Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits/ veggies and grains other then just mashing

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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:21 am

PRICELESS :D

Our apples have been gone for a month now and I still look at the trees thinking maybe I should've asked or how much would I have if I only picked.

I feel ya
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby jb-texshine » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:36 pm

So, I've got 35 gallons of persimmons frozen and still no frost. Just getting the ones that are ripe enough to shake loose.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:36 pm

jb-texshine wrote:So, I've got 35 gallons of persimmons frozen and still no frost. Just getting the ones that are ripe enough to shake loose.

That's pretty awesome. W are expecting frost tonight or tomorrow but not too bad.

I didn't get my apples processed yesterday :( Mrs Cranky had plans that took most of the day. I told her if I put it off another week I will likely go ask If I can pick those blacks and add them to the mi. Today was rainy, windy and cold so I didn't do anything. I have taken tomorrow off and might be able to do it then but we will see.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Bushman » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:50 pm

Snowing up north at my house!
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:06 pm

At least this cold is keeping the fruit flies in the garage down. I might actually be able to strain the plum ferment soon. I have a vacation coming in another 3 weeks so I am hoping to get the mixed fruit and most of the apple run then. Of course the apple I am about to press will just have to wait until Jan. or Feb. but maybe I can get a big batch of panela started then too.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:16 pm

Woke up this morning to gray sky and snow :( It's been snowing off and on all day. I brought in various press stuff and cleaned it so when I do get a change I can chop and press the apples.

I also worked on the house and worked on organizing the freezer. I found yet another gallon of frozen plums in there, which is now thawing. I think I am going to thaw then, juice them and add them the juice to the mixed fruit and see how fast it finishes.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:27 pm

I just had a very strange incident. I was on my way home and driving past that tree with the black apples and since it is getting late in the year and they obviously aren't going to do anything with them and a car was in the driveway I decided to get up the nerve and knock on the door. I pulled my truck up where they could see it from the front window and got out and knocked on the door. A little while later I saw a lady in the living room and smiled and waved. She just shook her head no and I took the hint and waved again as I started to walk back to the truck. :( As I walked back to the truck she set her car alarm off and kept it going off until I was well away from the house :crazy: I thought about leaving a note explaining I just wanted to pick some apples but figured it was just best to get the hell out of there. I think I'm going to try the park one more time and see if I can get any more using the step ladder.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby jb-texshine » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:34 pm

cranky wrote:I just had a very strange incident. I was on my way home and driving past that tree with the black apples and since it is getting late in the year and they obviously aren't going to do anything with them and a car was in the driveway I decided to get up the nerve and knock on the door. I pulled my truck up where they could see it from the front window and got out and knocked on the door. A little while later I saw a lady in the living room and smiled and waved. She just shook her head no and I took the hint and waved again as I started to walk back to the truck. :( As I walked back to the truck she set her car alarm off and kept it going off until I was well away from the house :crazy: I thought about leaving a note explaining I just wanted to pick some apples but figured it was just best to get the hell out of there. I think I'm going to try the park one more time and see if I can get any more using the step ladder.

Write a letter of introduction. May not help for this year but there's always next year.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:08 pm

jb-texshine wrote:
cranky wrote:I just had a very strange incident. I was on my way home and driving past that tree with the black apples and since it is getting late in the year and they obviously aren't going to do anything with them and a car was in the driveway I decided to get up the nerve and knock on the door. I pulled my truck up where they could see it from the front window and got out and knocked on the door. A little while later I saw a lady in the living room and smiled and waved. She just shook her head no and I took the hint and waved again as I started to walk back to the truck. :( As I walked back to the truck she set her car alarm off and kept it going off until I was well away from the house :crazy: I thought about leaving a note explaining I just wanted to pick some apples but figured it was just best to get the hell out of there. I think I'm going to try the park one more time and see if I can get any more using the step ladder.

Write a letter of introduction. May not help for this year but there's always next year.

I have thought about doing that but never did. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision and I don't plan on ever going back to that house after that. There are lots of other trees to pick if I really want or need to.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:28 am

Last night I juiced the gallon of plums I took out of the freezer the night before. I didn't do anything special, I just put on a pair of gloves and squeezed them with my hands one at a time. I got a quart oif nice clean juice which I added to the mixed fruit ferment.

I had also taken a couple bags of once pressed grapes out and left them on the counter to thaw. That was a mistake. There were holes in the bags and the counter and floor are now very sticky. Once I realized there was a leak I put them in a big bowl which caught the remaining juice but didn't keep the fruit flies out of the bowl or the bags :( So what I wound up doing was just draining what wanted to come out easily which was a quart and I figure I will just let that go to vinegar and have some nice wine vinegar.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:32 pm

Today it snowed all day and only got up to 35f :( When I got home I noticed this outside my kitchen window
BLACKBERRIES 05 NOV 17 #6 - C.jpg

That's why my wife loves those blackberries outside our kitchen window :D
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:38 pm

OK :roll: I couldn't help myself. Today is my Friday and I just got off work. On my way home I just had to stop one more time and pick :crazy: I used the 6 ft folding ladder and managed to get it where it didn't sink in the mud and I got 100 more apples. These are the higher up apples so they are a bit larger than most of the rest. I lost a lot because many of them fell of at the slightest bump but this gives me real close to a final total of 10 buckets of apples to process. I am going to get them all processed this weekend whether it is clear and sunny or raining like hell. The news is predicting rain again, go figure, rain in Seattle :moresarcasm: But even if I need to push a snow shovel through the garage to clean out enough of a space to set up in there I will get these processed this weekend. I hope to get some pictures of this to post. The good thing about processing apples this late in the year is that I can do it outside and not have to worry about fruit flies :D
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:03 pm

Today was a very busy day for me. Because the weatherman was predicting rain when I got up this morning I set up my pop up canopy over my choppers and press.
APPLES 08 NOV 17 #8 - C.jpg

Then I waited until 9:00 to get started.

At 9 I went to work and started chopping. Most of these are the antiques which tend to be fairly soft and chop up nice and small.
Here's a couple pictures of the first 2 bucketfuls through the chopper.
APPLES 08 NOV 17 #7 - C.jpg

APPLES 08 NOV 17 #5 - C.jpg

I can also feed them in much faster than a harder apple so it wasn't long before I had half the buckets chopped up and ready to go
APPLES 08 NOV 17 #3 - C.jpg

Eventually I got everything all chopped up and pressed. I lost about 2/3rds of a bucket due to them going bad from sitting so long and I saved about a half bucket of the best ones to make apple pies at Thanksgiving.
APPLES 08 NOV 17 #2 - C.jpg

So the real amount of apples pressed came to about 8.5 buckets or around 200 pounds of apples @ 23 pounds per bucket. I did a little math and figured at my usual figure of 16 #s per gallon I should get about 12 gallons of juice, which is exactly what I got so I'm quite happy :ebiggrin:

I think this brings me to around 42 gallons for the year all of which will probably be used for brandy and with that my 2017 fruit season has officially come to an end :(
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:05 am

I always love to read about your doings! Thank you for sharing, cranky.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:22 am

I'm glad people enjoy reading my little fruity adventures :D

Last night after getting the apple juice in order I spent the rest of the evening straining plum must. For me plums are always a pain in the ass because my boiler only has the original 2" neck and a 1/2" drain valve so I can't just add the whole thing in there and I'm afraid of burning it anyway. So until I manage to put together a steam stripper I need to strain the mush and get it fairly clear before running it. So I use a fine mesh strainer and slowly and tediously strain the big stuff out. Then I take the big stuff and put it in press bags and press it with my little press and get whatever I can. With this mixed fruit I already have 4 gallons of blackberry and 4 gallons of mixed fruit ready to go so ideally what I need is 4 gallons of plum for a 12 gallon run. Right now I have 2.5 gallons of plum strained and ready to go and will probably get the other 1.5 gallons today so I will be right on track to distill the mixed fruit when my vacation rolls around in a couple more weeks.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby raketemensch » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:20 am

cranky wrote: and with that my 2017 fruit season has officially come to an end :(


Show of hands, who believes this statement?
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:10 pm

raketemensch wrote:
cranky wrote: and with that my 2017 fruit season has officially come to an end :(


Show of hands, who believes this statement?

Well this year it's true, I have even started putting away my equipment and cleaning the garage. I'm going to leave the pop up up and set up my saws and stuff under it and concentrate on the front porch and see if I can give my wife a finished porch and garage we can park in for her birthday :roll: I do like picking some apples on Dec 1st but I think this year even picking only a few more would be quite difficult.

Before I started putting everything away I did finish pressing the plum must today.
PLUMS 09 NOV 17 #3 - C.JPG

I got about 4.5 gallons out of what was in the buckets and have another gallon in the freezer so I am all set for the mixed fruit run as soon as I have enough free time :D
Here is a picture of what was left of the pulp by the time I was finished.
PLUMS 09 NOV 17 #2 - C.JPG
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Kareltje » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:59 pm

Seems rather dry! Must have been hard work! :thumbup:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:36 pm

Kareltje wrote:Seems rather dry! Must have been hard work! :thumbup:

I pressed everything pretty hard this weekend. Plums always give up a ton of juice but likes to clog up whatever I am using to filter or strain it so it winds up a lot of work but worth it.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Kareltje » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:45 pm

I have missed the fruit this year, was concentrating on grains.
But I am so glad I made a thumper!
I could ferment on the grain, take off the juice on top of the slurry and put that in the boiler. Then put the slurry in the thumper and run the lot.

But before I had my thumper, I used to water the press or filter cake again, stirr it and then filter again.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:23 pm

With the plum I basically strained what I could through a fine mesh strainer, then loaded the solids into press bags. I squeezed those by hand for a bit then laded them into the little press and slowly kept pressing a little bit more at a time until I had 8 gallons of plum mush squeezed down to half a gallon of pulp and 5 gallons of juice.

For a winter project I'm considering using one or both of my 10 gallon coffee dispensers to make steam strippers. I can easily plum a pipe into them at the bottom but the opening in the top is 6" diam and I haven't found an affordable 6" tri clamp yet. I might resort to binder clips but don't really want to which is why I haven't done it yet but those coffee dispensers would make good thumpers as well as strippers.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:59 pm

update on the apples. The 12 gallons of juice I pressed Wednesday is fermenting away :D My wife made an apple cake this afternoon so I tested the scraps. They tested at 15.5 Brix (1.063 S.G. or 8.5% potential alcohol) That's much higher than usual from the antique but pretty much what I was expecting from the wet winter and extra dry summer. We are currently having a massive storm going on with 35+MPH sustained winds and gusts up to 55MPH :esurprised: My poor fence is taking a beating and may need some repair over the next week. It must really be wreaking havoc on whats left of the apples so I'm guessing even if I wanted to pick more that is now an impossibility. Currently I'm turning my attention away from fruit and focusing on learning to decorate cakes :mrgreen: Many years ago Mrs Cranky told me about a birthday cake she had when she was little with purple pansies on it that she loved and never forgot. Every year since for her birthday I have asked various bakeries if they could make one and have always been told no, basically all they make are roses :eh: So this year I have decided I am going to learn to decorate a cake myself with purple pansies and to further complicate things I am also going to learn how to make a tie dye cake to go underneath the white frosting and pansies, all within the next 8 days :roll: Fortunately there is an oven in our break room at work, so hopefully I can find the free time to do all this at work so I can keep it a surprise :shh:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby The Baker » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:26 pm

Hi, Cranky,
Maybe those bakers buy the flowers in.

We had a bakery (our son, now) and my wife used to decorate cakes.

But when our daughter was getting married Dot went to a course on decorating, and making flowers from icing.
She decorated a beautiful cake with tiny icing flowers all over it.

Quite often Dot would go to the florist next door and get fresh flowers to decorate a cake. Of course they have to be edible and I don't know whether you could get purple pansies (there are other flowers that look much the same and might be related, maybe violas, not sure).

One lady on the internet says,'Yes Anna you can eat pansies. Just put them in salad.'
She also says,'But if you're new to this, PLEASE be sure to eat only flowers you KNOW have had no pesticides or fungicides sprayed on them! '.

Another lady says, 'Lisa asks, "What all CAN you eat -flower-wise??" Well, there's lots. I haven't seen a comprehensive list on Herbs List, so I brainstormed a good dozen or so, then started flipping through books out of curiosity. This is not all-inclusive, but it looks pretty safe (with the exception of primroses, but it's so commonly said to be edible that I had to mention it WITH a warning.) DO remember not to eat commercially-grown flowers unless you know they're grown 100% organically. Pesticides aren't good for people.
These are said to be nice for salads: nasturtiums, borage, roses..., dandelions, pansies....'

Worth a bit more research but if you can get purple pansies or their purple relations fresh might be the way to go?

And happy birthday to Mrs. Cranky.


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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:21 pm

Thank you Geoff,
I hope Tater doesn't get too upset with me for getting too off topic here.
I've been studying up on pansies as decoration. I think it's too cold right now to get them fresh but there are tutorials on piping them with icing and royal icing as well as making them out of fondant and gum paste. I've decided gum paste looks easiest so I bought some and am going to see how that goes. I also got the tip for piping them so might give that a try too. I used to do a lot with chocolate and once upon a time almost opened a chocolate shop so my hope is some of the things I did with chocolate translate to cake decorating and also hope I can remember some of it.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby nerdybrewer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:24 pm

You're a good man, Cranky Brown.
Hope you get the reference!
Anyway, I don't have much to add except go with a photo so you can see what you are trying to replicate.
What we do for those we love. eh?
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:04 pm

nerdybrewer wrote:You're a good man, Cranky Brown.

:oops: I try

nerdybrewer wrote:Anyway, I don't have much to add except go with a photo so you can see what you are trying to replicate.
What we do for those we love. eh?

Yep :D Today I actually learned how to make gum paste flowers :ebiggrin: It's actually much easier than working with chocolate and cleaner too. I may have to start a thread about that in the off topic section.

The storm didn't do too much damage. In the middle of it all I had to run out in the rain, lasso my fence and tie it to the deck to try to stabilize it.
FENCE.JPG

I think I am going to have to add some spring loaded pressure relief panels to the fence for next time.

The pop up took a severe beating too even though I had it secured to the press and one of the choppers.
POPUP.JPG


Oddly enough the homeless camp on my deck was completely unscathed
HOMELES CAMP.JPG


I was going to check on the apple trees on my way home but didn't stop, I did drive past where I could see the back side of them and they still had apples which was a shock, and no I am not going to try to pick any more of them :moresarcasm:
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Bamaberry » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:53 pm

I'm not interested in using fruit but waented to share this with those who are. This seemed like an appropriate spot.
Full disclosure: I also posted this on the CC Forum.

I was watching a new show on Cooking Channel where they visited a place making "artisan" popsicles.
Lot of those in the South now.

Anyway, they were tasting peach and talking about how fresh and more like peach it tasted.

The owner said the difference was because of roasting the peaches in the oven to carmelize the sugars a bit.
Didn't say how long or what temp, but pulled the out, pureed them and added lemon juice.

Thought this might help come next peach season. I don't know if it would apply to other fruits but wanted to throw it out there. (or here).
Cheers!
:D
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:06 pm

You know since you mention it, I was watching some competition cooking show one day and one of the contestants wrapped bananas in foil and roasted them. He said it brought out the banana flavor. I've been rolling that around in my head for a while now and thinking about trying that and banana ferment.
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:22 pm

It's December 1st and my vacation is now half over :( Time always seems to get away from me. I have been diligently (ish) attempting to continue cleaning at the garage and trying to get the still ready to run off all this apple cider and the mixed fruit. All that's left is replacing the water in my cooling reservoirs. I'm actually working on making that much easier, there is actually a water line running along the wall of of the garage and it tees off with a valve that used to go to a flower bed but all the fittings in the bed have been broken over time so it doesn't get used any more. So I figure I may as well make use of it and connect up some copper line and a water hose to make refilling my reservoirs easy. Of course reaching that valve took me all day moving and rearranging stuff. Now I just need to get the old nasty water cleaned out of the reservoirs and refill them, which I plan to do while running all this apple.

While doing all that rearranging I made the mistake of taking the lid off the 30 gallon fermenter thinking about getting a rum wash started :sick: The reason it was a mistake was that apparently I failed to clean it the last time I did a cheez-it wash and it was pretty nasty. So I had to drag that out and clean it and now it's ready for when I get around to doing something besides fruit. It will probably be rum but I also found a bunch of organic cereal I have been planning on using like All-bran and eventually making a neutral out of it.

First I need to take care of all this fruit. The plum I pressed out a while back has gotten some kind of infection so it is definitely going to have to be soon. In preparation I had to go to the hardware store to get more PTFE tape because my pot still still uses slip joints sealed with PTFE. This took me right past the antique apple tree :think: I have to admit the thought of taking a few minutes and trying to pick a few of them, just because I like to say my apple season lasts until the first of December, did cross my mind but there really aren't many apples left on the tree so I didn't :ebiggrin: Unfortunately now that I have a plan with the water line I find I need a fitting for the water hose and some flux, so I will be going back to the hardware store tomorrow and will have to resist temptation once again :roll: It won't be easy though, plus I need to try to bring a saw and pry bar and see if I can finally kill that damn strangler vine around that tree.
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cranky
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Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:22 pm

Got my reservoir all cleaned out and refilled and ran off the first of the apple today. I just flipped the switch on the second strip run. Tomorrow I plan on doing the rest of the apple and probably doing a strip on the mixed fruit and spirit runs on Tuesday.
Sometimes I pretend to be normal but it gets boring so I go back to being me

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My Simple Controller
My Apple Brandy Recipe
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cranky
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