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Old 09-19-2007, 05:17 PM   #1
mrkeeg
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Default Cider from crab apples - no press

A friend has about 60 gallons of fresh crab apples, and has suggested we make some cider and / or wine.

We do not have a press, and I'm certainly not going to blend or use his tiny juicer on that many apples - besides, the apples are too small (1" or so) to make it worthwhile removing the seeds, which I suppose we would need to do before using a blender, grider, or juicer.

Since they are rather sour crabapples anyway, they should provide lots of good flavor, but will need a fair amount of sweetening.

Do you think a person could get away with, say, cutting them in half, adding enough sugar water to submerge them, and letting the yeast do the rest of the work?

It would be nice if we could get these while they are fresh. If we have to build a press it will be a number of weeks away.

Thanks,
Keegan


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Old 09-19-2007, 10:35 PM   #2
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I don't think that is going to work. I'm guessing a bit here, but I think that will at best make an alcoholic apple mush. At worst...

If you do it, post pictures.


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Old 09-19-2007, 10:49 PM   #3
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It is possible, but not how you envision it. Wash the apples. Then freeze all of the apples until they are completely frozen though. This will cause all of cell walls to rupture when you thaw them out. Then cut up the apples into chunks, quartering or so should work for these ones. Cover with water. Add sufficient capden to lay waste to any natural yeast which survived the freezing. Then add a bunch of pectin enzyme. The enzyme will break down all of the cell walls and turn your apple chunks into an apply slurry in about a week.

After that week you have to strain the slurry and discard the pulp. You can just run this though a strainer and 'press' the pulp by hand. Don't worry if some small bits get though, they will settle out. This will have a nice side effect of aerating everything nicely. Add more campden to kill all the stuff you just introduced and let sit over night. Pitch yeast in the morning and proceed as normal.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the thoughts guys,

I like the freezing idea. Now just have to find a shop that has pectic enzyme.

We don't have a big food processor, but do have a meat grinder, that may work. You aren't worried about crushing the seeds and getting bitter offtastes from them though?

Thanks again,
Keegan
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Old 09-20-2007, 02:00 PM   #5
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I don't have a press either, and am doing the freeze/thaw method above. Pectic enzyme is available at all winemaking stores, and online.

I wouldn't mash them up in the food processor, I think the ground seeds would impose a bitterness. I froze my chokecherries, too, before using and they are ok. I still wish I had a press- I have 30 pounds of grapes coming from a friend next week!
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:59 PM   #6
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I agree with YooperChick, don't worry about grinding or crushing them. Got some very bitter stuff when the seeds were broke. I usually do the crabapple wine every year but not enough on the tree this year.

I just wash well, chop and freeze. If you can get it try a Lalvin K1-V1116 (Montpellier) yeast. It is very good with any apple style fruits and produce some very nice flowery esters and the natural fresh fruit aromas are retained for a longer period compared to standard yeasts. As you see from the other post make sure to use some Pectic Enzyme.

The last batch I did I added a gallon of Apple juice when I racked off of the crabapples. It produced a much rounder taste!
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:22 AM   #7
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Does anyone know the

X pounds of apples = X gallons of cider

formula?
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
Does anyone know the

X pounds of apples = X gallons of cider

formula?
Sorry to sound like a smart ass, but it depends on how juicy the apples are.

A good guestimate is probably 15 pounds of apples per gallon, if you can press them well.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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nah, not a smart ass, I'm sure there's a lot of variation, how much of a difference does using the pectic enzyme make? can I get the same result by using more elbow grease?
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:05 PM   #10
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nah, not a smart ass, I'm sure there's a lot of variation, how much of a difference does using the pectic enzyme make? can I get the same result by using more elbow grease?
Pectic enzyme will help "break up" the pectin so the cider will clear better. It can produce more juice, but not much. It's only important to prevent a pectin haze in the finished product, in my opinion.


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