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Old 10-29-2007, 02:05 AM   #1
Mach
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Default Wife got a new toy!

So I'm just getting into homebrewing, and my wife wanted to try her hand at making cider (her preferred drink). She picked up this fine piece of equipment for a steal yesterday at an auction:


Everything but the handle was there and surprisingly clean and sharp, so we decided to break it in right (used a ratchet for the handle). We cleaned it inside and out last night, including all of the auxiliary equipment (bucket thingies, wooden press thingies, etc). This morning we soaked the whole thing in Star-san as well as a 5gallon glass carboy and the transfer pans/funnels. Then we filled her up and cranked away. This thing makes a bucket of apple slop in a hurry, and the press is still in good shape and turns that slop into juice and applebiscuits in no time. We squeezed a bushel of empire apples and a bushel of golden delicious for our first mix. The juice coming out tasted amazing:


Out of the two bushels, we got about 6 gallons (more than I expected). The first 5 went through a strainer into the carboy to become hard cider.


The other gallon is getting ready to disappear. This is really good stuff. Pasteurization sucks!

We're going to try to make this first batch without sulfides (I think). We added about 2 lbs of dextrose to the bottle and a packet of montrachet yeast to the carboy and gave it a good shake. After about 2 hours, it blew the rubber stopper and airlock out of the carboy. I put it back on with less vodka in it so that it hopefully bubbles instead of pops off. So far so good!

So who thinks that we'll get skunked nasty cider? That old cider mill/press has about a million places to add contaminants to the juice. I'd like to try to avoid sulfides, but I don't want to throw away 5 gallons of hard earned goodness.

I have all kinds of questions now. Thanks in advance for any help you guys can provide.

1. Since I'm dealing with pulverised fruit, should I rack into a secondary after a week to get the fluid off the fruit?
2. If the cider starts heading south, can I sulfide it and rack what's left into a secondary and start over?
3. Any advice for a cider novice?

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:07 AM   #2
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Very disppointed with the "toy". I was expecting something more vibratory.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:12 AM   #3
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Good score and nice pics....can I ask how much you picked it up for?

I've only made a couple ciders and they've been from store bought juice so I'll let someone else chime in. One cool thing with cider is you can do just about anything with it. Listen to the Jamil show on Cider for some ideas

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhornet
Good score and nice pics....can I ask how much you picked it up for?

I've only made a couple ciders and they've been from store bought juice so I'll let someone else chime in. One cool thing with cider is you can do just about anything with it. Listen to the Jamil show on Cider for some ideas

She gave a whole 80 bucks for it. I've seen the exact same model go for well over 400 on ebay in much worse shape, so it was a deal she couldn't pass up.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
Very disppointed with the "toy". I was expecting something more vibratory.
Well, it shakes pretty good once you get it up to speed. The bearings are a bit loose since it's probably about 80 years old. I guess it just needs more lubrication . . .
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:21 AM   #6
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Wow that is a deal! Have fun with it!!

Thats cool bc you can mix different varieties and stuff....even try some perry if you wanted

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Old 10-29-2007, 04:16 AM   #7
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Awesome deal, an older press like that will last you forever...

now on to your questions...

1. Using just the cider and yeast, you will want to let it sit on the pulp for 2-4 weeks, fermentation will slow down, and you'll have almost no activity in the airlock... then rack it to secondary for about a month... then either bottle it, or rack it again into bulk aging for 3-6 months.

2. If the cider starts going south could mean any number of things... if it starts turning into vinegar, toss it immediately, and make sure to clean everything extremely well... if south means some kind of infection, that depends on the infection...

3. Advice... RDWHAHB... it's really quite hard to mess up a cider... if you didn't add any sugar to the carboy, you'll come out with about 5'ish %ABV cider... if you can (patience is a bitch with your first couple batches), let it bulk age for a couple months... the malolactic fermentation will have a chance to work it's magic, and the stuff will come out smooth and mellow... there's tons of advice, but really this covers the bases...

nice score on the press, and good luck on the cider... let us know how it turns out...

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:18 AM   #8
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I checked it this morning (about 10 hours after pitching) and it's not really bubbling but the vodka is pushed the right direction in the airlock. Hopefully I'll see some action after work today. I might go ahead and get some more yeast and pitch again if there's not much activity tonight. Is it alright to pitch right into the fresh cider? I didn't do a starter or anything, just dumped it right into the carboy with the dextrose and shook it up.

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #9
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Wow! Nice score...

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Old 10-29-2007, 11:30 AM   #10
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I'm not sure why, but it seems that cider ferments much slower than beer. RDWHAHB

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