What do you guys think of this apple shredder?

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Kees

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Found this on YouTube. Looks like it produces very small apple shreds. Do modern-day fruitmills give similar results?
 

madscientist451

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That thing works great. I use a repurposed home garden shredder I got for $50 that is pretty slow and I have to cut the bigger apples in half.
Spiedel makes a nice apple mill but it about US $1200+ and that's too expensive for me.
 
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Kees

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I am looking for something cheap and cheerful. Unfortunately the area I live in does not have a cider and juice tradition so most stuff that's on offer on the bay is at least 5 or 6 hours by car from here. I like the vintage stuff a lot.
 

gregbathurst

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That type is called a drum scratter. There are full details in the jolicoeur cider book. They are usually home made.
 

Chalkyt

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Looks great... I would love to have one. I have found that the secret to success is grinding the apples into 1/8" (3mm) or so pommace. I did buy a cheap fruit mill advertised on eBay but the pommace was too coarse and didn't really press well.

As gregbathurst suggests, have a look at Claude Jolicoeur's design (as well as some others on YouTube). I made mine similar but a bit simpler. i.e. straight sides rather than curved and countersunk screws as "choppers" rather than sheet stainless blades. However the principles are the same.

Mine is certainly cheap and cheerful, and is designed so that taking the screws out of the handle side panel lets the panel, drum etc come right out for easy cleaning, and the inside is treated with mineral oil (doesn't go rancid like vegetable oil) once per year to prevent the timber from soaking up much apple juice. The local sheet metal shop made a stainless steel plate/anvil that just slips in for the screw heads to grind the apples against.

Of course what you use depends on the volume of apples you want to process. I had intended to fit an old clothes dryer motor to mine but found that the pulley ratios needed for a workable speed (say, 100 rpm drum speed or something like that from a 1500 RPM motor) involved a very big and a very small pulley and ended up being too much trouble (and cost) to do it properly. In any case I usually do a gallon carboy at a time and it only takes about an hour to chop, grind, press and process a gallon, so I can do around five gallons in half a day which suits me.

It does need the apples cut into quarters although whole apples get ground up eventually if you don't cut them. The advantage of cutting the apples up is that you can remove the bits with coddling moth grubs etc.

The whole grinder only cost me about $50. Attached are a few pics of my setup. Hand grinding and pressing is fine on a sunny day with a few bottles of last year's cider to stop you from becoming dehydrated.

Cheers!
 

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DuncB

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Found this on YouTube. Looks like it produces very small apple shreds. Do modern-day fruitmills give similar results?
I built myself a scratter out of an old insinkerator roughly followed the design on whizbang cider.
and the press similar as well using a bottle jack.

It made apple puree with ease and made about 250 litres. Good extraction rate.
I used an apple slicer / corer similar to this it was really fast and then just had a funnel on the top of the insinkerator.
 
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Kees

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Thanks for your replies, guys.
2 problems: I do not have the skills to make something like that myself and insinkerators are not allowed here.
I really need to buy something. I now work with a Pulpmaster. Works reasonably well but is pretty labour-intensive.
 

Chalkyt

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This is the apple pulper that I originally bought on eBay. It works O.K. but as I said earlier the pulp is a bit big (around 15-20mm rather than the desired 3 - 5mm. This size pulp doesn't press all that well and results in only about 40% juice yield compared with 50-60% with my home-made one..

I have seen a YouTube with a motor retrofitted to one of these (but I noticed that it was running backwards on the video!!!!). Might work if it was running the right way.
1625524445151.png
 

DuncB

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Thanks for your replies, guys.
2 problems: I do not have the skills to make something like that myself and insinkerators are not allowed here.
I really need to buy something. I now work with a Pulpmaster. Works reasonably well but is pretty labour-intensive.
Very simple to attach funnel to the top of the insinkerator and a sink waste pipe coming out very simple diy it just screws on.

Secondly try this website full of contraband

 

MtnGoatJoe

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$238. With this, I could fill a 5 gallon bucket with pulp very quickly if someone feeds the apples while I crank. I am very pleased with it and highly recommend Maximizer if you need to buy a grinder.

Maximizer® Apple Grinder
 
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Kees

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Looks like the Maximizer's pulp has rather large apple chunks in it. What is its juicing efficiency?
 
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Kees

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I have seen videos of an insinkerator grinder in use. Apples had to be pushed into the insinkerator one by one with a stick.
 

Reneauj62

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Found this on YouTube. Looks like it produces very small apple shreds. Do modern-day fruitmills give similar results?
Will it go any faster? LOl... seriously, das ist sehr gut!!
 

DuncB

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I have seen videos of an insinkerator grinder in use. Apples had to be pushed into the insinkerator one by one with a stick.
The apples I used were either small or had been made into slices with the corer slicer gadget. My hopper seemed to funnel them in well but did need some poking but not an inconevience.
 

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If you freeze the apples, no grinding required. It's also easier to collect the fruit over time saving it in a chest freezer and then hold as long as you like before thawing and pressing. Juice comes out lighter and less oxidized as well.
 

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I've been enjoying the steam juicer I bought last year. Just drop the apples in whole and an hour or so minutes later I have a gallon of juice. Then, I'll sometimes let the pomace sit over night in the pan, and the pectins seep out. That lets me create a type of Keeved cider. Purely by accident the first time, but now I do it on purpose. I did try an old hand grinder and apple press. I tried using a Champion Juicer to grind, then press with a homemade bottle jack press. I tried freezing and pressing. All of that involved too much labor for my taste. Now I just let the steam melt my apples on the stove. No chopping. Just rinse and drop them in.
 
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Kees

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How about this one? Rollers are adjustable. Does 200 kg/hr. Not that I am going to crush that much but seems efficient. You can even fit the thing with an electrical drill.
 
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MtnGoatJoe

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Looks like the Maximizer's pulp has rather large apple chunks in it. What is its juicing efficiency?
So, I am very happy with the grinder, but I don't have anything to compare it to. The "big" chunks I noticed are actually pretty thin. They have a picture on their website that shows the difference between whole and ground apples. They say about 3x more juice. I'll try to pay more attention this year and see if I notice big chunks.
 

jambop

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Hi I made a pulper out of my ALKO garden shredder. It was almost new so needed little by way of cleaning. I did however have to take the top feed hopper off because I could not get the apples through the small opening provided. once done I created a new hopper that would take small apples and the larger ones cut into half. It is amazing I pulped 20kg of apples in under ten minutes using it. In fact it works so well you really need to make sure the container you are catching the pulp in has plenty of volume otherwise the pulp can clog the outlet from the shredder. I just carefully hosed off the thing when I was done and she is ready to go again in the coming months. I should also say that the pulp pressed really well I got 9L back out of 17 kg of mixed windfalls using my simple 30L screw and basket press and I think that will improve with properly ripened fruit.
 

gregbathurst

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I used a shredder for many years, recently replaced by a proper apple mill. The main issue is metal contamination. All bare metal needs to be painted, I use polyurethane paint. Apple juice is very acidic and will dissolve the iron quickly, if the cider is exposed to air it will start to blacken, not a health or flavour issue but looks terrible.
 

jambop

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I used a shredder for many years, recently replaced by a proper apple mill. The main issue is metal contamination. All bare metal needs to be painted, I use polyurethane paint. Apple juice is very acidic and will dissolve the iron quickly, if the cider is exposed to air it will start to blacken, not a health or flavour issue but looks terrible.
Yes I have heard that it is a strange one though I watched a video of someone making cider using a scratter that hade been used for more than 60 years. The hedge hog was made from a lump of turned oak into which 600 blacksmith nails had been hammered... they never had a problem with black cider and the nails looked like the had just bee hammered in the day before with black cider . I am not disagreeing but I think that anybody who is worried about apples being in contact with a bit of steel for less than a milli second worries too much also... apple juice is acidic but not very and the acids involved is what would be termed weak acids. I agree though and think a coat of some sort of food grade paint is the way to go though enamelling would be better.
 

jambop

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I used a shredder for many years, recently replaced by a proper apple mill. The main issue is metal contamination. All bare metal needs to be painted, I use polyurethane paint. Apple juice is very acidic and will dissolve the iron quickly, if the cider is exposed to air it will start to blacken, not a health or flavour issue but looks terrible.
As a matter of interest did you ever actually see this blackening of your cider? I am slightly sceptical about this phenomenon mainly as all those old scratters like the one in that video were made with steel blades or nails and having used my own shredder I noticed that the apples were through the thing in a fraction of a second so the contact time with the steel must be very short. I as said agree there could be a problem but I don't want anecdotal information I want someone to say I tried it and my cider turned black. Painting is an option though.
 

gregbathurst

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Yes, I did get blackening the first time I used the shredder, before I painted all the inside parts. It only happens on contact with oxygen, so I saw it when I left a half emptied bottle in the fridge. I have seen it a few times on this forum. Your shredder is probably wet with cider for at least half an hour, plenty of time to dissolve some iron. There is a reason all equipment for cider and wine is made of plastic or stainless steel, (or sometimes painted steel).
 

jambop

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Yes, I did get blackening the first time I used the shredder, before I painted all the inside parts. It only happens on contact with oxygen, so I saw it when I left a half emptied bottle in the fridge. I have seen it a few times on this forum. Your shredder is probably wet with cider for at least half an hour, plenty of time to dissolve some iron. There is a reason all equipment for cider and wine is made of plastic or stainless steel, (or sometimes painted steel).
That is interesting and something I must take action on. All the parts or the shredder except the cutters and the steel disc that hold them are enamelled or polypropylene so I only need to worry about the disc there is nothing I can do about the cutters but they are hardened steel and may be more resistant. I think the major problem is which paint to use or maybe get the plate powder coated that would probably be a better solution. I am surprised that there was no blackening during the 24 hours prior to fermentation because there is plenty of oxygen around at that point in the procedure. I have a few weeks before I start to make my cider so I have time to get something done thanks for the heads up. The present batch of cider I have on the go is a test batch made from windfalls . I think what I may do is when fermentation is complete I may tack a sample of this and expose it to the air overnight and see what happens... no point in taking the brew forward if it looks bad.
 

gregbathurst

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I painted the disc and cutters but obviously there is a little bit of bare metal on the blades, this didn't seem to be enough to cause blackening. I would recommend some sort of coating on the disc, and check every year that the body of the shredder inside isn't losing some paint, touch up any bare bits. If you do a lot of apples it is pretty hard on the paint. Other than that it is a good cheap way to mill apples.,
 

jambop

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I painted the disc and cutters but obviously there is a little bit of bare metal on the blades, this didn't seem to be enough to cause blackening. I would recommend some sort of coating on the disc, and check every year that the body of the shredder inside isn't losing some paint, touch up any bare bits. If you do a lot of apples it is pretty hard on the paint. Other than that it is a good cheap way to mill apples.,
I am sure that any corrosion on the blades would be very noticeable I cannot believe that enough iron could be dissolved from the blades to taint the juice. As I have said for many years the only metal available to make cutting blades was steel or iron and many of there scratters are still in use today. I have just contacted a powder coating company about getting the plate coated I will observe the blades and check for corrosion although I really doubt they will cause a problem.
 

jambop

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I painted the disc and cutters but obviously there is a little bit of bare metal on the blades, this didn't seem to be enough to cause blackening. I would recommend some sort of coating on the disc, and check every year that the body of the shredder inside isn't losing some paint, touch up any bare bits. If you do a lot of apples it is pretty hard on the paint. Other than that it is a good cheap way to mill apples.,
Take a look at this video of a cider maker in Normandy making his annual batch of cider. The scratter he uses is exactly what I would refer to as old school and he makes fine cider . What is interesting here is the scratting drum is made entirely from steel ! I have to say I am a sceptic when it comes to the amount of iron that gets into cider from scratting I think the contact time is far to short to cause a problem. I do think that prolonged contact would be an issue but I wonder about the very short exposure time involved when scratting. What is also interesting in this video is the cider makers method... look at those apples ! And yet he make fine cider?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuEVoqx-Zgc
 

gregbathurst

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It's only since the middle of the 20th century that stainless equipment has been available, before that most cider had some metal contamination. These days most people prefer to avoid any risk, you can make a home made drum scratter with a wood cylinder or buy an expensive SS apple mill like I did eventually, or even take a risk on a fruit mill from alibaba.
 

jambop

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It's only since the middle of the 20th century that stainless equipment has been available, before that most cider had some metal contamination. These days most people prefer to avoid any risk, you can make a home made drum scratter with a wood cylinder or buy an expensive SS apple mill like I did eventually, or even take a risk on a fruit mill from alibaba.
I am making cider for fun with apples from my garden and so there is no way I would be spending money a pulper. I saw one comes in at nearly 1000€ ... effectively a garden shredder with a stainless cutting disc and blades although those who have shelled out for them disagree and say they are special 😄 I will admit to making a mistake, I bought a hand scratter before I remembered I had the shredder so am down 60€ although I should be able to sell it. I only used it once, it does work but just like that maximiser unit the apple pieces are really too big and it needs double scratting the shredder is really good and presses very well. I just need to sort the cutting disc situation out so no biggie .
 

MtnGoatJoe

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So, I am very happy with the grinder, but I don't have anything to compare it to. The "big" chunks I noticed are actually pretty thin. They have a picture on their website that shows the difference between whole and ground apples. They say about 3x more juice. I'll try to pay more attention this year and see if I notice big chunks.
So, I picked about 17 gallons of Gravenstiens last weekend, and pressed them 6 days later into just over 3.5 gallons of juice. None of the pulp I saw was particularly large, and I am VERY pleased with the results.

If it was just me without any help, then I'd be looking for some kind of automatic scratter. But with help, I can pulp apples VERY quickly. Three people pulping, one turning the grinder and two feeding apples, could easily outpace one or two people running the press.

Four people split as needed between grinding and pressing could process a LOT of apples very quickly.
 

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