference point for juicer efficiency- i don't think mine is particularly good but it does the trick
if we assume that the weight of apples is 100% due to water, which it isn't but a damn lot of it is, then i'm getting just south of 75% of it. hey- 1 L weights 1 kg! try that with fathoms and pints! ok i don't like napolean either but this system is pretty good
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