Jimbo's Apple Thread

Any hardware used in the mashing /fermenting or aging of product

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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:34 pm

raketemensch wrote:I talked a brewing friend of mine into bringing up a couple of carboys of cider to run, you guys have gotten me too tempted not to try it now.

Now I'm just debating whether to run it with the pot column or wait for the flute.

Go with the pot, it's pretty tricky with the flute and I may go back to the pot head just for apple from now on.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby DetroitDIY » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:16 pm

cranky wrote:That's a great setup Jimbo and I love the strainers. I have a 12 ton jack I am planning on using for next years press, I plan on building it pretty much like yours only I plan on using 4x4s.


Just getting into distilling, but I built a grinder and press last year similar to the ones shown in this thread and pressed some 16.5 bushels of neighborhood apples (didn't weight anything) to yeild 36 gallons of must. Used it to make 30 gallons of ciders and cysers, with some juice for the kids on the side.

I used a 6 ton jack after reviewing other DIY stuff on line. The frame cross beams for my press is re-purposed 2x8 LVLs from our addition. I'm sure they're WAY more capable than I need. Pressure plate for the jack top is a bit of 3/4" Massaranduba decking instead of steel... worked just fine. I've seen a few of the posts sweating the strength of their frame members and saw this plan for 4x4s. Wood is VERY strong in the direction of the grain. I used 4 posts, each of 2 in^2 of Aspen (not all that strong, but plenty for this). However for the cross beams you might be better to use a few 2x8s rather than 4x4s. The height of your beams are 3x as important as the width of your beams to resist bending (and breaking).

My press bucket is a drilled out plastic homebrew... had to be careful not to burst it last year. I really like the SS basket ideas I've seen posted in this thread. I add in a mesh bag inside the press bucket and the must comes out clean, no other straining needed.

My grinder is a 6 diameter drum with 6, helical rows of SS, countersunk fasteners that are not countersunk, set into the drum a bit off of a true radial alignment to promote the grinding actions. Had no problem with apples falling in and getting chewed to nice pomace. But, I built mine with a hand crank and got tendinitis grinding all those apples. Ground up a small amount of little crab apples to add to some of the blends... those were AWFUL to grind.

Just unpacking the equipment to tune it up for this year and my number one focus is to replace the hand crank with a pully and connect it to a motor in my shop. I hear it's supposed to be another good apple season here in the Midwest. I hope to try distilling some apple brandy this year.

Question for you all, other than being French, what makes Calavados any different than apple brandy? I did allow my pomace to macerate (sit all mashed up for a couple of hours before pressing) and do think it helped my yields. I believe some of that maceration is attributed to the French, as is the Keeving process during fermentation (though I didn't try that last year).

By the way, I fermented all my must on Lalvin EC-1118. Takes a long time to mature (some of my cider is still working itself out, and all the cyser needs more time). It dries the must out completely, and does give a "Champaigne-like" flavor. Pretty good, nothing like most store bought, but I had to be very patient with the fermentation.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby DetroitDIY » Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:15 pm

DetroitDIY wrote:The height of your beams are 3x as important as the width of your beams to resist bending (and breaking).


Ooops, mis-spoke :oops: . I mean that beam strength is a function of the base width (in cross section) and the height to the 3rd power (in cross section). bh^3. So for the 4x4 you get 4*4^3 = 256. If you instead use a 2x8 you get 2*8^3 = 1024. 1024/256 = 4, so the 2x8 will be 4 times as stiff as the 4x4. The larger your height, the greater your stiffness (increasing the area moment of inertia), even with a constant cross sectional area. Anyways consider a tall beam. (ps. two 4x4s on top of one another does not equal the stiffness of two 2x8s side by side... the two 2x8s will still be effectively 4x as stiff as the two 4x4s on top of one another unless you glue the two 4x4s together so they bend as one).
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:49 pm

DetroitDIY wrote:Question for you all, other than being French, what makes Calavados any different than apple brandy? I did allow my pomace to macerate (sit all mashed up for a couple of hours before pressing) and do think it helped my yields. I believe some of that maceration is attributed to the French, as is the Keeving process during fermentation (though I didn't try that last year).

Thats a very good question. I'm running a lot off memory here so I hope Jimbo can correct any of my errors,

Calvadose is more than just apple brandy made in the Calvados region of Normandy. There are many rules and specific processes that must be followed. The apples must be of certain varieties and are usually a mixture of sweet, bitter, bitter-sweet and acidic. They say the smallest and worst tasting apples make the best brandy. The apples must be drops, that is they must fall from the tree rather than be picked but shaking the trees is allowed. This means they are at their peak of ripeness. The apples are then grated and allowed to rest for several hours to several days before pressing. When pressed they are gently pressed. If I recall correctly you can take no more than 65% of the total weight of apples as juice. I might be a little off on that number but it's something like that. Some of the makers will then re-wet the pomace and do a hard pressing to make marc brandy but it cannot be called Calvados. Only wild yeast is used for fermenting, the ferment time is 2 months with a minimum of 6 month rest afterwards. When it is distilled it is usually distilled in a single-column alembic still with a long graceful goose-neck that gives a small amount of passive reflux. However smaller farms often take advantage of traveling stills which go from farm to farm and those stills are column type stills. Again going off memory but I believe the highest % allowed off the still is 85%. After distillation the Eau-de-vie is then placed in a used barrel, never a new barrel and some feel the more used the better, some of the distilleries use barrels that are upwards of 100 years old. A few of the makers will place the Eau-de-vie in a new toasted, not charred, barrel for one week to add sweetness, then move it to the well used barrels. If it is in the Calvados Pays d'Auge area it is usually Double distillation in an alembic before being aged a minimum of 2 years. If it is in the Calvados Domfrontais area it is usually single distilled and must contain a minimum of 30% pears and be aged 3 years. During the aging period the brandy is sampled and gradually tempered to drinking strength, I think that is 40% so that when it is fully aged no further tempering is required before bottling. Of course longer aging is always better.

Complicated isn't it? :crazy: but that is what makes it Calvados rather than just apple brandy :D
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby DetroitDIY » Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:44 pm

Wow. Thanks Cranky, that's a lot more than I was expecting. I have a small bottle of of it that my friend brought back from France. Clearly I've been under appreciating how special it is. The bottle is Hubert Roche Bois, Appellation Calvados Contrôlée. Any idea where that rates among Calvados?
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:37 pm

DetroitDIY wrote:Wow. Thanks Cranky, that's a lot more than I was expecting. I have a small bottle of of it that my friend brought back from France. Clearly I've been under appreciating how special it is. The bottle is Hubert Roche Bois, Appellation Calvados Contrôlée. Any idea where that rates among Calvados?

Your welcome. It's funny how we can make something so seemingly simple as apple brandy so complicated. I don't know how that one rates but I think knowing what goes into a bottle helps make us appreciate what it is.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jimbo » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:43 pm

No 2016 batch for Jimbo :( The fall got away from me. 2015 batch, 3 gal, still sittin on oak. 2012 and 2013 are both tastin mighty fine.

How many pounds of apples you up to this year so far Cranky?
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Sat Oct 15, 2016 2:32 pm

Jimbo wrote:No 2016 batch for Jimbo :( The fall got away from me. 2015 batch, 3 gal, still sittin on oak. 2012 and 2013 are both tastin mighty fine.

How many pounds of apples you up to this year so far Cranky?

Sorry to hear about that Jimbo, time is having a way of getting away from me too. It's actually been an excessively good year for me. I've processes around 1,000 - 1,100 LBS so far, got most of them in July. I have another couple hundred LBS in the garage right now that needs processed if the weather ever cooperates. My current total is 64 gallons and I'm out of fermenters again. My wife is all pissed off about apples because I did so many in July :roll: but I keep stopping on my way home and picking more from the big tree in the park. Another one in the park decided to produce this year for the first time in 4 years. They are tiny apples, but not crabs, good cider apples and it is pretty loaded. I figure I have another 6 weeks of picking ahead of me if this big wind storm they say is going to hit us tonight doesn't knock them all off the trees. I've been waiting on the special extra sweet ones which have another couple weeks or so. I'm still hoping to get 20 or 30 more gallons but have been very tired lately and when the weather is good I've been working on the porch. My wife is calling it the 3 year porch but complicated trimwork from scratch is time consuming but I am actually getting close to finishing it, which should make the wife happy.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jimbo » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:25 am

haha, sounds good. Finish up that porch Cranky, it will buy you lots of favors, apple picking freedoms and other 'fruits' Im sure ;)

Woop, correction on below, I put up 4 gal from 2015, pic just below. Aging gracefully. We'll see how many years I can keep my mitts of it.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:30 am

Getting the truck back up and running will get me some more freedom to mess with fruit than anything. I go to work very early in the morning and the wife has trouble driving in the dark so being down to one vehicle is beginning to become stressful, actually it passed beginning somewhere around Aug first. The engine shop told me 10 days six weeks ago and all I can do is wait and hope they call me soon and say come get it. Working on the porch and the plum wine I put up a while back are relieving some of the stress but we are both very ready to have 2 vehicles again.

Funny thing, I haven't even tried my 2015 brandy, it's sitting white in a closet until I decide what wood to use on it, I can't even say how much I have. I think I distilled a little over 50 gallons, maybe 54. I'm pretty happy with the 2014 batch.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jimbo » Tue Oct 18, 2016 11:10 am

50 gallons into the still or 50 gallons out of the still?? :shock:
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:21 pm

Jimbo wrote:50 gallons into the still or 50 gallons out of the still?? :shock:

:lol: 50 gallons in, I don't think in my lifetime I will reach 50 gallons out, at least not apple. If I ever got to that point I would buy one of those used wine barrels I want.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:40 pm

cranky wrote:
Jimbo wrote:50 gallons into the still or 50 gallons out of the still?? :shock:

:lol: 50 gallons in, I don't think in my lifetime I will reach 50 gallons out, at least not apple. If I ever got to that point I would buy one of those used wine barrels I want.


If there is one person that would make us ask 50 in or 50 out, it would be you. There is no one else that I could even consider. But with you, ya never know...
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:37 am

ShineonCrazyDiamond wrote:
cranky wrote:
Jimbo wrote:50 gallons into the still or 50 gallons out of the still?? :shock:

:lol: 50 gallons in, I don't think in my lifetime I will reach 50 gallons out, at least not apple. If I ever got to that point I would buy one of those used wine barrels I want.


If there is one person that would make us ask 50 in or 50 out, it would be you. There is no one else that I could even consider. But with you, ya never know...

Finding time to run seems to be the hardest part for me, even with the flute and a run time of only 2-3 Hr I can't seem to keep up. I am also completely out of things to ferment in and I'm still picking apples.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby googe » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:05 pm

Tree is alive again!.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:15 pm

cranky wrote:I am also completely out of things to ferment in and I'm still picking apples.

:clap: so, obsession or compulsion? Godspeed my friend. :D
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:12 am

googe wrote:Tree is alive again!.

:clap: I love seeing fruit trees in bloom. I can't help but think about how each one of those flowers is an apple, pear, plum, cherry...whatever, waiting to grow up and become tasty alcohol.

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
cranky wrote:I am also completely out of things to ferment in and I'm still picking apples.

:clap: so, obsession or compulsion? Godspeed my friend. :D

Maybe a little of both. When I drive down the road I notice a lot of apple trees and think "Somebody needs to show those trees some love and pick their apples" I can't help it. I drove by the special sweet apples yesterday morning and noticed there didn't seem to be any on the tree. Later I stopped to check and it seems that they came in way early this year and only about 2 dozen are left on the tree and the birds are eating them :( I checked on them only Monday so they had to have dropped Tuesday. So now I need to figure out how to make something that will keep the wife happy. Fortunately I put up enough "Happy apple juice" to keep the wife happy this year. She should run out just about the time she is bitchy about apples next year which will give me a reason to continue picking :D
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby thesource674 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 2:06 pm

Question for some of my fellow apple heads. I am just starting out with doing some apple brandy from low proof cider and during my research I swore I came across a comment on a thread (probably from this site) about the temperature you do your spirit run at. The person was saying that you want to run it slightly lower than you would for some other spirits as higher temps can break down some of the compounds that will help give the brandy its distinctive taste.

Has anyone heard of this or know what I am talking about or am I just slowly going insane?

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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby cranky » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:39 pm

thesource674 wrote:Question for some of my fellow apple heads. I am just starting out with doing some apple brandy from low proof cider and during my research I swore I came across a comment on a thread (probably from this site) about the temperature you do your spirit run at. The person was saying that you want to run it slightly lower than you would for some other spirits as higher temps can break down some of the compounds that will help give the brandy its distinctive taste.

Has anyone heard of this or know what I am talking about or am I just slowly going insane?

Cheers

I'm assuming you are probably talking about this thread
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=48526
I know he talks about a slower heatup but when you talk about temperature you are opening up a can of worms, reflux deals with temp and pretty much that only tells you what the ABV it is coming off at. On a pot still temp really isn't important, take off speed is.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby thesource674 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:00 pm

cranky wrote:
thesource674 wrote:Question for some of my fellow apple heads. I am just starting out with doing some apple brandy from low proof cider and during my research I swore I came across a comment on a thread (probably from this site) about the temperature you do your spirit run at. The person was saying that you want to run it slightly lower than you would for some other spirits as higher temps can break down some of the compounds that will help give the brandy its distinctive taste.

Has anyone heard of this or know what I am talking about or am I just slowly going insane?

Cheers

I'm assuming you are probably talking about this thread
viewtopic.php?f=38&t=48526
I know he talks about a slower heatup but when you talk about temperature you are opening up a can of worms, reflux deals with temp and pretty much that only tells you what the ABV it is coming off at. On a pot still temp really isn't important, take off speed is.



Yea I just went through that in the Newbie threads, wondering what they were talking about then. What you linked wasn't it btw it was actually about apple brandy specifically, however I do find it very useful and have added it to my endless quantity of tabs haha. Thanks for the help and either way I guess ill just take it slow when im working with the actual cider. Still prepping with some cleaning runs atm. Could just afford a wee little 1.5-gallon so it goes slow as molasses but its useful for just tinkering if I dont mind waiting.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby WIski » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:16 am

674, is this what your looking for??

Jimbo Wrote'

This thread started off as a description of my apple scratter build, but over the past years has been where I post all my apple cider and brandy related ferments, runs, experiments etc. I asked Halfbaked to rename the thread as such, thanks buddy!

I ran the 71B-1122 batch yesterday. The yield was better than the D47 run, but I cheated a little. Running a 2 plate flute, when the vapor temp at the condensor started to rise, I turned up the defleg water a little, increasing reflux, slowing down the output, lowering the vapor temp and cleaning up the last of the run. I pulled 2 1/2 quarts keep this time and 1 quart feints. Still lower than I ever got before on a pot off 13 gallons of cider, but headin in the right direction. When I do the all feints run after the 1118 batch is finished, I'll see where I stand overall but looking higher than 28 lbs apples per 80proof bottle. More soon.

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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby thesource674 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:29 am

WIski wrote:674, is this what your looking for??

Jimbo Wrote'

This thread started off as a description of my apple scratter build, but over the past years has been where I post all my apple cider and brandy related ferments, runs, experiments etc. I asked Halfbaked to rename the thread as such, thanks buddy!

I ran the 71B-1122 batch yesterday. The yield was better than the D47 run, but I cheated a little. Running a 2 plate flute, when the vapor temp at the condensor started to rise, I turned up the defleg water a little, increasing reflux, slowing down the output, lowering the vapor temp and cleaning up the last of the run. I pulled 2 1/2 quarts keep this time and 1 quart feints. Still lower than I ever got before on a pot off 13 gallons of cider, but headin in the right direction. When I do the all feints run after the 1118 batch is finished, I'll see where I stand overall but looking higher than 28 lbs apples per 80proof bottle. More soon.

Jimbo



Nope but thats ok iv pretty much given up and im following Paulinkas thread and tips for how he makes his fruit brandys. You really cant go wrong based on that thread.
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jhoss » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:27 am

Jimbo wrote: The cylinder on the grinder wheel is a chunk of pear tree trunk that I filled with rows of stainless steel screws for teeth.


Hey Jimbo - glad to see this as I think I can rough shape a chunk of oak into a suitable drum. I do worry that it will crack and be un-cleanable down the road. Any comments on that?
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jimbo » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:14 pm

My pear tree trunk drum has been going for 3 active seasons now (I took '14 and '16 off of apple smashin for one reason or three). And about 1500lbs of apples/season, so 4000+ lbs of apples so far. And no issue, yet. Knock wood.

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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Badmotivator » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:06 pm

Can you impregnate the wood with beeswax like you do with an end-grain cutting board?


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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby The Baker » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:13 am

"I think I can rough shape a chunk of oak into a suitable drum. I do worry that it will crack and be un-cleanable down the road. Any comments on that?"

Stainless bands tight around your drum?
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Re: Jimbo's Apple Thread

Postby Jimbo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:03 pm

Badmotivator wrote:Can you impregnate the wood with beeswax like you do with an end-grain cutting board?


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yes, coating the end grain of the drum will help keep it from cracking when it continues to dry. Didnt even occur to me then, Why didnt you say that back before I built mine.... :thumbup:
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