Jimbo's Apple Thread

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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Jimbo
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:57 am

Hi All,
Bigger is better :D My stills grew from 2 to 8 to 15.5 gallons, and the need for more cider led to bigger and bigger apple grinders. The first couple generations; juicer, then a garbage disposer mounted in a spare sink outlived their usefullness for anything more than a small qty of final cider to ferment. Last year I built this and it chewed through 360 pounds of apples in no time. This year I went nuts and picked 1017 pounds of apples. It took me a weekend to chew thru them all and press them up with this grinder/press. Also brewed 2 batches of beer in parallel so it really wasnt that much time total, few hours. Each batch of apples, a 5 gallon bucket full, about 23 pounds, half a bushel, took me about 10 minutes to sort, wash, grind and press, giving up a gallon + depending on the apple variety. The grinder and press has held up great. about 1400 pounds of apples so far. The axle has a few wraps of heavy teflon tape on the screw threads where it goes through the end boards to act as bearings. Also, there's a 1/4 inch thick 5x5 metal plate mounted where the hydraulic press hits the top board so's not to mash up the wood there. The plastic basket finally blew apart with about 100 lbs of apples to go. I wrapped wire around it to get through the apples and will build a proper oak slat basket this winter. I have a painters screen sitting in the top of the catch bucket, works great to catch any chunks. I got that one at a bee supply house for catching wax and bee wings etc when harvesting honey. The cylinder on the grinder wheel is a chunk of pear tree trunk that I filled with rows of stainless steel screws for teeth.
Cheers, Jim
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Last edited by Jimbo on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by blind drunk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:26 pm

Nice job, Jim!
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by BareKnuckles » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:41 pm

Very cool.. you got skills bro...

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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Fastill » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:59 pm

I really like the grinder. Now I will have to make one of those. I made my wine press with a 5 gallon bucket with 3/4" holes in it just like yours. I use a lever to press unstead of a jack, and so far no problems with the bucket. But I havn't tried apples yet. Just grapes, and the pommice comes out very dry.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by junkyard dawg » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:40 pm

Way to go!

That is really nice gear and I can see it works well. :thumbup:

What kind of apples are you using? There is not really much of an apple harvest down here. I've been able to play with some store bought apples before and it turned out nice.

I imagine good fresh apples to be kinda like homegrown tomatoes. :ebiggrin:
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Bushman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:01 am

Very nice, I posted pictures of the one I use about a year ago. Group of fellows made it out of stainless down at the pulp mill before they closed it down. The strainer is an old stainless steel filter used at the mill, last weekend we put up 39 gallons, great fun currently have 19 gallons fermenting.

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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:45 am

Thanks JD and Bushman! It works really well, the only thing I want to change on it is the press supports. Right now 2 ea 2x6 top and bottom. The 4 ton hyd press presses between them against a 1/4" metal plate where the press head hits. I only get about 2 gallons avg per bushel. Its a little on the low side (2 1/2-3 is good), and the pomace seems a little wetter and heavier than I like, and the supports are starting to creak and crack under full pressure. I'd like to get some steel in there, but not sure how yet, it will depend what I can find. And then Ill pick up an 8 ton press :ebiggrin: That motor was off an old scrollsaw, its only 1/3 HP. I was worried it wouldnt be enough but it doesnt even slow down under full load. Frankly I think they rated motors more accurately 50 years ago, :silent: but Im no motor expert.

The apples this year were several varieties, 8 I think. The trees in my yard, and most yards around were crap this year. But I found these trees around, all untended, untrimmed and they were LOADED. Odd. Maybe Ill stop pruning my trees so carefully and let em suffer a little. Dont know the variety but these are old trees, many were very tart almost crabs, some green, some mottled, some red, some soft, some damn hard. I wish I could ID apples. Ive tried, I could make a good guess on a few of them but could be way off. 2 of the varieties were pure sweet. 18 BRIX. The apples were measuring 15-18 brix, about 3 points higher than last year. Obviously due to the hot dry summer.

I mentioned in another thread, keep a notepad in your car, and make note of apple trees around. There's tons of them, youll be surprised. If you see trees in people yards untended 9 times out of 10 they would LOVE you to collect them before they fall and attract fruit flies and make a huge mess for the homeowner to clean up.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Bushman » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:53 am

I am thinking about building another one to leave out at the island so I don't have to keep transporting it back an forth. Here is what I thought I might purchase and build the rest around it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-sho ... 33497.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Post by Fastill » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:38 am

Bushman wrote:I am thinking about building another one to leave out at the island so I don't have to keep transporting it back an forth. Here is what I thought I might purchase and build the rest around it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-sho ... 33497.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
I have that press where I work. Stands little less than 5' high, might be perfect if you make a catch pan for all the juice to flow into.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:42 pm

Hell yes, that press looks great! 12 ton woot! I might have to get one if my steel support idea doesnt work out. I could do Oak too which Im sure would be a lot stronger than the pine. It works, it works great, Id just like to get that extra 1/2 gallon a bushell. Not that I need it. I ran my first 20 gallons through 2 runs of the still this weekend. I have 3 gallons at 107 proof that will go in an oak barrel and 1.5 gallons of tails for the next run. 22 gallons of cider to go. :shock: :shock:

The math I was doing in my head while picking was to have my 5 gallon barrel full and another gallon jug to keep topping up as the angels take their share. I think I nailed it :)
Last edited by Jimbo on Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Hawk_ » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:08 pm

This looks pretty cool. Looks to be alot of work too. Kudos on a great idea. Hard to imagine 1400 pounds of apples.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:11 pm

Thanks Hawk, it wasnt too bad to build. A weekend or so of horsin around. The only part that didnt work right out of the gate was the cylinder loosened up on the axle. I had to take the hopper apart and then countersunk a 1" hole on each side of the cylinder and used 2 nuts on each side against 1" washers, as tight as I could get the mothers. Ya 1400 lbs is a shitton of apples. With trees overflowing and no cost its hard to stop picking. especially knowing each 5 gallon bucket full is about a fifth of brandy. :ebiggrin:
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by wfw52 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:59 am

Nice set up jimdo64, I think we think alike . I like the way you set every thing on one table set up nice ! does your apples feed through the grinding head ok with out pushing them through? reason I ask I built one simalar last week tryed it out yesterday the apples dont realy pull into the heads that well. wondered if you have a tryed and true aproach for the feed set up If you dont mind me asking. I need to push them a little with a block of wood , then thery grind up lickidy split. thought I would up my rpms see what that does.............. pic of my set up , see what you think any insite would be great............happy grinding.....wfw
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:42 am

That looks great wfw52. Proper bearings too, nice, where did you find those? I sometimes wonder how long my teflon tape bearings will last :) So far so good tho no signs of anything wearing out or getting squirly after 1400 lbs of apples :)

No I dont need to push them through unless I fill the hopper, then they do get stuck. It eats them as fast as I can grab two handed handfuls and drop them in, or roll them out of the bucket pretty fast. 23 lb 5 gal bucketfull gets chewed up in a couple minutes. Does yours work fine throwing them in like that? Your hopper looks great, and the angles dont look any different than mine. Maybe slide that rear board over the grinder forward (or add another) so the teeth hit the apples first with more down angle to help push them through and not fight gravity?

The way I built mine the hopper, grinder, motor and everythign is one self contained unit. Its just bolted to the side of the press for convenience to let gravity be my friend and the pomace drop right into the press bucket. I did that because I wasnt sure if the press part would hold up under TONS of pressure. As it turns out, the top 2x6's are starting to crack. Im gonna replace them with oak and maybe try to get some steel in there.
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Post by NcHooch » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:45 am

Nice lookin work there boys :thumbup:
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by blind drunk » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:58 am

Looks to me like the space between the teeth and where the apples get crushed and pass through is wider in jimdo's shredder. The narrower gap would cause the apples to dance a little more. Just a thought based on what I can make out from the photos.
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Post by wfw52 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:06 am

thanks for the reply Nchooch, and the complament Nchooch, ya I agree it needs ajustment on the throat , the apples bounce up mostly when you drop 1- 7 , when filling hopper it just sits there , hence pushing them down . I see your pulley size on your grinding wheel is smaller than mine giving you more rpms. have already change my motor pulley up 4 sizes see what that does , running a 1/2 hrs so have plenty of power. making the throat ajustment next see hwat that does ..... gotta run pick more apples while it stopped raining !!! then give it a go today . lotta of apples this year want to get what I can :thumbup: have 15 gals apples ready to run , 5 gals of grape tailing , no time with apples going to waste out there last of the season here in Washington.

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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by Jimbo » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:48 am

WFW, Did you get your grinder dialed in? What did you have to adjust?

I bought an 8ton press and am rebuilding the supports to handle it, LOL. cant leave well enough alone. Hell 3/4 of the fun is the journey not the destination right?
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Post by Bushman » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:44 am

I saw a grinder on a google search made from a garbage disposal hooked to a sink, they said any time it sticks they just add a little juice down the disposal and it clears it up. Interesting idea I guess there is enough juice in the apples that you don't need to add water.

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Post by Jimbo » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:58 pm

Thats exactly what I used for a couple years. I mounted a new disposer to a spare bar sink. It works, but it overheats and shuts off enough to piss you off and leave you cursing at a quiet apple grinder while it cools off. Repeatedly. If youre making a gallon with some spare apples, fine, for anything more dont bother. If you really want to go this route anyway, Ive got a real nice one that I made a stand for and everything Ill sell ya really cheap :D
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Post by wfw52 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:21 am

Yes Jimdo I did , made a change in the angle of my screws ( tipped them back ) all 64 of them ! :( but man you cant feed it fast enough now !! 5 gal bucked full in about 3 minutes . what a differance that made ! also since your into this though I would share another Idea on the subject see what you think. the shreded apples are great ........but it seems to me one could take this a step futher beacuse the small bits that you press are still chunky and after you press them leaving a far amount of juice in them after pressing..........SO........ I know your on the edge of your seat !! lol ... what if a guy made up 2 - 5 inch oak rollers and dadoed a 1/2 by 3/8 deep grove space 1/2 in apart on both roller then space them allmost touching , rotating then inwards to each other so they would pull the just shreaded apples in and crush them finer
. you woukd need a tray under your bucket to collect all the juice from that. Then run them through the press . I think you could get at least another 1/3 the volume from your apples ??? ( if that makes any sence) I need to do this !!
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Post by Jimbo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:11 am

Any project is a good project. :egeek: I like the idea. Give it a try and let us know how it goes. :ebiggrin:

Im also working on continuous improvements, only taking a brute force approach. I bought an 8ton press to replace the 4ton press, and am beefing up the press stand to handle 16,000 lbs. :eugeek: :shifty:
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Post by Bushman » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:40 am

Bushman wrote:I am thinking about building another one to leave out at the island so I don't have to keep transporting it back an forth. Here is what I thought I might purchase and build the rest around it.

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-ton-sho ... 33497.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
Here is a site that you can buy the parts separately and use it with the harbor freight 12 ton press. With these parts and the press you have around $300 imvested and can use the press in your shop when not pressing pomace.

http://www.fabitnsave.com/product06.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by wfw52 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:04 am

holy cow , I like the brutt aproach.....works for me !! :thumbup: have to show me how you set your press up when you get it done , I need to build one by next season . thinking of useing a straight walled keg, cut the top and bottom out drill bunch of holes in it use that for a drum to press through. ...........bigger, better, faster , the ol American way :D keep up the good work :thumbup:

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Post by Jimbo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:21 am

Hey I like that idea... use a quarter barrel keg as the press basket, hmmmmm :think: :thumbup: I need a new press basket, the plastic one blew apart after about 1300 lbs of apples with a 4 ton press. Using an 8ton press it wont be pretty with plastic, bigger better stronger :) Now who wants to come over and help me kill a quarter barrel so I can forego the deposit and make a pres basket :)

As far as the stand. It will look the same as the first post in this thread, just beefier. I have some 4x10 Ill use for the top/bottom beams. Be nice to find some glu-lam scraps, that would be nice and strong or some 1/4" sheet steel stock to cut up. I need to scrounge.... :moresarcasm:
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by wfw52 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:21 pm

well seems it would be right neiberly of me to help ya drink that keg up consideran the need to get that press going , anything to help out a fella distiller in need :D :D ............ sounds you got your miles out of your last basket. you might check some of your recyle yards they get'em in once in while , talk to someone there give them your # tell them you'll given 20 bucks if they call you never know ! let me know how it goes !

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Post by wfw52 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:11 am

Hey Jimdo those are some nice labbels !!!! dont suppose you'd let me barrow those models for a few days to make up my own ? :moresarcasm:

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Post by Jimbo » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:02 am

Bahahaha! I wish those were my models..... If they were I prolly wouldnt be spending much time making labels.... or booze for that matter LOL.
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Jimbo's Apple Thread

Post by bcboyz86 » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:28 pm

So is there a specific design to base the apple shredder off of, or did you just think of all the parts needed and put it together? It looks pretty awesome, definitely something I would be interested in. The only thing I'm thinking of is the people I'm going to get my apples from do a TON of Apple and cherry food stuffs... I was thinking of making some Chappel cider as well as some regular Apple cider. They have Chappel pies(cherry-apple) and they are sooooo good! Bet it would make some nice cider too...
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Post by Jimbo » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:46 pm

I based it off a grinder/press I saw at a family run apple orchard, scaled down, but same principle. You gotta chew the apples up first, then press the pulp in cheesecloth or whatever, I use large nylon grain bags in a bucket/ basket with holes. Latest bucket is stainless steel 5 gal pot I drilled holes in. I do these 5 gal pail full of apples per batch at a time, so everythign is sized for that. About 10 minutes per pail all told, sorting, washing grinding pressing, 22 lbs apples, 1-1 1/4 gal of cider. Did 1400+ lbs total in 2012 over a couple weekends and evenings.
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