getting your own cider

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jabumbo

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so, i unfortunately had to miss out on the brew clubs cider press weekend, but i really want to get some cider for myself.


does anyone know if it would be worth getting a bushel of apples and having them pressed for myself? i have no idea how much cider would make it out of that volume of apples, and if its even worth the effort to get it done that way or not.


i'd like to go this route rather than purchase individual gallons simply so i know that the stuff i'm getting is fresh and unharmed!
 

truckjohn

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Not worth it for a small quantity...

Last bunch I fooled with -- I got 2-3 gallons per bushel or so...

Pressing your own apples is a royal pain in the rear if you don't have a cider press of some sort... You end up having to resort to gyrations like squeezing the juice out with your hands.....

You have to core/de-seed the apples... Crushing/grinding the seeds ends up making a funny bitter taste....

Then grind up the apples -- so you need a meat grinder or something along those lines....

Then, press the cider

Then a little Campden and 24 hours later, pitch yeast....

I tried it out by just grinding apples, adding Campden, then pitching yeast straight into the pomace (No pressing)... both times -- I got a whole bunch of Vinegar.... which is great if you like Vinegar... but I don't....

Thanks

John
 
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jabumbo

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i was considering taking the apples to a cider press to have them done for me.

after watching the process last year, i realized that this was not something i was capable of doing myself in an afternoon!
 

MattyD

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Its a good idea if you wanted to do a combo of different kinds of apples such as combinding a sweet apple (galas) with a a tart one (granny smiths) to make a sweet yet tart cider.

Me and a friend have been clearing a orchard that was let to drop and have been getting about 2.5 per bushel (we are using jonagolds,) so if you were looking at a oppertunity to press yourself, I'd get 2 bushels of different kinds of apples and combind them to make a special blend.
 

Denoyer

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I did the Pressing myself for my first batch recently. It was a lot of work. Had about 100 pounds of apples, rented a grinder and press from local brew store. Ended up with about 5 gallons and lots of pig food (left over apple). I could have easily just bought juice but it is more fun knowing I did it all from start to end.

Second batch is cider bought from the local apple farm. Much easier.
 

CvilleKevin

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You may be able to find an orchard that can press good hard cider juice for you using their own apples. Here is a list of orchards in Western PA. If any are close, ask them if what they are pressing and selling. It may be a good mix for hard cider. I like Northern Spy, Stayman, Pink Lady, Cameo, Cortland for sweetness, Gala, Mac, Empire, Fuji for extra taste/aroma and Winesap, Jonathan, York, Granny Smith for tartness.

http://www.allaboutapples.com/orchard/pa01.htm

My experience is that if you ask them for a hard cider mix, most presses will know what you are talking about and can recommend something good.

I have helped friends press close to 100 gal this season using a couple of similar hand presses. It is fun if you have a good press and some friends to help. If you can find a good orchard it is a lot easier to back the truck up to the cider press tank and fill carboys up.
 
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jabumbo

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^ Yeah, I was considering going to the orchard to pick some out from one of the ones on the list and then taking them to the press that the homebrew club used.


I contacted the press and they said they would have no problem filling up my carboys for $4/gal so i might just go with that.

The guy also said that i would need about 6 bushels of apples to produce 20 gallons of cider. I didn't get a price on the pressing costs for that though....
 
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