Multi use apple press/grinder

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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Bushman
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Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:52 pm

Since the apple orchards that I get my apples to make cider/brandy/grappa are on Stuart Island it was a PITA to take the press/grinder that my friend has out and return it each time so here is what I built for under $350.00 that has more than one function as it is tools that have other purposes. Before I begin I have to admit that I was pleased with the results. 3 of use put up 48 gallons of cider in 2 days including picking the apples.
Below are the tools I used where I got them and the cost.

First the press is a 20 ton press I waited for the sale and coupons and picked it up for $120.00
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Also pictured is a Turkey fryer basket that can be purchased for $19.00 on Amazon I already had mine so didn't cost any money. The basket is lined with a 5 gallon cloth paint strainer, Lowes sells them in packets of 2 for $5.99.
The basket sits in a heavy duty plastic tray that I purchased at Harbor Freight for around $8.00, I added a bar drain for another $16.00 to catch the cider and drain into buckets.

I had spare plywood that I made a shelf to set the tray and basket on and held it down on the press with clamps. Also cut a circular ring out of plywood to get an even press in the basket.

The chipper was around $149.00 at Harbor freight. It worked really well but had to take the protective cover off to get the apples in. It shaved it in perfect sizes the only complaint was that we had to quarter the apples that took a little time.
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Here are a few other pictures showing the operation, a visitor that was looking for a free meal, and the beautiful place I had to work.
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by NZChris » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:41 pm

You need to pull that chipper apart and see what you can do. I've seen a different model sucking down whole apples and I know it had to be modified, as I have the same one. I haven't changed mine yet, as it is working fine for sugar cane, but it will be easy. A few cuts with a grinder, some tack welds, and it will be an apple mulcher.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:00 am

NZChris wrote:You need to pull that chipper apart and see what you can do. I've seen a different model sucking down whole apples and I know it had to be modified, as I have the same one. I haven't changed mine yet, as it is working fine for sugar cane, but it will be easy. A few cuts with a grinder, some tack welds, and it will be an apple mulcher.
That is my thoughts, we have a year to figure it out, but boy does it shread nice and with the angle you didn't need a hopper as nothing flew out. You do have to rotate the bucket unless I can get it to sit flat otherwise it will back up on the shoot.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Halfbaked » Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:36 am

U need a good place to store that apple equipt. I got just the place. In my garage. Nice score Bushman and a real nice set up. Tell me more about your chipper. What make and model?

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:32 am

Halfbaked, I am storing all the equipment in the shop on the island. It's 40 acres with 7 beaches in the San Juan Islands just too much of a hassle hauling back and forth. Here is a link to the chipper, I removed the green safety cover to better feed the apples.
http://t.harborfreight.com/1-12-in-capa ... oogle.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Soggy Bottom Boy » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:19 am

How did you clean up the chipper after use? ....remove the blades and oil down with olive oil or some-such?

Nice solution for apple press, by the way! I look at those presses all the time when at Harbor Freight, ...and think the same thing.
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by DAD300 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:30 am

Good stuff that will last...very nice.
CCVM http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... d#p7104768" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:20 am

Soggy Bottom Boy wrote:How did you clean up the chipper after use? ....remove the blades and oil down with olive oil or some-such?

Nice solution for apple press, by the way! I look at those presses all the time when at Harbor Freight, ...and think the same thing.
Did not remove blades but opened it up, rinsed with garden hose, dried with compressor, then added olive oil to blades.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:22 am

Another view of my work conditions.
image.jpg

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Jimbo » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:18 pm

That looks like som ehorrible working conditions bushman! Jeez I dunno how you can carry on like that. BUM!

Beautiful!

Nice press, I was looking at those at Harbor Freight, but mine is still holding up fine for now, and I have the scratter mounted up top. Its gets the year off this year due to hoorible yields around here. With the trees resting for a year, prolly bumper crop next year.
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:06 pm

Jimbo wrote:That looks like som ehorrible working conditions bushman! Jeez I dunno how you can carry on like that. BUM!

Beautiful!

Nice press, I was looking at those at Harbor Freight, but mine is still holding up fine for now, and I have the scratter mounted up top. Its gets the year off this year due to hoorible yields around here. With the trees resting for a year, prolly bumper crop next year.
I also have access to a stainless press/scratter but it is heavy and hauling it out to the island was a PITA in my boat, this is a much better solution.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:30 am

Started my first attempt at grappa, it has been in the fermentors for several days and not much action. I will leave it a week and check. On another note my freezers are full with apple cider, my fermenters are full with pomace, and I couldn't wait so just put up 3 gallons of apple pie, currently allowing it to set on wood chips for several weeks. Love being home! Today I plan to pull the mesh out of my still and clean the still as it has not been used for several months while travelling. Should be a good day!

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by thumper123 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:31 pm

I'd like to send a picture of my new $10.00 cider press. Can anyone tell me how to add a picture to a post, or direct me to the appropriate instructions?

Thanks

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by rad14701 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:27 pm

thumper123 wrote:I'd like to send a picture of my new $10.00 cider press. Can anyone tell me how to add a picture to a post, or direct me to the appropriate instructions?

Thanks
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by hidalgo » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:00 am

Saw you commented about using olive oil as a lubricant. Might want to watch that, even olive oil can go rancid. I would suggest mineral oil. Just a thought.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:38 am

hidalgo wrote:Saw you commented about using olive oil as a lubricant. Might want to watch that, even olive oil can go rancid. I would suggest mineral oil. Just a thought.
Thanks, that is what I had at the cabin and put it on lightly. On another note I didn't see much action with my grappa as the pomace is all floating in the fermenter, a light scraping on the surface revealed action underneath so I am again excited about the results.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by hidalgo » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:45 pm

I ran a couple batches of apple pomace, I was amazed how well the flavored carried over. I am waiting for the last it to ferment out and I will be doing a spirit run. It should prove interesting.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:10 am

I just learned the term Punching down the cap. Since the pomace is susceptible to bacteria and it tends to float, they punch it down to sink it under the surface. Anyone else done this?

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by hidalgo » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:09 am

On my first two ferments, I was good about punching it down. On the third, I did not. When I racked it there was evidence that something was trying to take hold. When I let it settle after racking there was a very odd scum layer that had formed over the lees. It almost looked like wax paper.
I didn't think much of it, but I also didn't let it in the still. Could be what you are talking about.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:45 pm

Just punched down, did not stir but it was sure bubbling under the surface. I am thinking I have too much pomace to water ratio but we will see.
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PS: If you zoom in you can see it working, the fruit flys are sure hanging around!

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:12 am

Just read up more on Punching Down the Cap in wine making they suggest that this be done 3 times a day until the cap begins to sink. This is different than what we propose in leaving our fermentation vessels alone after the first couple days. This morning I just punched down again, this is only my second time in a week (not the suggested 3 times a day). It is still really bubbling away, I am leaving for a couple days then will be gone a week so will try and do this several more times then rack it over before leaving for the week as I don't want the fermentation to become infected.

PS: I usually add my heater to the fermentation room but on this project decided not too. Left it at room temp. The article said that with grapes and during the punch down process the temp should be 60-65 degrees F. Even though I have not been doing this 3 times a day I feel this is going to be a successful project with what in the past was just waste material.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by cranky » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:52 pm

Great post Bushman. I've been thinking about trying to do exactly that same set up but wasn't sure about the chipper. Sure looks easier than my current method. I'm now up to 22 gallons with my pathetic little set up but I could have tripled or quadrupled that with a better grinder and bigger press. Your new setup might be just the ticket.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by goose eye » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:13 am

Put em in a sack an pry em to the bottom or put
a rock in the sack with em.

So I'm tole

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:02 am

goose eye wrote:Put em in a sack an pry em to the bottom or put
a rock in the sack with em.

So I'm tole
That is what I use, a 5 gallon paint strainer sack.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by NZChris » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:14 am

I punch down the chapeau on all my brandies and grappa. At least once a day for three days, then leave the lid on, airlock it if I can.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Soggy Bottom Boy » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:22 pm

NZChris wrote:I punch down the chapeau on all my brandies and grappa. At least once a day for three days, then leave the lid on, airlock it if I can.
I think we should start calling it the "beret" instead, especially when fermenting champagne grape pomace. You could just poke it down on one side for the proper rakish look of a debonair Frenchman. :wink:

Speaking of apple scratters, I have seen some nice ones made from garbage disposals with stainless guts, where they don't really need to make too many mods to grunch up apples.
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:13 pm

Soggy Bottom Boy wrote: Speaking of apple scratters, I have seen some nice ones made from garbage disposals with stainless guts, where they don't really need to make too many mods to grunch up apples.
I have also see and researched those, biggest review problem I read was that they get stuck easily. I also wondered if they had enough juice to keep them from over heating as all garbage disposals I've been in contact with you are suppose to run water while using them.

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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Soggy Bottom Boy » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:01 pm

Running water in a disposal for typical household use is required to keep the house pipes from clogging up with solid matter, wouldn't be a problem with a very short pipe to a bucket, not sure of any motor cooling reasons though. Of course, using it as a apple scratter is not a typical usage, as the duty cycle and motor load would be much higher than grinding up meal scraps for 30 seconds at a time. But I would think there would be enough apple juice being generated inside of it to keep the drive shaft cool if that is where heat is a problem.

One of them that I saw, they actually removed the motor winding part of the disposal and drove the remaining shaft with an external electric motor/pulley/belt set-up. ....but, that is more modifying that needs to happen for it to work. I would prefer the K.I.S.S. method of keeping it "stock". That way, if it failed, you could utilize the warrantee to replace it or return for a refund.

I think there are some continuous duty commercial disposals out there, but likely cost a serious grip of cash.

I guess it depends on exactly how many bushels of apples that need to get processed and how often, as to how far you go, and how much you are willing to spend for a suitable solution. Actually, I have been leaning toward just finding a local orchard that does apple pressing on-site, and buying the juice and pomace from them in bulk. Not as good as free apples and sweat equity of doing it yourself, but definitely a whole lot less work!
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Bushman » Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:46 pm

I think all the methods work to some extent and I think you hit it on the nose, it depends on the size of the operation. We did 2 orchards and our shredder worked great with the exception it wouldn't handle full apples we ended up halving the small ones and quartering the large ones which took more time. But the operation was at the beach on an island with an incredible view. It was more about the social gathering and time together with friends having fun and producing a product that is good. I love to fish and I always think what I catch grow or make always turns out better than what I can buy!
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Re: Multi use apple press/grinder

Post by Soft batch » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:04 pm

Bushman: I have a stainless garbage disposal scratcher. I've ground apples for at least 15 minutes (a full 5 gal bucket) straight without any overheating problems. I did have to quarter the large apples as they tended to bounce around if they were round. I also use a push stick to keep cramming them in.

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