My first apple experience

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My first apple experience

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:18 am

Well not really my first experience. I eat apples frequently, and once I fermented 10 liters cider from apple juice. :crazy:

Anyway I have a friend that works in an orchard and I managed to buy 150kg of second quality (smallish and or a little marked by hail) golden delicious apples.

First of all, let's say that it took all day, working in 4 people. I have no specific tools, and had to resort to winemaking tools my father had at home. We chopped apples manually with apple slicers (until those broke and we proceeded with knives), then we pre-processed them with a stalk-removing machine, that somehow pre-crushed them, and then we pressed the apples with a manual wine press.

Oh Boy, ain't that hard? Apples are way tougher than grapes! I hurt all over today, and my yield was ludicrous: 50 liters out of 150kg apples. SG, though, is not too bad: 1055.

Tonight I plan to split the 50 liters in three different fermentors, and add some of the pomaces to reach 75 liters total, to increase a little the yield. I am going to ferment with wine yeast, saccharomyces bayanus, which I understand is the most suitable for apples.

More to come...
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby Pikey » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:35 am

Looking good

I'll be interested to see how this turns out 8)

Rather than waste the remaining pomace I'd love to see a sugarhead made from it and 1 kg sugar in 5Litre wash so 5 kg in 25 litres. To compare the tastes at the end !
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby piperdave » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:29 am

I know what you mean by apples are tough. I processed 2 75 L garbage buckets of apples yesterday by myself. I had a scrobber and a fruit press and took 8 hr steady of cutting, grinding and pressing to get 46 L of juice, SG=1050. My hands are stained and my back and feet are killing me but the juice is happily bubbling away now. Glad I only do this once a year. I can see now why Cranky worked so much at making processing apples easier.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby Bamaberry » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:55 am

First thing, I don't know anything about this!
Second thing, looks like too much work to fool with.

That being said, since this is distilling, why not treat the apples like a grain?
Smash it, put it in a bucket with water with either sugar or grains(?), strain (or not) and ferment.
Apple Smasher.jpg
Apple Smasher.jpg (8.68 KiB) Viewed 419 times

Wouldn't that work and be a lot easier?
Last edited by Bamaberry on Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby wtfdskin » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:53 am

Freeze them, thaw them, run through a meat grinder.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby Pikey » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:58 am

Bamaberry wrote:First thing, I don't know anything about this!
Second thing, looks like too much work to fool with.

That being said, since this is distilling, why not treat the apples like a grain?
Smash it, put it in a bucket with water with either sugar or grains(?), strain (or not) and fermet.
Apple Smasher.jpg

Wouldn't that work and be a lot easier?


Eek :shock:

Mentioning the "S" word or the "W" word in a thread on apples is a crime likely to get you suspended - by the Testes from a big hook :twisted:

Mention of both in one sentence - well I don't think anyone has ever survived such a faux pas :evil:

Tbh though, If they were mine, I'd do a wash exactly the way you describe except - I'd cook the apples to a pulp before fermenting - just to see :lol:
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby Bamaberry » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:09 pm

[color=#008000]
I didn't say how MUCH water did I ?
water.jpg
water.jpg (2.92 KiB) Viewed 409 times

As for the "S" word, you mean Smash, Strain, or the other S word?
I'm not sure where you would want to end up with the apples though.
Like I said, never done it and it looks like too much work.
Since I'm a NOOB :mrgreen: I'd be tempted to put a little molasses aLa Rum in it and see what would happen.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby cranky » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:09 pm

Apples really can be a lot of work if you don't have the equipment set up in advance. My old method used to be a crazy amount of work and time, now it's a few hours to do 300 Lbs and if I had them I could probably manage 1,000 Lbs in a day without being too tired or sore :ebiggrin:

Bamaberry wrote:...since this is distilling, why not treat the apples like a grain?
Smash it, put it in a bucket with water with either sugar or grains(?), strain (or not) and ferment.

There are actually some very good reasons for not doing it that way. I do understand there are some, particularly the Germans, who do add some water and ferment on the pulp but I've read it adds a lot of heads and there can be some unpleasant things caused by the seeds.

Apple flavor can be very elusive to begin with and adding sugar dilutes that flavor making it even harder to reconstruct. I think adding grain would cause a problem finding the apple because cuts on a grain based spirit are very different than cuts on a fruit based spirit.

wtfdskin wrote:Freeze them, thaw them, run through a meat grinder.

That would actually increase yield greatly, however, I did an experiment a while back where I pressed the pulp, then froze it, thawed it, then repressed. I fermented the second pressing of juice separately and while I got more juice from the second pressing the final result had little to no flavor when fermented and distilled and was no good as hard cider either. I actually prefer less yield with more flavor over getting every single drop of juice possible. I believe the calvados makers require the final juice to be no more than 60% of the total weight of apples used because pressing too much removes flavor.

Some Calvados makers will water down the pomace after the first pressing and make a less flavorful marc brandy to get something extra out of the apples.

Pikey wrote:Tbh though, If they were mine, I'd do a wash exactly the way you describe except - I'd cook the apples to a pulp before fermenting - just to see :lol:

There are actually very good reasons not to do it that way. The more you cook an apple the less flavor you will have in the final product, a fast ferment can also remove flavor. Some of the best sweet cider makers here in the US will rapidly heat the juice to 160F for only a few seconds then rapidly cool it back down because ever second it is hot reduces flavor.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby Pikey » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:18 pm

cranky wrote:
..........
Pikey wrote:Tbh though, If they were mine, I'd do a wash exactly the way you describe except - I'd cook the apples to a pulp before fermenting - just to see :lol:

There are actually very good reasons not to do it that way. The more you cook an apple the less flavor you will have in the final product, a fast ferment can also remove flavor. Some of the best sweet cider makers here in the US will rapidly heat the juice to 160F for only a few seconds then rapidly cool it back down because ever second it is hot reduces flavor.


You're probably right cranky - this is your sphere of expertise after all 8)

However, I have cooked plums and the wine tastes more "Plummy" and banana definitely gives out more flavour if cooked to a disgusting grey pulp with some of the skins.

I'm thinking that it does not seem easy to get the flavour of apples into a brandy and sometimes a different approach can help.

No big deal, I'll try it myself one of these days. :)
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby cranky » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:11 pm

Pikey wrote:
cranky wrote:
..........
Pikey wrote:Tbh though, If they were mine, I'd do a wash exactly the way you describe except - I'd cook the apples to a pulp before fermenting - just to see :lol:

There are actually very good reasons not to do it that way. The more you cook an apple the less flavor you will have in the final product, a fast ferment can also remove flavor. Some of the best sweet cider makers here in the US will rapidly heat the juice to 160F for only a few seconds then rapidly cool it back down because ever second it is hot reduces flavor.


You're probably right cranky - this is your sphere of expertise after all 8)

However, I have cooked plums and the wine tastes more "Plummy" and banana definitely gives out more flavour if cooked to a disgusting grey pulp with some of the skins.

I'm thinking that it does not seem easy to get the flavour of apples into a brandy and sometimes a different approach can help.

No big deal, I'll try it myself one of these days. :)

I agree with the plums along with freezing them. One thing yeast love more than apple is plums. I also find that if plums are frozen before use more plum flavor is retained and the most plum flavor I have ever gotten in a brandy was actually using home canned plums but apples are different. There have been many many people who come here wondering why they couldn't get any apple flavor after boiling apples, sugar and water and most of us only get one try at this every year so if they get it wrong it will be another year before they get to try again.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby bartus-h » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:20 am

cranky wrote:
Pikey wrote:
cranky wrote:
..........
Pikey wrote:Tbh though, If they were mine, I'd do a wash exactly the way you describe except - I'd cook the apples to a pulp before fermenting - just to see :lol:

There are actually very good reasons not to do it that way. The more you cook an apple the less flavor you will have in the final product, a fast ferment can also remove flavor. Some of the best sweet cider makers here in the US will rapidly heat the juice to 160F for only a few seconds then rapidly cool it back down because ever second it is hot reduces flavor.


You're probably right cranky - this is your sphere of expertise after all 8)

However, I have cooked plums and the wine tastes more "Plummy" and banana definitely gives out more flavour if cooked to a disgusting grey pulp with some of the skins.

I'm thinking that it does not seem easy to get the flavour of apples into a brandy and sometimes a different approach can help.

No big deal, I'll try it myself one of these days. :)

I agree with the plums along with freezing them. One thing yeast love more than apple is plums. I also find that if plums are frozen before use more plum flavor is retained and the most plum flavor I have ever gotten in a brandy was actually using home canned plums but apples are different. There have been many many people who come here wondering why they couldn't get any apple flavor after boiling apples, sugar and water and most of us only get one try at this every year so if they get it wrong it will be another year before they get to try again.
I also don't like the huge amount of work when using fruit, however I really like the product, since in my opinion it is the purest way to make a flavourfull spirit...

So my comprimise is to cut the apples and remove the cores and stems, then add water (yes, sorry) until all the apples are in the water. This prevents oxydation, and helps the decomposition, I think. Then I add yeast and an aquarium heater at around 26 degrees.

This gives me enough flavour coming over..!

Adding the water also helps me against scorching (since I have an internal heating element).

I am also experimenting with pulping the apples in the fermentation bucket with a sledgehammer, and creating puree with a mixer. But my original method is still my preferred one...

Also: I don't have a big freezer, otherwise I think I would use it.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:12 am

My three fermentors (one third pomaces and two third juice each) have been happily fermenting for a week now. Every day I push down the cap, so far so good, I'd say. I plan to sqeeze the pomaces with a potato masher when the time comes, before running it. More hard work to come, then!
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:56 am

Ok, so after a little less than three weeks, this weekend I noticed that it was done fermenting, and I ran it.

The apple pomaces sunk to the bottom, SG reached .995 and an infection started to develop on the surface, so I ran it.

I did three different stripping runs, pressing (squeezing with my hands in my BIAB bag!) the pomaces that were now nice and soft: I believe I got something close to 10 liters out of them, it was a good thing I kept a bucket and added them to the juice to ferment.

The three spirit run yielded around 14 liters of low wines @ 30% ABV. Which is about right if we consider that I started with 50 liters Juice (and some pomaces) with SG 1055.

The low wines are not bad. Good apple smell and taste hide somewhere in that cloudy smelly thing :D

Now I am waiting to have four free hours in a row to make the spirit run!
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby flyweed » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:25 pm

I have 10 gallons of my apple wash sitting here right now at .099 and clear. Now basically, gonna make an apple brandy.....should I just run one SLOW (drip) run and call it good..or run it hard and fast to strip it, then one slow spirit run after it? I want to retain as much apple flavor as I can.
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Re: My first apple experience

Postby cranky » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:48 pm

flyweed wrote:should I just run one SLOW (drip) run and call it good..or run it hard and fast to strip it, then one slow spirit run after it?

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