Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits/ veggies and grains other then just mashing

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:40 pm

Wow, that's a lot of questions Shineon :lol:

Lets see :problem:
Shine0n wrote:juse wondering how the fruit season on the west coast is coming along?

Things have been crazy here, our winter was long, cold and wet and the trees are running behind. The cherries are just starting to produce and I have been battling birds to get them first. I need to go check on the big cherry tree I got permission to pick but haven't managed to find the time. I also got a line on another big cherry not too far away but can't find time to pick the one a half mile away so I don't know how I will find the time to do that one. Not long ago my wife decided we needed a retaining wall and fence and some other things came up which really cut into my fruit prep time so as usual I am way behind there. I almost have the new apple chopper together and did a video of the first successful test run a couple days ago but it still needs some reinforcement and a chute before it's ready to see apples. Fortunately the Apple Reaper is up and running very well, I even had the original AM radio converted to AM/FM/Aux, so I have something to listen to on the drives to the apples :D I also need to go check on the early apples, I hope to do that on my way home from work tomorrow. I checked the Bella Vistas a couple weeks ago and they look late, so I expect the transparents will be late as well. Plums are looking good but again, running late. The cherry flights have begun at the airport so there are a lot of 747s freighters coming and going loaded with cherries bound for Asia. I think they said the cherry harvest is expected to be near record high this year. Then there are the blueberries. I transplanted my blueberries so they weren't allowed to produce this year so I will have to make the trip to Tacoma and see how they are looking this year. The guy I work with who had the Asian pear and some apples and grapes and other stuff he let me pick has sold his house to a developer, so I lost those trees but hopefully can find some other pears. The blueberry park has some apples so maybe I can get a couple hundred extra pounds there. Damn that's a lot of typing but as I type I am getting excited over the fruit that is about to start rolling in :D

Shine0n wrote:If I recall you saying you wait to see a brix of 12???
Now usually the apples start falling around Sept and Oct but they seem already high in sugars, do you suppose they will get better twards that time or should I be ready at the time the brix gets 12 or a bit higher?

Less rain usually means smaller sweeter apples, and I've found that brix doesn't tell the whole story. I've sort of adopted a loose attitude about it all. I figure when the apples start dropping it's time to start picking. I like to check the brix but a taste tells the story best. If it has a powderyness it usually isn't quite ready but once they start dropping I know I need to get them regardless. It helps to get to the point of knowing the specific trees and how they produce but in my opinion the longer they can stay on the tree the better. Of course you don't want to leave them so long you lose them, some of my apple trees will seem far from ready then BAM! one day they start dropping and they are gone in a week.

Shine0n wrote:after picking how long can an apple sit without going bad? I wont be able to pick them all in a day or two so I'll have to let them sit foe a spell.

That all depends on the apple. If you know the specific variety the website Orangepippin.com ( https://www.orangepippin.com/apples ) can help gauge that. I know the trees I currently pick and how long they last, the transparents can last 2 weeks without losing too many but not longer, the Bella Vistas are good for 3 days, in 5 you lose quite a bit and in a week you will lose most. The Antiques are good keepers I've left them in the garage for as long as 6 months with no problems at all. Some apples actually benefit from sitting after picking others go bad fast. Usually 2 weeks is Ok but I do try to get them done as soon as possible after picking.

Shine0n wrote:Hope things are well in the pnw and hope to see you about the forum soon talking about apples and apples and more apples.

I know I've not been spending much time on here, life has been getting in the way but hopefully things will calm down in a few weeks but even though I'm busy life is pretty good here in the PNW :D

Shine0n wrote:Also, what is your take on fermenting on the pulp or fermenting just the pulp after pressing? I know it's alot of space taking stuff but will it be worth the effort? More flavor? Or a big pita.

For me it is a pain to do on the pulp but Der Wo seems to think it's the best way to go. I think it's probably one of those things you have to try and see what you think is right for you. I know that's kind of a shitty answer but that's about all I can say.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:19 am

Not shit type at all, you give honest, open minded, and to the point answers and that's what I appreciate about your advice.
I'm sure if der wo scrolls down to this thread he will give some great advice as well.

Glad to here the PNW is good and the reaper is in top shape for the gathering :thumbup:

good luck with the cherries, my tree was sipped in 1 weekend, ONE!!! Could be worse and all the apples be gone the same way.

I'll start my own thread and get advice along the way and come to a conclusion when the time arises.

Thanks Cranky,
Shine0n
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:28 am

Those damn birds love those cherries. That's one advantage to Rainier cherries, because they don't turn red the birds don't realize they are ripe.

I went over yesterday and looked at the early apples and that big cherry. The Transparents are still far from ripe, only 9 brix so I have some time there. It's looking pretty good, the apples are a bit small at the moment but it is pretty well loaded, I should easily get enough to do a proper timed test of the chopper and top up the barrel. I might even do another barrel aged cider, that actually turned out well last year. The cherries don't look good at all, they aren't getting big, just shriveling up on the tree so maybe I wont get those cherries this year either. I may have to take that drive up to West Seattle to the tree the one guy told me about and see if I can get enough to make a proper kirsch but it's not looking very promising.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:54 pm

Yesterday I stopped on my way home from work to check on the early apples again. They are actually looking pretty good They are now testing at 11 brix with a clearly defined line. One thing I don't think I have ever mentioned is that the nearer to ripe the apple is the cleared and more distinct the line is on my refractometer. When it is under ripe there is more of a gradient than a line. These apples don't get very much higher than 11 brix so they are getting very close to dropping. my plan is to stop by every couple days and check on them. Unfortunately I got involved in a little project of making one good car out of two bad ones and that has been taking a lot of my time. The new chopper is running considerably behind schedule too. I did some more mods to it yesterday and hope that it is now all sorted out. There are still some minor things to do to be ready but hopefully that will get sorted within the next few days.

While visiting the transparent I took the time to check on the cherry once again. That was a bit of a surprise. There were suddenly lots of tiny little dark red cherries, ripe and ready to pick. Because they are so tiny I picked a hand full to do some testing on before I decided to return to pick more. When I got home I broke out the refractometer and was shocked to see they are at 28 brix :esurprised: . I was even more shocked when I popped one in my mouth :wtf: They taste absolutely HORRIBLE!!! There is a distinct cherry flavor to them but they are also bitter and pretty nasty. I am still debating going ahead and picking them and see how they come out, because after all the worst apples often make the best brandy, maybe the same holds true with these cherries. I just don't know that I want to take the time to bother since I have so much else to do. Of course I've always lived by the saying "If you put off something long enough it either becomes unnecessary, impossible or somebody else does it" and I know I only have a few days to make up my mind. My own cherry trees produced pretty well but the birds, raccoons and ants got most of them. Those damn fat raccoons even climbed one of the trees to get a branch that was netted and broke the damn branch :evil: I still got a couple dozen nice black cherries for eating straight :) Next year I plan on pruning the trees and properly netting them. For what are supposed to be dwarf cherries they are getting a little out of control.

The plums are coming along nicely, running late but looking really good, my Beauty plum is producing more than it ever has. I doubt I will be able to use any of those for stilling because for some reason they produce a very nice full flavored sweet plum that has a distinct banana finish and my wife absolutely loves them. So to make her happy she gets the beauty plums and I get the European plums.

Well that's about all that's going on in my little world of fruity goodness :D
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby raketemensch » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:17 pm

So, my apple/pear trees have been in the ground a year now. I’ve been training the branches to ideal angles and picking the blossoms so they put their energy into their root systems. All good, right?

The other day I noticed that their beautiful green leaves are now covered with orange spots. Huh.

It turns out to most likely be a cedar fungus, as we basically live in a cedar forest. Who knew? The fungus spends the winter on th cedars, and leaps to the apples come summer.

I guess I basically have to hit them with Immunox in spring.
User avatar
raketemensch
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:10 pm
Location: Tralfamadore

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Jul 23, 2017 4:45 pm

raketemensch wrote:So, my apple/pear trees have been in the ground a year now. I’ve been training the branches to ideal angles and picking the blossoms so they put their energy into their root systems. All good, right?

Yep, first year you prune them and can't let them bear any fruit.

raketemensch wrote:The other day I noticed that their beautiful green leaves are now covered with orange spots. Huh.

It turns out to most likely be a cedar fungus, as we basically live in a cedar forest. Who knew? The fungus spends the winter on th cedars, and leaps to the apples come summer.

I have that same problem, the fungus lives in my useless lemon juniper in the winter and attacks my pear tree in the summer :evil: I hate that juniper for 2 reasons, it harbors that damn fungus and it doesn't provide juniper berries. I'm about to just cut that damn thing out and burn it. My solution has always been to keep an eye on it and as soon as a spot appears, pick the leaf and drop it on the ground. Eventually I beat it and it gives up for the year.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:02 pm

Today I went out and checked on my plum tree and saw this
PLUMS 23 JULY 17 #2 - C.JPG

2 of them were ripe but I only got a picture of one
PLUM 23 JULY 17 - C.JPG

because when I walked in with them my wife quickly snatched one out of my hand and ate it.
These are supposed to be beauty plums but I am not really sure because they have a distinct banana flavor to them. They taste nothing like any other plum I've ever tasted and my wife loves them. So these plums don't get turned into booze although I would be interested to see what wine or brandy made from nothing but these plums would taste like.

I planned to start picking apples today but couldn't so I plan on doing it Tuesday or Wednesday but apple season is about to start :D
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:43 pm

Well here it is
FIRST APPLE 24 JULY 17 - C.jpg

The first fully ripe apple of 2017 :ebiggrin:

So on July 24th Cranky's apple season has officially begun.
I had planned on starting to pick Saturday but that didn't happen, then I planned on picking today but my son managed to have a free day so he came over to help with the Mustang, which is a long complicated story in itself and probably best suited for the liars bench or off topic :roll: and shouldn't be discussed in this thread but it once again left me with no time to pick today. When I went to drop my son back at his house I made a little detour to show him the tree. It looks like the apples are fully ripe and ready to be picked. It also looks like the apples have just about doubled in size over the past week. So I told my wife that absolutely positively I am going apple picking Wednesday morning. I already have all my buckets in the back of the truck as well as the pickers and a rake. Hopefully we can get that apple chopper video shot this week with a timed run and see if I can actually reach that 1,000 Lbs an hour :D
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby chickenfeed » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:37 am

cranky wrote:
JBAR9 wrote:I would love to see a well done pumpkin recipe. If mine grow worth a darn this year, that will be my first ferment in the late fall. I love everything pumpkin and Halloween. Probably have to add some sugar to it though and maybe some pumpkin pie spice...


I found a nutritional fact analysis that after doing some math says pumpkin is only 0.2% sugar, so additional sugar would be a must. Maybe use grape juice to thin it and add sugar or just add sugar. Jack Keller has a pumpkin wine recipe ( http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques53.asp ) I wouldn't use as much sugar as they call for but pretty much it would be a pumpkin flavored sugar wash.
i tried it once. Did not work out well and it was a lot of work.
chickenfeed
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:13 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:17 pm

I think I checked the juice that settles out after cooking a sugar pumpkin once and it wasn't all that low but you would have to have a truck load of them and go through the roasting process on all of them just to get enough to make a single run. I do look at those fields full of pumpkins left to rot after Halloween and think about what could be :roll:
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:45 pm

I woke up bright and early this morning and only 4 hours later headed out to go pick apples. My plan was to get all my picking done before it got too hot. So I went to the transparent and there were a few apples underneath the tree but not too many. I've been watching this tree and waiting and knew it hadn't produced anywhere near as many as last year but I enthusiastically went about picking.

The apples were actually quite a bit larger than the ones it produced last year, many of them being the size of softballs and weighing more than a half pound. They ran about 90 to a bucket, which means they are very large apples. I weighed one a little while ago, it is 10.2 ounces and full of sharp very apply flavor, nothing like those wimpy store bought apples.

While I was there the owner of the house came out and talked to me a bit and asked if I was going to pick the one in the back as well. Well of course I was because it had also started dropping apples. Then he left and I continued picking. I picked all I could get and was actually rather disappointing to find it was only 4 buckets full.
APPLES 26 JULY 17 #4 - Copy.jpg


Then I went around back, on the way I looked at the cherry tree, the cherries are perfect right now and actually sweet and tasty but tiny. I went ahead and picked 100 to see if I could do something with them but they are so small it would take the whole tree full to get enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Unfortunately I don't have enough free time to pick that many. I think I might go back and see if perhaps I can get enough to make a few jars of jelly, or just add them to a mixed fruit ferment.

Once I got to the tree in the back I was encouraged to see some of the branches loaded like this.
APPLES 26 JULY 17 #3 - Copy.jpg

APPLES 26 JULY 17 #2 - Copy.jpg

There was around a bucket full of apples on the ground already but most were still in the tree and ready to be picked. These are small apples running 150-160 to a bucket but there are so many they make up for the small size. This tree had been pruned in the spring so it also didn't produce nearly what it had last year but I'm grateful to get whatever I can get.

By the time I was out of picking time and it was beginning to get hot I had the tree completely stripped of all the apples I could get. All in all I got 9 buckets of apples and about 3/4 of a bucket of drops that happened while I was picking.
APPLES 26 JULY 17 #1 - Copy.jpg


This was only about 1/4 what these trees produced last year and at best I can get maybe 12-13 gallons out of them. That leaves me kind of behind what I had hoped for and I lost more trees when someone sold his house, another person moved out of a rental that gave me a couple hundred pounds last year and of course the construction area where I lost all those trees last year.

I did drive by the Bella Vista and it is getting close but will only be good for a bucket or so. I did get an offer to pick a couple trees in Puyallup that are dropping right now but Puyallup is such a pain in the ass to drive to because the traffic is always crazy. I may just have to take them up on it so I can get enough cider pressed to make 3 stripping runs, that's me goal this year, just enough to do 3 strips and a spirit run. Of course that means about 40 gallons plus another 5 to make cider from to give to the owners of the trees. By my calculations that's about 720 pounds of apples. I'm not sure I'm going to reach that goal this year but hopefully :D

I'm actually considering concentrating on picking blackberries rather than apples for a while although I'm also considering doing another mixed fruit with everything that's in the freezer, I still have some plums from last year, and blueberries, and I don't know what all but it is a real possibility.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Bushman » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:08 am

This might be a good time to post for members around the world possible locations for free fruit.
https://fallingfruit.org/?c=forager%2Cfreegan&locale=en
User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
 
Posts: 12199
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:58 am

Bushman wrote:This might be a good time to post for members around the world possible locations for free fruit.
https://fallingfruit.org/?c=forager%2Cfreegan&locale=en

I like to check that site regularly to see if anybody has listed any of my coveted trees. Fortunately none of the few regular trees I have left are included :D It actually seems like there are fewer trees listed now than the last time I checked it.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:28 pm

Well, I couldn't stand it so this afternoon before traffic got too bad I made the drive out to Puyallup and picked what apples were available. There were 6 smallish trees there that were smaller from being heavily pruned over the years but they ware pretty heavily loaded. Unfortunately only 2 of them were ready to be picked so I picked what I could which probably netted me around another 100 pounds. This gives somewhere around 300 pounds which is plenty to give the new chopper a good test run. I had planned on running the chopper today but I needed to take care of the yard first, then my weed whacker broke :evil: so I spent an hour trying to fix it but couldn't find the right allen wrench to take it apart to attempt fix the starter. So then I hot, tired, frustrated and smelled like gas and didn't feel like running anything and decided just to go pick some apples. So thats what I did :D

Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for another tree or two and hopefully I can get even more before next week. I also hope I don't lose too many of the ones I picked this week. So all that said, here is a picture of this weeks haul
APPLES 27 JULY 17 #2 - C.jpg
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:49 am

The geese have shown up a month early this year and I see some fallen fruit from my 3 trees or at least one of them is where they are all hovering around. Now I can't find my refractometer to check the brix, they are golden delicious I suspect and are close now.

I did find 4 more trees for this year and 3 of them are loaded and big, I don't want to waste them but nobody else wants them and the homeowner wants them gone before the bees and wasps get to them.

Oh, and my massive fig tree is bursting at the seems too!
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Jul 29, 2017 2:49 pm

Wow, when it rains it pours :D
Shine0n wrote:Now I can't find my refractometer to check the brix, they are golden delicious I suspect and are close now.

Before I got my refractometer I used to grind a couple up in a food processor then squeeze them by hand to get enough to fill my test cylinder and check with a hydrometer. Round here it is about the right time for golden delicious so they are probably ready. I actually find that taking a bite tells me more than anything.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:19 pm

My son had another one and I calibrated it and it was dead on, there were 3 different trees I tested and I think one is golden delicious, the brix on it was 10 and the other two were 9.
My wife and I ground up all 3 separately and tasted and they all were delicious, we'll she did most of the tasting as it wasn't enough for two. lol but I did taste them and wow that's good stuff!

She has given me the go ahead on this and she knows it will consume some time and after her taste (that's kinda why I let her) she's all in!!!

I have my press and the chopper is not quite finished but I think I'll be able to chew through 500 lbs easily in a day.

I'll keep on checking on them over the next few weeks and see how they progress.
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:22 pm

Shine0n wrote:My son had another one and I calibrated it and it was dead on, there were 3 different trees I tested and I think one is golden delicious, the brix on it was 10 and the other two were 9.
My wife and I ground up all 3 separately and tasted and they all were delicious, we'll she did most of the tasting as it wasn't enough for two. lol but I did taste them and wow that's good stuff!

She has given me the go ahead on this and she knows it will consume some time and after her taste (that's kinda why I let her) she's all in!!!

I have my press and the chopper is not quite finished but I think I'll be able to chew through 500 lbs easily in a day.

I'll keep on checking on them over the next few weeks and see how they progress.

I hope it works out well for you, I tested one of the transparents I picked the other day and it was actually 13 brix, which is actually high for these apples. I guess the dry weather has been doing the trick and making the apples sweeter :D

I'm glad your wife is all in, mine is already complaining about the new chopper being slightly taller than the other one and "Why do you need a faster one when you can't keep up with me already?"

:problem: She just doesn't understand that upgrading the press to handle 1,000 pounds per hour is going to be this years winter project :shh: If my press were only a little bigger I could easily handle 1,000 pounds in a day even with the smaller chopper. One of the problems I actually had last year was that I tend to stop on my way home from work and pick a bucket or two here and there and the big chopper and press seems just too big to do only a couple of buckets a week but it sure beats my old method.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:41 pm

Today I got a nice gift, well sort of, and I wanted to show them off
BUNG #1 - C.jpg

A couple days ago I found a big chunk of my Japanese maple I cut down years ago. I cut it into some square pieces and gave them to a guy I work with who's son has a wood lathe. His son turned them into cones for me to use as bungs for my barrel. The bung I have been using is not perfectly round and I have always been concerned that bugs and fat angels could get into it. So now I have some perfectly round Japanese maple bungs that will help keep those fat angels at bay. The only problem is they seem almost too pretty to use for such a purpose :D

I also drove by the house with the big transparent tree this afternoon and noticed it still has at least 4 HUGE apples I missed the other day, so I am planning on stopping on my way home tomorrow and picking them. 4 apples may not seem worth it but these are nice big ones that should run more than a half pound each so that's at least 2 pounds of apples on that tree which I may as well have when I process all the rest of these apples sitting in front of my porch. My plan is to have the chopper and press all ready to go on Wednesday and get all the apples processed and hopefully a video up within a few days of that.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:37 am

Nice bung you have there :lol:
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:34 pm

I ran apples through the super chopper for the first time today :ebiggrin: I've been busy working on the video which I will post here viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62167&start=90 if youtube ever finishes publishing it. That thing is amazingly fast! By my calculations it can actually handle as many as 2,000 Lbs per hour :esurprised: It ate through 100 Lbs in 3 minutes but my wife doesn't like it so I set the other chopper up on the front porch for her and let her go to town. I also did a timed run on the other chopper as she ran it and it can actually handle up to 652 Lbs per hour the way she runs it. Not too shabby on either of them but it did break another pair of blades. So now the big bottle neck in the process is the press. I guess that will be my winter project this year :problem:

I actually weighed the apples as we were doing them and there was about 250 Lbs So I now have 16 gallons of sweet cider to start my brandy season.
CIDER 02 AUG 17 - C.JPG


The new super chopper doesn't chop as fine as the other one but it is not too bad.
CHOPPED APPLES 01 AUG 17 - C.JPG

I might add a few more blades as time goes on.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:25 am

I have a question there Crank, if you let that cider settle how much would be left clear?
Just curious is all, do you have any pics of your cleared cider at all or do you not bother?

I'm actually waiting on 2 more 30 gallon barrels for fermenting the apples this year as all my others have had bourbon and rum in them. I'd like to have fresh clean barrels and not use the others and the bourbon one has had many lacto infection and I'm not taking the chance on contaminating my hard work.

It's getting harder and harder to wait this out for the brix to go up but I still have a chopper to complete and work has been relentless plus I'm out of town during the week and weekends are pretty much full of honey doos.

She knows when the time comes all bets are off... I'm picking and chopping and pressing these apples if it kills me lol.
I mentioned to her about the jelly you talked about and NOW she wants to make jelly as well, oh well it should make my toast a bit better. We usually do strawberry preserves but the berries were bad at best this year so no strawberry jam for me, looks like smuckers will get my money.

2 of my trees look thin this year with apples but the other 5 are about to start breaking the branches so I'm thinking possibly 750-1000 lbs maybe 1200 if time permits.

Shine0n
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:42 pm

Shine0n wrote:I have a question there Crank, if you let that cider settle how much would be left clear?
Just curious is all, do you have any pics of your cleared cider at all or do you not bother?

If I understand correctly you are asking how much I lose to sediment. It might be an inch or two, I looked through my pictures and this is the only one I found that might show it
CIDER 03 SEP 15 #3 - C.JPG

That was taken on Sep 3rd 2015 and was probably close to finished. A lot of times my carboys get pretty dirty on the outside and look hazy but the contents are actually clear like this
08 NOV 15 #2 - C.jpg

Although that was taken in Nov of that year and had fully settled. Those are the only pictures I have found, which is weird because I usually take more pictures than notes :roll: I don't think I ever lose all that much from sediment.
Shine0n wrote:I'm actually waiting on 2 more 30 gallon barrels for fermenting the apples this year as all my others have had bourbon and rum in them. I'd like to have fresh clean barrels and not use the others and the bourbon one has had many lacto infection and I'm not taking the chance on contaminating my hard work.

It's getting harder and harder to wait this out for the brix to go up but I still have a chopper to complete and work has been relentless plus I'm out of town during the week and weekends are pretty much full of honey doos.

She knows when the time comes all bets are off... I'm picking and chopping and pressing these apples if it kills me lol.
I mentioned to her about the jelly you talked about and NOW she wants to make jelly as well, oh well it should make my toast a bit better. We usually do strawberry preserves but the berries were bad at best this year so no strawberry jam for me, looks like smuckers will get my money.

2 of my trees look thin this year with apples but the other 5 are about to start breaking the branches so I'm thinking possibly 750-1000 lbs maybe 1200 if time permits.

Shine0n

Patience is one of the problems with apples, you wait and wait, and they aren't anywhere near ready, than BAM!, they all fall in one week and you have to be ready. I hope you don't get too overwhelmed, I wouldn't use a barrel that has had a lacto infection either, even if I cleaned and sanitized it.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:27 pm

while digging around the garage today I stumbled across something that may be of interest. The first one is a bottle of apple cider from 2014 or 15
CIDER 05 AUG 17 #2 - C.JPG

This other one was supposed to be a jar of cider from one of those years
VINEGAR 05 AUG 17 #2 - C.JPG

but it is actually a jar of vinegar. Not a big deal really, I intended to make some more apple cider vinegar this year anyway so that kind of works out :D
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:57 pm

I forgot to mention, I stopped by the Vista Bella tree today. It was dropping apples so I picked as many as I could. There was a small problem though. Someone parked a couple of pickups under the most productive part of the tree and I wasn't willing to pick above someone else's vehicle because I don't want to get blamed for apples falling on them and damaging them. So I picked what I could and went home with 3/4 of a bucket. Now the clock is ticking on those apples. I kind of wish I had gone ahead and picked them all last week so I could have included them in the chopper run. Now I need to come up with at least a couple more buckets full so I have enough to run the chopper and the press. I suppose I can do it the old way if I have to but I really do prefer the easy way.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:47 pm

I managed to get the Vista Bellas chopped and pressed today. I was hoping to find another tree or two to pick before running them but never did. The longest a Vista Bella lasts after picking is one week and I picked them last Saturday so I had to do something with them. 3/4 of a bucket isn't much but I did get at least a gallon of juice out of it and it only took seconds to chop. This brings my total to 17 gallons. My goal this year has been decreased to only 45 gallons, which will give me the 3 stripping runs I need and give me some for cider.

I have been keeping an eye on a couple of trees I've watched drop all their apples the past couple years and hope to be brave and knock on the door as soon as they start. Hopefully they will provide enough to make me happy. In truth the antique in the park will probably provide enough apples to at least bring things close to what I feel I need.

The big problem I am now running into is what I put in the barrel. I took a sample bottle out last week and am not at all happy with it. I did all of my 2015 runs through the flute and considered not even adding the dead center hearts in because they had an isopropyl like flavor that I didn't like but I went ahead and used them anyway. I then combined the 2015 and 2016 batches in the barrel together. I was very happy with the 2016 batch and actually was quite happy with the brandy when I first put it in the barrel. That isopropyl taste had vanished and it tasted very good but when I took the sample bottle and cut it down to 80 Proof I could taste it once again :( I did just try some a little while ago and it seems to have cleared up once again. I'm wondering if something is wrong with the distilled water I used to cut it down :problem: Maybe I should go get some other water and try again. I'm also considering recombining everything, since I still have all the feints from 2016. If I decide to go ahead and do that I will probably once again condition the barrel with cider for a few months before filling it with brandy. Of course this will delay fulfilling my promise to send certain members a sample but I would rather wait and send out the best I can make rather than a product I know is not right.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:04 pm

Today on my way home from work I drove through one of the neighborhoods and spotted a pretty nice apple tree that is very loaded with apples that are just beginning to drop. I couldn't actually tell where the front door is and the yard is fenced but I think I am going to drive by there every day on my way home and hopefully I can catch someone outside and ask if I can pick :D This one should be good for at least a few hundred more pounds if I can get permission to pick.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:52 pm

I got nervous walking to the door and had 1 or 2 slammed in my face but I felt like a stalker riding by every day to find some one outside. Seems like people hide in their homes sometimes. lol

I did ask a person outside one day and he said his wife was making pies with them and she said bull shit. I about fell out my truck laughing.

I see many many trees around now and don't know how I hadn't before, now I just have to get the nerve to walk up and ask.

plus I have scouts lookin for me too, they just want some fresh juice.
Shine0n
Distiller
 
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Bushman » Sun Aug 13, 2017 5:24 pm

Got me interested so I walked up to an abandon apple tree by the freeway on government property. Still a couple weeks away but the blackberries are sweet and ready for picking.
User avatar
Bushman
Global moderator
 
Posts: 12199
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:29 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:29 am

I'm normally a very shy person so it takes a whole lot to walk up to a door and knock. It doesn't help that people go door to door selling roof repairs, religion and scams. I myself seldom open the door if I don't know who it is. This one house is fenced and I can't even figure out where the front door is, so I will just have to see if I can figure something out. There is another house that has a couple big trees that I have no problem walking up to. I plan on writing some notes to leave at the door if they don't answer.

I actually spent a little time yesterday picking some blackberries. My evergreens are way ripe but only a few of them exist so I only got a little over a quart and my wife loves them, so gotta keep the wife happy and let her have them. I hope to stop at one of the parks I drive by regularly and start picking but I just never seem to have any free time to do much picking. I always have big plans and time always seems to get away from me but still hope to get at least some blackberries picked this year.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

A message to new members
We want you to be safe and succeed so start here
My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4476
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

PreviousNext

Return to Fruit /Grain season is here



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests