My apple journey

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My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:38 am

Today was the first time I've gotten to pick apples this year due to working out of town pretty much since March.

One tree is very small and produced very little but there are about 50-60 of them in there, and that's all for that tree sadly because they were the best tasting. Not that that means anything for what I'm doing.

The other tree has quite a few more than the other but still not anywhere near what the 3rd and final tree has. Probably in the range of 125- 150 (I didn't count them)

The 3rd tree is loaded to the point of breakage of limbs if I didn't pick soon so I did!!! I picked it around 3/4 of the tree at up to head height and with a small kids rake and got about 60+ lbs so I can easily say there will be 300 lbs just off this one u which makes me happy to have just a bit of variety just not as much as I hoped for.

The wind has been pretty strong blowing this week while away so there are bout 100 lbs on the ground.

Just in an hour and a half I got about 80-90 lbs. Just for the record I had a hot mess 3 year old with me and he was completely over picking apples within a half hour so the other part of me picking was also trying to occupy him so he didn't go out of his mind. lol

I'm volunteering for the oyster roast tonight so chopping and pressing will have to wait till tomorrow after I pick for another hour or so, plus the pear tree is ready too :thumbup:

I estimate 125 lbs off that pear tree possibly more and not sure about what I'll do with them at this point other than chopping and pressing. Maybe an addition to the apples.?.?.? We'll see.

I'll take some pics tomorrow after the pick then some more after the chop and press with totals for the weekend.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Bushman » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:04 am

I have not combined them but have read a lot of posts where combining the two fruits made for a really nice combination. You are probably limited by the amount of each but you might want to research the proportion of each for your processing.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Still Life » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:25 pm

You're always on to something new & exciting. Cheers.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:41 pm

I need to research some on quantities of pears to apples but I'd like to keep some pears for itself.

Yea Still Life, I love this!!!

It can be tedious at times but I'm sippin on some of last year's peach brandy with a buddy and all I can say is its worth every moment.

Can't say enough good stuff about HD and it's members. :thumbup:
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:20 pm

I didn't get to pick today but did manage to chop the apples, I hand squeezed the first 3.5 gallons of pulp. what a pain in the ass!

I got only 1.5 gallons of juice, so I'll get a bottle jack and use the door jam to finish the other 2 buckets tomorrow after work.

I'm hoping for 5 gallons to fill a carboy and get fermenting, I'm still up in the air over the wild yeast but I have some Other yeast I'll use just in case.

I'm also going to ferment the pulp, I'll add 10 gallons water to 10 gallons pulp and 15 lbs sugar, after fermentation I'll press and run in a stripping run and save the low wines for later usage when I get time to pick, chop and press more apples.

That's it for now,
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Old Town » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:14 am

Glad to see you got started on you're Apples man. I have stalled out on my peach project due to lack of time. I'm sure you know how that goes keep us posted..
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:09 am

Will do Old Town, I pressed the apples last night with a skid steer bucket. lol
My jack gave way before we could even start so I fired up the ole John Deere, put a disc on top the pulp and an old cherry wood 4x4 and whamo, juice!!!
I didn't hold long on the pressure as the wife was not feeling well and the 3 year old was stir crazy so I got 4.5 gallons from 90 or so lbs of pulp.
It's just enough room for the cap and hopefully the wild yeast do their thing.

My time is looking more and more slim due to out of town work but I'm hoping to retrieve 20-25 gallons before the little fellas fall from the trees.

I'm sure there is still 150 or more lbs left on my last tree so if I do my part I'll get more or less 7-8 more gallons.

I have other trees I can pick but I'm not overly concerned because if I don't have enough to still I can always keep as cider, right!

I forgot to mention, I shredded the apples 2 days before pressing and I swear they were already starting to ferment.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby The Baker » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:22 am

Some people gather the apples AFTER they fall, too.

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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:46 pm

From what I've read or watched they get them the next day because of contamination on the ground.

Hell if it looks good it's going in the basket. lol
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:04 am

Dag nab it, work has me to where I just can't seem to get anymore apples and they're about to fall off the trees :x

I'm going to try to get them a little after work at the time and hope they keep till Friday so I can try out my new 12 ton press, I need to just make the time and with this hurricane sitting off the east coast the wind is pretty strong and more than I want might fall anyway.

I did use wild yeast on the first 4.5 gal and it's bitter with a hint of sweet, so I'm going to get some d47 and try and finish it off.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby raketemensch » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:34 am

Shine0n wrote:Dag nab it, work has me to where I just can't seem to get anymore apples and they're about to fall off the trees :x

I'm going to try to get them a little after work at the time and hope they keep till Friday so I can try out my new 12 ton press, I need to just make the time and with this hurricane sitting off the east coast the wind is pretty strong and more than I want might fall anyway.

I did use wild yeast on the first 4.5 gal and it's bitter with a hint of sweet, so I'm going to get some d47 and try and finish it off.


Drop off a tarp on your way to work, let them fall, pick it up on the way home :]
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:52 pm

Well I'll be, I never thought of that to be honest.

Thanks buddy, sometimes I need another brain to think for me. lol
I have a 30x50 that would work well, just put some stakes in the corners and let it rip.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby chickenfeed » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:15 pm

Shine0n wrote:Today was the first time I've gotten to pick apples this year due to working out of town pretty much since March.

One tree is very small and produced very little but there are about 50-60 of them in there, and that's all for that tree sadly because they were the best tasting. Not that that means anything for what I'm doing.

The other tree has quite a few more than the other but still not anywhere near what the 3rd and final tree has. Probably in the range of 125- 150 (I didn't count them)

The 3rd tree is loaded to the point of breakage of limbs if I didn't pick soon so I did!!! I picked it around 3/4 of the tree at up to head height and with a small kids rake and got about 60+ lbs so I can easily say there will be 300 lbs just off this one u which makes me happy to have just a bit of variety just not as much as I hoped for.

The wind has been pretty strong blowing this week while away so there are bout 100 lbs on the ground.

Just in an hour and a half I got about 80-90 lbs. Just for the record I had a hot mess 3 year old with me and he was completely over picking apples within a half hour so the other part of me picking was also trying to occupy him so he didn't go out of his mind. lol

I'm volunteering for the oyster roast tonight so chopping and pressing will have to wait till tomorrow after I pick for another hour or so, plus the pear tree is ready too :thumbup:

I estimate 125 lbs off that pear tree possibly more and not sure about what I'll do with them at this point other than chopping and pressing. Maybe an addition to the apples.?.?.? We'll see.

I'll take some pics tomorrow after the pick then some more after the chop and press with totals for the weekend.
My best apple ever was about 20%pears so just add them all together rounds the flavor out well
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Re: My apple journey

Postby chickenfeed » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:18 pm

Shine0n wrote:I didn't get to pick today but did manage to chop the apples, I hand squeezed the first 3.5 gallons of pulp. what a pain in the ass!

I got only 1.5 gallons of juice, so I'll get a bottle jack and use the door jam to finish the other 2 buckets tomorrow after work.

I'm hoping for 5 gallons to fill a carboy and get fermenting, I'm still up in the air over the wild yeast but I have some Other yeast I'll use just in case.

I'm also going to ferment the pulp, I'll add 10 gallons water to 10 gallons pulp and 15 lbs sugar, after fermentation I'll press and run in a stripping run and save the low wines for later usage when I get time to pick, chop and press more apples.

That's it for now,
Shine0n
I boiled mine and fermmented the whole mash froze them 1st then made thon into apple sauce
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:12 pm

these apples are not what I'd call food grade, lol

The most have worm holes from my tree and I haven't had time to pick the other 2 trees, hopefully I will and I'm damn sure trying to get at least another 20 gallons for a total of 24ish.

I'd like to do 2- 10gal stripping runs and add all the low wines to the rest of the ferment to do a spirit run.

I'm going Friday to pick what's left of pears so maybe I'll have a good blend too, maybe not 20% but at least some.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:21 am

My oldest and I are going to pick,chop and press the apples and pears today as I seen last night that the pears are starting to rot on the limbs so I have to get them today or I'll have no chance of them later.

I'm hoping I can get 100-150 lbs of pears but I'll take what it offers and the rest of the apples off my remaining tree.

Looks like I need to go and get 2 or 3 more jugs or like someone suggested get some 5 gallon buckets from the bakery to use for my primary fermentation then rack.

The other trees I have still look good and some apples have started falling so it's time but just not today but very soon. the one tree is loaded to the fullest but look like the same type as what I have already so these pears will be key to a good blend if in fact they are the same but either way if I don't like the cider I can always run into brandy which is the main goal but I'd like some cider to sip too.

At least 5 gallons aged on oak for a year would be great.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:47 pm

I like an enormous blend of apples but as everybody knows to me free apples are always my preferred apple. A lot of different apples look very simpler but don't taste the same. I like to add pears into the mix too, basically as many as I can get but it probably runs about 10-20% depending on if the pears produced in any particular year. The pear also adds something special to the cider, especially when barrel aged.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:11 pm

I like the free ones too, but time and work has stopped me once again so I'm going to get what I can when I can until they're gone.

My son stood me up Saturday and the wife just wouldn't release her grip long enough for me to do anything, so here I am just talking shit trying to make myself feel better. lol

I did let the wild yeast do its thing and man that cider is dry as a cotton ball in the mouth but tasty none the less, as soon as I get the pears this week come hell or high water I'll do a blend of them with the apples and if nothing else I'll have that for oak aging.

It kinda depressed me now that I have all I need for doing the apples I just can't buy time.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Old Town » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:22 pm

Time is money my friend and when it's time to make money you got to do what you got to do. I've been too busy to get anything done myself.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:23 pm

Hot damn OT I was going to drop you a line but I got to picking apples with my oldest and forgot. I hit you up tomorrow!

So my son and I finally got to pick apples or better yet his big ass climbed the tree and shook them down to me, all together there is about 125 lbs or so.

He's coming by tomorrow to chop and press with me and now I have a 12 ton press I think the juicing will go a bit better, I do need to get a few more nylon bags so I don't have to wait to dump and fill plus we have 3 discs cut out to layer and not have just one big bag full.

We're having tropical storm winds cause of the storm off shore so I'll probably lose a bunch of apples from the other trees but we'll see when I can get to them but for now the few I have are ready to wash and chop. I'll see how much time I have after work but I'm hoping to get them pressed and I'm also thinking of fermenting the pulp with some sugar.

I'm tired and headed to sleep so I'll post tomorrow's yield

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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:41 pm

I hate traffic
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:31 pm

I got rest of my apples chopped and I have 4-5 gal buckets full and will press in the am, would like to have done it tonight but the wife had other plans for me :|

looks like I won't have a chance for the other tree right now but hopefully some this week after work, we'll see!
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:44 pm

Shine0n wrote:I got rest of my apples chopped and I have 4-5 gal buckets full and will press in the am, would like to have done it tonight but the wife had other plans for me :|

looks like I won't have a chance for the other tree right now but hopefully some this week after work, we'll see!

The Calvadose makers let the pulp rest after chopping for a reason. They say it helps improve the flavor, it also lets the pulp bleed so it gives up the juice quicker.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:00 am

Thanks Cranky, I let the last 3 buckets full sit for 3 days and got almost 5 gallons so I expect the same with this batch.
They may have to sit for a day or two anyway because my tray for drainage is a bit large for the new 12 ton press I got so I have to build another one and I'll let the lacquer dry for at least 48 hours.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:44 pm

Tomorrow will be 3 days since the chop and tomorrow night is pressing time :thumbup:
looking forward to using my new press, I hope my basket holds up to the pressure which I think I'll be fine but I plan to build a proper wooden oak basket since I have bunch of 2×2 White oak.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:20 pm

Well harbor freight can kiss my ass!!!!!

Got home ready to press the apples and damn if the bottle jack won't press and leaks right out the seal.

I have a scissor jack I'll use tomorrow but I'm pissed about this.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:18 pm

That sucks. I have a real problem trusting any bottle jack because of potential leaks which is why I make sure mine has a tray between it and the apples. I have managed to accumulate 4 scissor jacks and was thinking about incorporating those into my press for more even pressing without fear of hydraulic fluid contaminating the juice.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:49 am

Yeah, the hydraulic fluid didn't make into the apples so I'm good there but that's frustrating as hell to have it not work right straight out of the box.

Then again I bought it at harbor freight so what could I possibly expect right!

I'm glad they accept returns they better be getting me a good one this time but for now I'll use the scissor jack and get what I can.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:25 am

The apples are fermenting with the wild yeast so I'm going to leave it, I don't want to open it and introduce o2 plus the fruit flies are fn crazy around here!!!

I'll give them 1 week and then press, making sure to keep the top layer moist I'll swirl them around a bit but not too hard.
I'm a little upset with myself because I didn't get to them or just didn't make time when I had it, then problems arise and had no second option because of lack of preparation.
Not like I had a load of time invested but some time I should've taken advantage of what I did have.

Slap my own hand!!!

I was thinking of dumping it all into my 30 gal fermenter and adding sugar to make something than to let them go bad.
They're in 5 gal buckets with lids, not air tight but I think they'll keep out any bugs.

Suggestions anyone?
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:12 am

After some serious thinking I've decided to run the fermented pulp in the thumper and make up another batch of wash using A.J. concentrate so I have a full charge on the boiler for a total of 10 gallons.

I do however have 4 five gallon buckets with the fermented pulp so all may not fit in one pass so it's possible that I use the low wines from the first to finish off a spirit run of my apple brandy.

I'm planning to trim my apple trees this year because of dead branches and lack of production from 2 trees in hopes to get them to produce for years to come and one is almost at the end of its life and only produced maybe 25 or so lbs of apples this year.

I know crap about trimming trees and feel I need to do some serious reading if I want this to go well but that's just where I am at this point.

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