Apple the easier way ??

Information about fruit/vegetable type washes.

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nerdybrewer
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by nerdybrewer » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:49 am

cranky wrote:
nerdybrewer wrote:
cranky wrote:I just loaded my safeway coupons for the week and one of them is Tree Top apple juice 64oz for $1.49 each (limit 4) So for $5.96 a person could get 2 gallons :think: I'm sitting here thinking if I had 25 accounts I could get 50 gallons for $149 :crazy:
Where do you get that coupon for the Tree Top at that price?
I've got their app but I don't see that one.
Oh - also thanks for the yeast advice.
I don't use the app but it should be on there. I go to Safeway.com, log in, click the "Just for you" link then the "Coupons & deals" link and just load every coupon to my card but you can search using a key word "apple" brings up that coupon and another one for 75 cents off one bottle on "ONE (1) Bottle of Tree Top® 100% Pure Pressed Apple Cider or Apple Juice 64oz" which will bring the total for 2 gallons down to $5.21.

It also brings up one for a gallon of Chinese juice for $2.47 (limit 2) if anybody doesn't mind juice from China.
I used the Chinese juice for a batch of brandy once.
I guess I just couldn't pass up the price at $0.99 / gallon and got a load of the frozen concentrate also on clearance.
The brandy came out fine, but I've been buying PNW juice (Tree Top) ever since then.

I put the 6 gallons of Fresh Pressed Tree Top 3 apple blend in a carboy and then added the yeast I bought at my local brew supply.
I asked the owner what's the best yeast they had for apple cider and she went straight to the stuff. (sorry I don't remember what it was now)
No bubbling by this morning, pretty cold where it was sitting.
Moved it into the bathroom where the HEATED tile floor is 85 degrees F, hopefully it will be bubbling the airlock by this afternoon.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:03 pm

While I hoped to follow Crankys protocol and let this wash sit for a few months before running, time and space was not going to work this time, maybe next year with better planning on my part.
Fired up my stripper with 12 gals of wash and ran it down to 5 abv for a total of about 3 gal at 25 abv. Wow apple all the way and the fores were the best smelling alcohol that I have ever dumped, 4 more strips and then I can do a spirit run, hoping that I can fill a 5 gal barrel but I think that might not make it.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by NZChris » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:07 pm

You ain't making whiskey. You might want some of the appley volatile organic compounds that are mostly in the fores, so be careful how much you throw out, especially if you can't retrieve it.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:21 pm

NZChris wrote:You ain't making whiskey. You might want some of the appley volatile organic compounds that are mostly in the fores, so be careful how much you throw out, especially if you can't retrieve it.
I"ll save some for experimentation, Thanks for that tip.

When I went down to the cellar this morning, first I noticed the great apple aromas then I noticed the wet floor :( One of the plastic carboys that I racked juice into developed a pin hole leak on the bottom - about three gals of juice had leaked out :cry:
Yet another reason not to use plastic!

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by cranky » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:50 pm

I have probably never mentioned it but I have gotten to where I only make fores cuts on the spirit run and am careful what gets thrown out.
Oldvine Zin wrote:When I went down to the cellar this morning, first I noticed the great apple aromas then I noticed the wet floor :( One of the plastic carboys that I racked juice into developed a pin hole leak on the bottom - about three gals of juice had leaked out :cry:
Yet another reason not to use plastic!
That sucks.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:44 pm

Just finished all 5 strip runs (I need to build a larger boiler) spirit run next week when I have some free time .

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by NZChris » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:00 pm

Oldvine Zin wrote:Just finished all 5 strip runs (I need to build a larger boiler) spirit run next week when I have some free time .

OVZ
A Charantaise style preheater makes five strips in a day a doddle, saving nearly all of the energy costs and warm up times for the following strips. Building a larger boiler gets you neither of those and would probably cost more to build.
As a bonus, I have had spirit runs well under way in the preheater while doing the last strip, finishing the strip, then recharging the main boiler with the remainder of the spirit run and finishing it off.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:01 am

NZChris wrote: A Charantaise style preheater makes five strips in a day a doddle, saving nearly all of the energy costs and warm up times for the following strips. Building a larger boiler gets you neither of those and would probably cost more to build.
As a bonus, I have had spirit runs well under way in the preheater while doing the last strip, finishing the strip, then recharging the main boiler with the remainder of the spirit run and finishing it off.
Please tell more, not sure what a Charantaise style preheater is

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by NZChris » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:12 am

Sorry, I spelled Charentais wrong. Google for Charentais preheater. It has been discussed here before. I built mine thirty years ago using old books in a university library, but the info is a lot easier to find now.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:09 pm

Finished my apple spirit run last night, doing cuts now and maybe if I'm lucky I might have enough keeper juice to fill a 5 gal barrel, if not I have a 3 gal barrel ready also.
applecuts.JPG
OVZ

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:32 am

Cuts are done and I ended up with slightly less than 5 gal at 64 ABV. Swelling up that re manufactured Balcones 5 gal barrel as I type, have to say that they are well made, only one small leak that has almost stopped. Planning on ageing it for a couple of years since I did add some late and early heads for flavor.
After the strip runs I ended up with 15 gals of 30 abv that I ran that with the pot head down to 40 abv then switched to the flute to compress the tails, ran from 89 abv down to 10, about 7 pints. Jars 5 and 6 were nasty tails and didn't add them, jar7 was 10 abv sweet water and went in, was targeting 65 but I'm happy with 64 with no additional dilution.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:57 am

applebarrel.JPG
OVZ

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by cranky » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:26 am

Good deal OVZ :thumbup: I'd like to get 5 gallons from the 65 gallons of juice I'm planning on running here in a couple weeks. You have to get sloppy with cuts on apple. I think that was a good idea switching to the flute to compress tails, I might try that when I get to my spirit runs.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:01 pm

A few thoughts on this project.
1 - Listen to Cranky he really knows what to do with apples. If you have the patience or space to let your fermented apple to sit for months do it. I ran My apple early because of space and time and wish that I had waited. Bottled my hard cider today and it only improved with age, next year making space and equipment to age longer.

2 - Apple is not easy. While I skipped a few steps and didn't pick. crush, or press my own juice it had it's own problems, transferring all that juice to my home.

3 - Ferment was easy - low sugars and EC 1118 yeast and no stress made a no stress ferment

4 - Low sugars = low yield

5 - Patience

6 - Cuts are totally different from any other run

7 - Apple is not an inexpensive product to produce compared to a sugar or all grain, and not as easy.

That said would I do it again?? Next year I hope to double what I made this year.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by nerdybrewer » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:01 am

My hard cider got to 1.000 FG so I bottled it this weekend.
I put a cup of it in the fridge and drank it when it was cold, it was nice, pretty dry but good flavor.
In 5 weeks I'll open some for Christmas.
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52975

Time and Oak will sort it out.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:14 pm

nerdybrewer wrote:My hard cider got to 1.000 FG so I bottled it this weekend.
I put a cup of it in the fridge and drank it when it was cold, it was nice, pretty dry but good flavor.
In 5 weeks I'll open some for Christmas.
:thumbup: :thumbup:

Tried some of my hard cider today, if the brandy comes out even half as good I'll be happy. The combo of apples that the grower came up with for this batch was excellent, looking forward to next years batch.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by distiller_dresden » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:16 am

Good read here; want to second Cranky in suggesting very strongly using 1122 for apple/fruit mashes. I've used 1122 for a lot of fruit/fruity-type runs and am beyond pleased with it. I even used 1122 for a low temp ferment on maple syrup, comparing it to identical mashes with bakers, 1118, and White Labs sweet mead yeast; 1122 was the heads above champ. It just seems to hold over strong and subtle fruit flavors and conserves the taste of the unfermented wash very, very well. That maple syrup batch is aging now, in a badmo, but it made the most delicate, smooth, maple forward distillate that's aging into a wonderful rum I am really excited to have finish aging. I may pull it from the badmo soon, it's been 5 mos, and finish aging in glass so that I can add some sherry and cognac soaked used dominoes, which is one of my tips for making wonderful sipping rum that is very similar to the $60-100 a bottle aged rums.

Second tip, for apple (or any fruit if you can find it) is first to go to pure 100% concentrates of juice for sugar punching up to your desired wash ABV. Second half of this tip is already here, juice, which is tougher with more obscure fruits, or expensive (blueberry juice concentrate is about $45-50 for a half gallon).

I made a blueberry wash into aging brandy, and all the feedback, from veteran stillers, is that it's the best fruit brandy they've ever had, that from a 56y/o NC man who has been doing this since childhood, as his father and grandfather AND great grandfather were stillers going way back. My 5.5 gal blueberry wash cost me $154, but the result was about 80oz of 62% brandy that smells and tastes like a bushel of blueberries someone stomped on for an hour, and with my cuts is smoother than 30% at 50% sipping.
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:56 pm

Yea lots of good info here, just ordered some 1122 yeast to experiment with, 1118 is my go to for fruit but that might change.

Happy Holidays
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:11 pm

On a side note, I gave my son a few gallons of fermented juice to make some cider. Tasted the first bottle today and :thumbup: from me. He brought a sample to his favorite cidery and also a :thumbup:

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:59 pm

Just pulled my first sample out of that barrel.
apple1.JPG
Proofed down to 40 ABV, lots of jolly rancher apple on the nose, lots of apple on the mouth but still a little hot (maybe too much heads?) I think that it needs a few more months in barrel.


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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Captain Pappy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 am

maybe for making likker this doesn't matter so much, but the best apple wine I ever made was from apple cider that had so much malic acid in it that my balls hurt after drinking it. From then on that was how I chose my cider to make wine, and I wasn't sorry for it...least not too sorry for too long.

I wonder if starting with a really good wine base like that would improve your brandy? I'm aiming to find out

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Oldvine Zin » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:10 pm

Captain Pappy wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 am


I wonder if starting with a really good wine base like that would improve your brandy? I'm aiming to find out
So this batch of apples and it's ferment made a top notch hard cider, what it boils down to with apples is:
1- Good apples +1
2- A good ferment +1
3- Cuts :roll: still working on that
4- Age Still waiting

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Chauncey » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:38 pm

Oldvine Zin wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:59 pm
Just pulled my first sample out of that barrel.apple1.JPG
Proofed down to 40 ABV, lots of jolly rancher apple on the nose, lots of apple on the mouth but still a little hot (maybe too much heads?) I think that it needs a few more months in barrel.


OVZ
thanks for following up so long after!

sure has a wonderful color to it. give it another 6 months and sample some...
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by rubelstrudel » Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:39 am

After last years drought the apple trees are heavy with fruit this year around here. There is a wild apple tree standing just outside my garden. And this year there are so many apples on it that the branches are hanging to the ground. Since this is a wild apple tree the fruits are small and a bit dry. But the amount of fruits is staggering so finally my project of doing something with these apples could be realised.

I picked 4 crates of apples - about 60-70kg and brought out the juicer I found at a flea market a few years ago just for this use. And in about one and a half hour I had juiced all the apples... however only resulting in 20l of raw juice. The apples were small and dry and didn't produce as much as I hoped. The juicer was dead now anyway - it had run so warm that something had melted inside. (so I went online and bought a cider press that same night)

20L is just not enough to make a spirit run in my boiler. So I added 6kg of inverted sugar, water and split the apple juice/sugar wash in two 25L fermenter buckets and added EC1113 and some DAP and CC for good measure. Fermentation finished in the scheduled 4 days and the cider is now almost clear. We'll see how it turns out when I run it this weekend.

It will not be master spirits, but it is a nice starting experiment. Perhaps I will be able to score some apples from people with more apple trees than they know what to do with and I can set my new cider press to good use:
Fruit Press 18L
Fruit Press 18L
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Farside » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:13 pm

I have 12 gallons of apple wine racked and aging in a demi John that I made from apples collected from backyards around town. I plan to run it in about 6 to 9 months from now.

I had 5 gallons of fermented pulp I didn't know what to do with because it wouldn't settle out any further and it clogged my press. So I freeze concentrated it and the ice locked up the pulp.

It's -5F outside (chest freezer temperature) and the liquid is not developing ice crystals so it's probably jacked to around 45 proof. I'll keep reducing it down as winter progresses.

I'm wondering if I should run this through the pot still like a spirit run since I sort of stripped a bunch of water already. Anyone distilled apple jack before? Any suggestions?

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by cayars » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:51 am

Farside wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:13 pm
I'm wondering if I should run this through the pot still like a spirit run since I sort of stripped a bunch of water already. Anyone distilled apple jack before? Any suggestions?
That will be fine. I do this a lot myself in winter taking advantage of the freezing weather. Unlike a strip run, you won't have lost any flavors so your resulting spirit will hold more of the base taste! If you only did this to the 5 gallons you might want to consider doing it with the 12 gallons as well or just strip that and mix the two together for the spirit run. Personally, I'd jack it all!

Take a healthy foreshot for the apple spirit run and dump it.

Something else you can try but keep separate until you know you want to blend it would be to take all the feints and distill them again. You should get another hearts cut from them and might be able to use a bit of late heads/early tails (cut by taste). This feints will have more taste in them than usual if you jack the whole batch since the jacking concentrates the solution of not only the ABV but tastes as well. When you remove 1/4 to 1/2 the water during each jacking you are concentrating all the flavors (good and bad).

I'm in the center of what was the original jacking central in Southern NJ and one side of my had done this for generations on the farm in barrels and troughs.
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Farside » Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:31 am

cayars wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:51 am
...If you only did this to the 5 gallons you might want to consider doing it with the 12 gallons as well or just strip that and mix the two together for the spirit run. Personally, I'd jack it all!
I'm in two minds about that. I was going to age it since that seems the recommended course of action (I'm intending to make Calvados). But if I jack it all now I'm not sure how it will effect the quality of my final product.

Jacking it all makes a lot of sense from an energy and time efficiency perspective. And it makes sense that the flavors will be more pronounced in the brandy I'm making. On the other hand when I made applejack last year it remained pretty close to paint stripper for quite a long time which is giving me second thoughts about going whole hog this year.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by cayars » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:24 am

I'd just look at the freeze distillation as a strip run that left you with more flavor. I've never heard of an apple brandy with too much flavor. :) Usually the opposite in fact.

BTW, do you use pears in your Calvados for the sweet portion of the mix?
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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by Farside » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:27 pm

No, not many pears around here. It's an all apple deal :-)

Just sampled my 12 gallon batch. I used a cider yeast and it's left more residual sugar that I would like. I was thinking the yeast would give more fruit flavor and didn't think about residual sugar. It's also slowly fermenting dammit. I think I'll pitch some 1118 in there and hopefully it's still cold enough to jack once it's done.

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Re: Apple the easier way ??

Post by cayars » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:07 am

If it's still fermenting there will be sugars left. I wouldn't judge the ferment until you get down to 1.0 SG. Then if it still seems sugary try adding in the 1118. But that's just me.
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