Homemade apple grinder

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hroth521

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Stainless steel sink -$39 @ Menard's
1 1/4 (yes 1 1/4) horsepower disposal - $99 @ Costco
2 X 3 X 8 ft studs - 3 of them - ?$6 @ Menard's
Top of sink is about 3 1/2 feet.

I'm sure someone can do it cheaper and I know people can do it prettier but I don't think anyone can do it easier. :ban: I'll let you know how it works this fall.

Howard

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JOHN51277

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Hell Yeah!!!! I wanna see a YouTube vid on that sucker throwing out some crushed apples!!!
 

oldmate

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That thing would absolutely demolish an apple.. I too want to see a vid!
 

Tinga

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when i was a kid my dad used to use a drill and some crazy blade attachment. seemed to work great actually.
 
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hroth521

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From the reading I've done and talking to people who really grind apples prior to pressing, the seeds do not contribute significantly to the flavor. In addition, the more the apple is ground, the better the pressing efficiency is said to be. Regarding sanitizing, I've spent some time on this. The grinder was bought new and will only be used for apples. I will run soapy water through it initially to clean whatever manufacturing oils may remain, rinse thoroughly then run star san as was suggested. I'll let you all know how it works in the fall. I'm planning an apple pressing party with the people and their families from work. I've got to test my press first to make sure it doesn't fall apart. :)
 

Edcculus

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I was poking around some other apple sites and saw that at least one or two other people on the internet are doing the same thing. Maybe not as crazy as I thought!

What are you using for a press? This guy seems to have pretty good luck with a 12 ton bottle jack and the disposal grinder setup. From what I've read, the rack fruit presses (like for pressing grapes) seem to give pretty bad yeild from apple pomace.
 
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hroth521

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What are you using for a press? This guy seems to have pretty good luck with a 12 ton bottle jack and the disposal grinder setup. From what I've read, the rack fruit presses (like for pressing grapes) seem to give pretty bad yeild from apple pomace.
My press is very similar except made from wood rather than using a store bought shop press. I haven't bought the bottle jack yet but will look for 6 - 10 ton I think. If it works, I'll post pics:drunk:
 
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hroth521

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I used this grinder to prep 12 bushels mixed apples (ida red, grimes golden, golden russet, northern spy) for pressing. Had a lot of fun but it was still kind of a PITA. I had to constantly push the apple pieces onto the grinder with a pole. So it worked - got about 30 gallons juice with my homemade press but I'd like to find a way to grind that was more hands off. The 1 1/4 horsepower never once overheated.
 

dinnerstick

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i love that thing.

not much more to say about it

this coming from someone who has been hand-pressing this year... cheese grater, cheesecloth, elbow grease. it ain't easy boys but its rewarding
 

wildyeast

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I've been making crabapple wine for a couple years. I use a friend's apple grinder and a homemade press made from a 5gallon pail with 200-300 holes drilled in it and a round press plate driven by an Acme screw I bought on ebay. I don't care for sulfides and don't kill the natural yeasts, just add Lavlin EC 1118. It tolerates higher alcohol content so makes a drier wine. I grind the apples raw, press them and then mix the juice with water at a ratio of 1 3/4 gallon juice to 3 gallons water, add sugar to 1.080 specific gravity and add the yeast. Last year 10 gallons of raw apples made 5 gallons of wine.

It turns out dry and flavorful - serves well on ice on a hot summer day.
This year I'm making my own grinder from a new garbage disposal. Not sure yet how strong of a motor I'll need.
 

wstaufe

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Just took my first spin with a garbage disposal, but it seems to pulp the apples finely- to the point that the seeds seem to be crushed as well. This is not a desirable result, correct?
 
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hroth521

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I have heard that that is a theoretical concern. It's very possible my taste buds are not sophisticated enough to detect it but I don't taste any bitter or off flavors. I use a cheese and rack method so most of the big parts get filtered out anyway.
 

js82181p

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I created nearly the identical setup last year. I used a Waste King L-8000 Legend Series 1.0hp disposal purchased new mounted in a stainless steel sink.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DZGN7Q/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

We built ours a bit bigger so that there's a platform as well as the sink. It came in handy as we had 2 people quartering apples on opposite sides on cutting boards then tossing the apples into the sink with one person manning the grinder.

The disposal did in fact overheat on me after about 45 gallons of cider pressed (about a 10 hour day alternating between grinding and pressing). I'm planning on running more cider/water through it this year as we grind the apples to both help it operate smoothly and to cool it. The apples mush up in the disposal, but a couple of splashes of water or cider will clear it out quickly. I say water/cider as when you're grinding prior to your first press, you probably wont have any cider on hand to run through, so just use water instead.

I'd recommend finding a way to secure the disposal and keep it from rotating. When they are mounted under the sink the piping keeps them from rotating. Since you'll just have the piping emptying into a bucket, the grinder will slowly spin its way around (not a huge problem, but avoidable with some preparation). We just tied our power cord around one of the legs on the stand, but will probably try to figure out a better way of doing it this year.

Another piece of advice would be to put a support underneath the grinder. We quartered our apples and even still had to use a piece of wood to jam them into the grinder. All of the jamming looked to be taking its toll on the grinder where it locks into the sink. The things really aren't designed to be abused like we did, and I think a 2x4 underneath supporting it would help.

The grinder spits out basically applesauce. We found it very easy to press. We were using a tub press that was my great great uncles and the pommace was coming out in dry sheets. I'm not sure the amount of bushels we pressed as we had the apples in burlap bags. I'll try to do a better job measuring yield this year (although I'm working on a hydraulic press setup).

The resulting fresh cider was quite good. I didn't notice any off flavors from the seeds. You'll notice a lot of bits either floating to the top or bottom. I racked off the middle after a day or so.

The grinder with stainless steal sink setup seemed pretty easy to sanitize. I basically filled up the sink with sanitizing solution and then let it drain through the disposal as i ran it on and off. If you can plug the tube coming off of the disposal when the sink is full, the sanitizer soaks the whole grinder.

Let me know if you have any other questions and I'll try to be as helpful as I can!

-Jimmy
 
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