Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Discussions of fruits/ veggies and grains other then just mashing

Moderator: Site Moderator

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:53 pm

This morning I made a decision, I decided the brandy in the barrel has improved tremendously and I think it is coming around enough that adding this years batch to the barrel will result in a good product in another year or two. So I took a little bit of whats already aged in the barrel out
BARREL AGED 12 DEC 17 - C.jpg

And topped it up with this years brandy, I think over the past 9 months the angels have been pretty thirsty and took a bit more than their fair share but precise measuring hasn't really been my strong suite so who's to really say.

I actually have a full barrel now :D I'm sorry to report that this also means that the people who have been waiting to get a taste of my apple brandy are going to have to wait yet another year, or more but I believe it will be well worth waiting for. The bit I took out of the barrel isn't bad but will get a bit more time on wood but I will give it another couple months with some oak, or maybe some Japanese maple and see how it does, who knows, maybe I will feel good enough about it that I can send out a few small samples in the spring.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:04 pm

Today I managed to get my hands on some stainless steel drip pans that look like they will be perfect for an apple press.
DRIP PANS #2 - C.jpg

Now I need to start rebuilding the press.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby OtisT » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:35 am

Hi Cranky. Good luck with the new press.

Japanese Maple? Have you tried that wood before, and if so what’s it like for aging? This is the first I have heard of that type of wood being used for aging, and am simply curious. Not exactly a fast growing tree, so you must be talking sticks and not a barrel.

I found a new friend with a good sized personal fruit orchard that mostly goes to waste each year. He’s a prepper with a desire to find a use for all that fruit, beyond what he can give away or can. We’ve been talking, and it will not get wasted this year. :-). I’ll be teaching him how to ferment and still and your thread will be mandatory reading for him before we start. I want him to know what he’s getting into; Fruity Goodness, of course. ;-)

Otis
Cranky's spoonfeeding:
viewtopic.php?t=52975
OtisT
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 848
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:59 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:48 pm

I've actually been using the Japanese maple nearly as long as I've been stilling. The maple tree in my front yard was all but dead and couldn't be saved so when I had to cut it down I saved the wood and used it for my barbecue. Some of the wood was just too nice and I just couldn't bring myself to burn it so I saved it and let it age out. Then I got the idea to use it for aging and cut some up for that. I like the Japanese maple, it adds just a slight maple flavor without being as sweet as sugar maple. The first time I used it I did some things wrong and wound up with an acrid flavor but that was early in my stilling experience. I have since learned a lot about how to prep the wood. My maple tree was 25-30 years old and only 6-8 inches across so it had to be dominoes, that stuff is also very hard and it takes a really sharp saw blade to cut without burning. When I topped the barrel up with apple I made sure it was completely full so the maple bung which sticks down slightly could be exposed to the brandy in the hopes of getting just a touch of that maple in there. If you ever get the chance to try some Japanese maple I definitely recommend it.

I like doing unusual things and using unusual woods is a fun thing to do, it just takes a little research to figure out what woods aren't poison. I have a broad leaf maple log I was given a few years ago that was from a downed tree that had been on the ground for a number of years. I plan to cut that into dominoes some day and see how that turns out as well.

OtisT wrote:I found a new friend with a good sized personal fruit orchard that mostly goes to waste each year. He’s a prepper with a desire to find a use for all that fruit, beyond what he can give away or can. We’ve been talking, and it will not get wasted this year. :-). I’ll be teaching him how to ferment and still and your thread will be mandatory reading for him before we start. I want him to know what he’s getting into; Fruity Goodness, of course. ;-)

Brandy is certainly one of the best uses for fruit that I can think of. I hate seeing perfectly good fruit go to waste when it can be put to good use as brandy and will last indefinitely too :D The biggest issue with fruit is you tend to wind up with a lot of it in a short amount of time and have very limited time to deal with it. That's the basic idea that led to the apple chopper, it lets me process a lot of apples very quickly, which can be very important on those years when several trees decides to give you 600 pounds of apples each all at once. My current press is actually fairly large but still proved to be too small but is going to be a pain to take apart and resize, fortunately the wood was free and I have plenty of it. I think those pans are 24 inches square but I haven't measured, basically I need to just make the press a bit taller and it should be able to keep up, I would really like to get one or even two pneumatic hydraulic jacks which I think would make things extremely easy.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:07 pm

I've been debating discontinuing this thread which is why I haven't posted anything for a while. Does anybody still read this thread?

I don't even know if I'm going to do much this year, there is so much else to do and really I'm pretty set for apple brandy for a very long time. I am wanting to do some more mixed fruit and maybe a few pure fruits if I can somehow find the time. Mrs Cranky is feeling better than she has actually been talking about wanting to go to the blueberry park this year so maybe we can get a good haul of blueberries and I can do something with them :D

The past week has been mostly sunny here and a last week I was outside doing some yard work and was greeted by this
PLUM TREES 14 MAR 18 - C.jpg

So now I'm back to thinking about fruit.That's my "Beauty plum" tree that I don't think is really a Beauty. The plums look like beauty but they have a very unique flavor with a banana finish so I call them "Banana plums" I was going to prune and move this tree this year but never got around to it. It looks like it is going to be a very good year for the plums so maybe I'll prune and move it next year.

The pear trees still haven't bloomed, which is weird and way late for them, they usually bloom in February, then tend to not get pollinated and don't produce. The winter lasted a bit long but the cold should have been perfect to set fruit and with this warm sunny weather I'm hoping we have a good year for pears, they tend to be very hit and miss in this area.

This evening I actually had some of the apple brandy from 2016, Just before I topped up the barrel with the 2017 run I took off a quart of what had been in the barrel. It wasn't very good at the time so I stuck a used, lightly toasted lightly or maybe even uncharred stick of oak in it and forgot about it. This evening I was looking for something and saw it sitting there and decided to give it a try. It is developing nicely :D I'm actually pretty happy with it right now. This may even be enough to encourage me to not sample from the barrel until next Christmas when the 2016-17 (and probably 15) apple brandy should be ready for prime time.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:28 am

:thumbup:
someone is reading cranky, keep 'em coming! Its'always interesting to heare your tales.
User avatar
cuginosgrizzo
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:41 am
Location: a land of saints, poets and navigators

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby JoeyZR1 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:40 am

I always read this thread.
User avatar
JoeyZR1
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby The Baker » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:59 pm

JoeyZR1 wrote:I always read this thread.


Me too.

Geoff
The Baker
The Baker
Distiller
 
Posts: 1696
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:16 am

Wouldn’t be springtime without some fruity goodness.
Keep picking, keep posting. :thumbup:
Shouting and shooting, I can't let them catch me...
User avatar
MichiganCornhusker
Site Mod
 
Posts: 4051
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:24 am

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Big Stogie » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:00 am

Keep it alive please
Our work is nice cause we do it twice!!

Flute Journey viewtopic.php?f=17&t=69736
Big Stogie
Bootlegger
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:39 am

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby butterpants » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:30 am

Yep we read it
butterpants
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:22 pm
Location: CO

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Shine0n » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:26 pm

Been reading this thread since 2016 when I first joined, wouldn't know what to do if it was finished.

I love this thread, the way you go into detail!

My apple journey went bust but I reread here to see what I missed and to see what I could've done better.

Thank you Cranky for sharing your expertise on apples and your other fruits.
Shine0n
Master Distiller
 
Posts: 2262
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:00 am
Location: Eastern Virginia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby raketemensch » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:06 pm

This thread can’t end until the porch is done anyway.
User avatar
raketemensch
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 1935
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:10 pm
Location: Tralfamadore

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:27 am

Thanks everybody, I guess this thread will just have to keep going :D

raketemensch wrote:This thread can’t end until the porch is done anyway.

:problem: So basically this thread will never end :moresarcasm:
No the porch still isn't finished :oops:
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:10 am

My pear trees have finally started blooming. I'll have to look it up but I think they usually do that in February so they are really late. I hope this actually works out well for the fruit but have no idea how late that's going to make them. The apples have begun sprouting leaves which means it's getting close to time to do some more grafting. I was actually somewhat successful with grafting last year and have several grafts starting to leaf. I tried to take pictures of everything but my camera didn't want to focus on the trees so I'll have to try again today.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Saltbush Bill » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:54 am

cranky wrote: I think over the past 9 months the angels have been pretty thirsty and took a bit more than their fair share but precise measuring hasn't really been my strong suite so who's to really say.

Are you sure it wasn't a Cranky Angel that caused the level in the barrel to drop?
cranky wrote:I've been debating discontinuing this thread which is why I haven't posted anything for a while. Does anybody still read this thread?

I look from time to time to see what crazy shenanigans you've been getting up to, sometimes I get a laugh , sometimes I learn something that may help me make a decent drop from fruit in the future.
Things I've read elsewhere recently makes me think you are definitely on the right path with your apple brandy. :thumbup:
User avatar
Saltbush Bill
Distiller
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:13 am
Location: Northern NSW Australia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:45 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
cranky wrote: I think over the past 9 months the angels have been pretty thirsty and took a bit more than their fair share but precise measuring hasn't really been my strong suite so who's to really say.

Are you sure it wasn't a Cranky Angel that caused the level in the barrel to drop?

Pretty sure :think: at least I don't recall sampling much...I am prone to lapses of memory though :roll:

Saltbush Bill wrote:
cranky wrote:I've been debating discontinuing this thread which is why I haven't posted anything for a while. Does anybody still read this thread?

I look from time to time to see what crazy shenanigans you've been getting up to, sometimes I get a laugh , sometimes I learn something that may help me make a decent drop from fruit in the future.
Things I've read elsewhere recently makes me think you are definitely on the right path with your apple brandy. :thumbup:

I like to think I'm on the right path with the apple, lord knows I spend enough time on them. I do like my apples though but I'd really like to get more done with other fruit but I have precious little free time and apples tend to be fairly fast to pick and process.

I've been feeling kind of unmotivated about pretty much everything lately, maybe it's just the long drawn out wet winter we have been having but hopefully that will get better soon.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:27 pm

cranky wrote:I've been debating discontinuing this thread which is why I haven't posted anything for a while. Does anybody still read this thread?



Oh my God cranky please don't.

This has honestly been one of the best threads on HD, by FAR. It has been absolutely fascinating reading, and following along on your journey. I feel like you've been so generous with your time to continue to post here and give so many updates. It's taken me a week to get here, page 43. When i started way back yonder on page one, i had no idea what i was in for. But i was hooked and hooked deep and fast. I truly looked forward to getting home to get on my laptop and catch up and see where the story leads. You've given us so many details, taught us many lessons, and even some glimpses into your personal life. THAT i'm sure hasn't been easy, as you most certainly sound like a reserved, private person, in your own way. (Thinking of your "fear" of knocking on doors to ask to pick a tree. Sounds like that last experience was exactly what you were trying to avoid. Some rude person whom refuses human contact and prefers to live in their own little world, and would be better off in some horrendous gated community) I wish your family well. You're a good man, and Mrs. Cranky is a lucky lady.

We've followed your successes and failures, trials and tribulations, victories, challenges and setbacks. I'm not blowing smoke here, pal, you are a god damn inspiration. Literally and figuratively. You've inspired me to take a journey into fruity goodness. I'm thinking my next hare-brained fruit spirit is going to be cherry. But I'm going to attempt to use dry cherries. I'll post a thread when i get there. So, after reading about how you seem to have a 6th sense for finding fruit in the wild, and can smell an apple tree from 6 miles away, I've done some looking around, online and in person for fruit trees in my area. I live in south east wisconsin, so there is some fruit around. Just have to find it, and get to it when it's ready! I've never picked an apple in my life. Some strawberries, but that's about it. Of course, it's not up to me.. the tree's are ready when their ready, i've definitely learned that lesson from you. Man plans, and God laughs. We've seen how you are uber attentive to your trees (you talk about them like old friends, especially the antique and the super sweet(which we know is for Mrs. Cranky's Juice for the year, and Pie filling and jelly of course)) and try as hard as you might, some times, you just miss out. You may notice a tree is just about ready to be picked, you've checked the brix, planned your trip, and shoot.. something, anything could go wrong. Something else comes up, or a windstorm blew them damn apples down, or some jerkwad is there in the park picking already, or the city has made the genius decision to bulldoze a hundred year old tree to make a sidewalk, or any other number of reasons. But cranky, you persevere god damnit.. you persevere.

Honestly, this thread has been like a novel. If you wrote a book Cranky, i'm sure i'm not the only one here who would love to read it. But, along with the exciting, at times sad, at times hilarious adventure that this thread has been, best of all, like i said there has been inspiration and learning. And for me, that's the best part of HD. Learning and getting my creative juices flowing by seeing what others are doing. I've tried my hand at some fruit projects, and see many more in my future. In no small part thanks to you. I've done Banana and Plum, I've got my pineapple brandy in the works (good god fruit can be a lot of work.. but, hey who am i telling) and i've just put down an apple ferment destined for my first apple brandy. I'm a potstiller 90% of the times, so my method so far has been the 1.5X run. From you I've learned that i should ferment cool and slow, stick to EC for my first few tries so the cuts aren't too tricky, and of course, collect in small increments, and look to the heads area for the apple flavor. I'm hoping i can have some success with it, but hey, if i dont? Try and try again. You have shown us, Cranky, over the perhaps 5 years that this thread has lasted, that life is a long journey, hopefully, and can be a strange trip.

So, please don't stop sharing your story. I find it very entertaining, and well written. You give great detail, have a humorous and at times cantankerous(thats why you're Cranky, right?) outlook and style. It's pretty funny and always a good read. I know about 20 pages back you talked about splitting this thread up into different categories and more threads, and i'm glad you didn't. It does get a bit off topic at times (cue Tater's Glare), talking about the odyssey that was your truck, or about some of the other tangents you or others go off on (Hey, we even had a Rad v WTF battle in this thread. I'm pretty sure that is a requirement for a thread to make the HD hall of fame). So, as usual i've gotten long winded and on a soap box. But life is too short not to speak your mind. In conclusion i just want to say, that I'm really hoping for a few things Cranky...

-You finish that danged porch!!

-You get that Garage cleaned out. I"m a believer in this... some day, it's gonna be a clean, organized workshop of fruity goodness. All ducks in a row, a thing for every place and a place for every thing. NO more losing a piece of this or that(the pot still head piece) or finding a Jug or Bottle you long forgot about (Sometimes a happy accident)

-You hit that 100 Gallon Season

-Mrs. Cranky NEVER stops asking you if you have "enough fruit"(because it just wouldn't be right if she didnt?)

-You FINALLY get enough Black Berries to make that BB Eau de Vie (although the mixed fruit set you back.. i believe you could do it. I know Apples are really your forte, and it would take days or weeks of tedious picking to get enough blackberries. But, eh who knows?)

-I hope the Apple Reaper brings you many years of safe travel and bad ass apple hauling

-I hope that at some point, we all get to start sending you some jars!! Many times you've mentioned sending jars to members to try, but i don't seem to recall you receiving many. Hell man, you deserve it. I'm sure i don't have anything now that would impress you (maybe once *if* this pineapple turns out good) but give me a year or two or seven) but it would truly be an honor to have something i made judged by the fruit master that you are. Also i think it's pretty damn cool that you make cider for those who let you pick their trees or bring you fruit. i get the feeling you just love to share your creation. I'm learning that's a large portion of what i get out of this hobby. I'm never going to drink all this likker.. it's meant to share, and i just love to share with family and friends. It's my Sous Chef's last day with us tomorrow, so what better parting gift than some UJSM!

And finally, Mr. Cranky, i hope that this thread continues for ANOTHER 45 Pages!!!!!!! Seriously, i know i'm not the only one who has loved reading this, and looks forward to hearing about your adventure. Please don't quit. Maybe i'm way off base, but i think it's actually nice to have somewhere to tell your story, to get things off your chest. And unlike a journal, you put it out there for all the (homedistilling) world to see. It's been a pleasure, friend, so even if you don't write another single post here, it's been great.

Thank you.

Jeff
CatCrap
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:33 pm

Oh, and one more thing. I know i could do some research on my own, but if you have the time, theirs one topic that you have touched on, but not really gone into depth on.

You've talked about grafting apple and pear trees. I pretty much understand grafting, and that it's a big part of commercial apple growing operations, but, let's say i'm a moron and don't have any idea what it is. Can you give us a quick crash course on grafting? How it works, why you do it, how you do it, and what your experience with it has been? Successful and unsuccesful grafting experience. My understanding, is it's kind of like you glue a part of a tree onto another tree, and then the new tree grows from the old.. uhh.. or something like that? Obviously there's no glue involved.. but that is my caveman like description of the process, and shows about how much i understand of the subject.

Feel free to tell me to buzz off and google it. I know you are a damn busy guy.

thanks!!

CC
CatCrap
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Kareltje » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:21 am

I like to read this thread! You have interesting things to say and you say them in a nice way.

Hope your motivation will return to you when the season gets better!
User avatar
Kareltje
Distiller
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:35 pm

Thank you for that CatCrap. That made me feel good and I even passed it on to Mrs Cranky who said I need to send you a sample, that is when it is finished :roll: I plan on not even touching that barrel of apple brandy until around Christmas, which will give it a full year in that 5 gallon barrel and hopefully that will be long enough.

CatCrap wrote: So, after reading about how you seem to have a 6th sense for finding fruit in the wild, and can smell an apple tree from 6 miles away, I've done some looking around, online and in person for fruit trees in my area. I live in south east wisconsin, so there is some fruit around. Just have to find it, and get to it when it's ready!

I actually do a lot of stuff to find trees. Sometimes I look at Google earth and look for what looks like used to be an orchard, There is also a websit called Historic aerials ( https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer ) that lets you look at old aerial pictures of your area and since there have been numerous ones over the years in my area I can go all the way back to 1938. There is also Fallingfruit.org. Then there is an almost subconscious thing I do, wherever I go I find myself noticing trees and bushes. In the winter bare fruit trees tend to have bent branches that ark down instead of pointing up because of the weight of the fruit in the growing season. In the spring they will flower, so will a lot of other stuff, but it is an indication that it may be a tree that needs checked out when fruit season comes. Just yesterday my wife and I were looking at some land and I noticed the tree she was standing next to was a hazel nut tree because of the distinct blossoms it has. Nut trees are one thing both of us want at some point in the not too distant future, but because I noticed that one tree and realized it was a hazel nut, I've now started noticing the others around and this place is covered with them. I may just have to go fight the squirrels this fall for some hazel nuts :lol: Then in the summer as trees start to ripen I notice colors that look out of place, plums turning purple, apples red or bright green, certain berries turning colors that sort of thing. When I do notice something I stop often stop and take a sample to take home and test the brix. I would like to carry my refractometer with me but I'm afraid it would get damaged by the summer heat so I just bring a sample home and test it. A lot of fruit trees really do tend to give you a very limited window to pick them, that Vista Bella is the worst about that, one day you are thinking "it needs another week or two" and a week later they are all on the ground :evil:

CatCrap wrote: We've seen how you are uber attentive to your trees (you talk about them like old friends, especially the antique and the super sweet(which we know is for Mrs. Cranky's Juice for the year, and Pie filling and jelly of course)) and try as hard as you might, some times, you just miss out.

I do regard the trees as special friends especially those two in the park, the Antique and the super sweet which I think I often call the KD. The Antique was actually the first apple tree I started picking. I was metal detecting in the park when I first noticed it. I knew that in the 30s the land that the park was on was a farm and had done research on the area. The tree was even there in a photo from 1938 so I knew it had been purposely planted probably in the 20s. Back then there was 2 reasons to plant only a couple of apple trees instead of a whole orchard and that was for cooking or cider so I knew they would be good for both :D I don't think I've ever explain why I call the super sweet KD so I will now. The KD is a volunteer / wild offspring of the Antique and so is an unknown and unnamed variety. It's a very strange apple that is actually crisp to the point of being better called hard. It is so hard that it tends not to get any worms. As you know my wife loves the juice from this apple because it is low in acidity and very sweet being capable of producing 9% alcohol on a poor year and 11-12% on a good one. Some day I hope to succeed in cloning this tree and making it an official recognized variety and since my wife loves it so much I named it after her. Her name is Karen so I call the apple "Karen's Delight" which is what I hope some day will be the official recognized name of the variety.

CatCrap wrote:or the city has made the genius decision to bulldoze a hundred year old tree to make a sidewalk

I drive by that spot nearly every day, it's right on my way to and from work and every day it pains me to see a parking lot and huge office building where all those apple and plum trees were but the biggest pain is the fact that they removed my favorite pear tree and the quince thicket for no reason other than to provide an unobstructed view of the settling pond they dug behind where those trees were :cry: Where they were wouldn't have even been in the way of the ground work they did.

CatCrap wrote: I've done Banana and Plum, I've got my pineapple brandy in the works (good god fruit can be a lot of work.. but, hey who am i telling) and i've just put down an apple ferment destined for my first apple brandy.

Fruit really can be a lot of work but I also think it can be very rewarding. I've actually been saving bananas whenever we have some that have turned fully black I freeze them. Hopefully some day I will get to take a stab at that. We really don't buy bananas very often since it's so hard to find the Big Mikes any more and the ones that replaced it aren't nearly as good but whenever I spot good or different looking bananas I buy them. I would really like to get a good deal on bananas and try roasting them before fermenting. I was planning on doing a watermelon brandy, I had been saving and freezing watermelon leftovers but my wife decided to make and freeze 10 gallons of soup and we didn't have room for it all so it wound up getting taken out and thrown away.

CatCrap wrote:I'm a potstiller 90% of the times, so my method so far has been the 1.5X run. From you I've learned that i should ferment cool and slow, stick to EC for my first few tries so the cuts aren't too tricky, and of course, collect in small increments, and look to the heads area for the apple flavor. I'm hoping i can have some success with it, but hey, if i dont? Try and try again. You have shown us, Cranky, over the perhaps 5 years that this thread has lasted, that life is a long journey, hopefully, and can be a strange trip.

I like the flute, it has some real advantages but I really think the pot still gives me the best results with fruit. A lot of people fail with things the first time, especially fruit. The problem with fruit is it's very expensive and or takes a whole year before you can try it again so people tend to give up after a failure.

CatCrap wrote:cantankerous(thats why you're Cranky, right?)

Pretty much I can be cantankerous and stubborn and... well yes cranky at times :roll:

CatCrap wrote:I know about 20 pages back you talked about splitting this thread up into different categories and more threads, and i'm glad you didn't.

A while back Tater was kind of unhappy with this thread so myself and a moderator tried to break it up into individual threads but we found it was an impossible task, it is just too complicated a thread to unravel.

CatCrap wrote: It does get a bit off topic at times (cue Tater's Glare), talking about the odyssey that was your truck, or about some of the other tangents you or others go off on

My personal opinion is that threads tend to drift but also tend to come back around, Tater doesn't like thread drift so I try to not let it get too off topic. That's why I don't talk about the Apple Reaper much any more although personally I view the truck as my most expensive apple equipment.


CatCrap wrote:i just want to say, that I'm really hoping for a few things Cranky...

-You finish that danged porch!!

-You get that Garage cleaned out. I"m a believer in this... some day, it's gonna be a clean, organized workshop of fruity goodness. All ducks in a row, a thing for every place and a place for every thing. NO more losing a piece of this or that(the pot still head piece) or finding a Jug or Bottle you long forgot about (Sometimes a happy accident)
We have actually been talking about buying some land and building a house and shop so we have a place to park a car or two out of the rain and a place for me to do all of my goofy things. So I am trying to get everything in order to make it possible for us to make that happen which means the porch must get finished and the garage must get cleaned and the bathroom and kitchen finished and a ton of other stuff.

-You hit that 100 Gallon Season
Not sure when but someday it will happen

-Mrs. Cranky NEVER stops asking you if you have "enough fruit"(because it just wouldn't be right if she didnt?)
I'm sure she will never stop asking and I will never have enough

-You FINALLY get enough Black Berries to make that BB Eau de Vie (although the mixed fruit set you back.. i believe you could do it. I know Apples are really your forte, and it would take days or weeks of tedious picking to get enough blackberries. But, eh who knows?)
Some day, just need to see if I can somehow get the free time, I hope some day when we eventually get a new place, to plant thornless blackberries so they are easy and fast to pick.

-I hope the Apple Reaper brings you many years of safe travel and bad ass apple hauling
There really isn't that much to say about it lately. It has given me 3,000 trouble free miles since the engine was rebuilt. I'm saving up to convert it to fuel injection and getting ready to do some body work and a new paint job. I removed the razor grill and replaced it with whats known as a rhino grill and added headlights to give it quad headlights. That's about all I've done to it. It runs and drives great and makes me happy every time I drive it



CatCrap wrote:-I hope that at some point, we all get to start sending you some jars!! Many times you've mentioned sending jars to members to try, but i don't seem to recall you receiving many. Hell man, you deserve it. I'm sure i don't have anything now that would impress you (maybe once *if* this pineapple turns out good) but give me a year or two or seven) but it would truly be an honor to have something i made judged by the fruit master that you are. Also i think it's pretty damn cool that you make cider for those who let you pick their trees or bring you fruit. i get the feeling you just love to share your creation. I'm learning that's a large portion of what i get out of this hobby. I'm never going to drink all this likker.. it's meant to share, and i just love to share with family and friends. It's my Sous Chef's last day with us tomorrow, so what better parting gift than some UJSM!

People have sent me samples but shipping tends to be very expensive and I tend to be hesitant about giving out my address. A few years ago when Bearriver had his get together we got a lot of samples from various members, that's one of the nice things about get togethers, you get to sample and meet other members, although I am completely socially inept :roll: . OVZ said he had a bottle of rum for me whenever I get out his way but right now it's very difficult for me to find the time to go even 20 miles to get it :(

MCH and I send packages to each other most frequently. I never mentioned it before but he sent me a sample of a bottle of what was one of the oldest and probably most valuable bottle of Calvoados in existence. I can't remember the exact year but it was pre Civil War, I think 1857 or thereabout. I had planned on sharing it with Bearriver but he dropped out of sight and I wound up sharing it with my son last Christmas. That was something incredibly special and made me think I am definitely working in the right direction.

CatCrap wrote:And finally, Mr. Cranky, i hope that this thread continues for ANOTHER 45 Pages!!!!!!! Seriously, i know i'm not the only one who has loved reading this, and looks forward to hearing about your adventure. Please don't quit. Maybe i'm way off base, but i think it's actually nice to have somewhere to tell your story, to get things off your chest. And unlike a journal, you put it out there for all the (homedistilling) world to see. It's been a pleasure, friend, so even if you don't write another single post here, it's been great.

We will just have to see where life takes us and it. Hopefully it will continue for a long time to come.

CatCrap wrote:Oh, and one more thing. I know i could do some research on my own, but if you have the time, theirs one topic that you have touched on, but not really gone into depth on.

You've talked about grafting apple and pear trees. I pretty much understand grafting, and that it's a big part of commercial apple growing operations, but, let's say i'm a moron and don't have any idea what it is. Can you give us a quick crash course on grafting? How it works, why you do it, how you do it, and what your experience with it has been? Successful and unsuccesful grafting experience. My understanding, is it's kind of like you glue a part of a tree onto another tree, and then the new tree grows from the old.. uhh.. or something like that? Obviously there's no glue involved.. but that is my caveman like description of the process, and shows about how much i understand of the subject.

I've only touched on it because I have not been very successful at it. Looking at my apple trees it is once again that time of year where I am going to try to my hand at grafting again. I seem to get a little better at it every year and I'll try to take some pictures and get into some details about it.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:30 pm

Kareltje wrote:I like to read this thread! You have interesting things to say and you say them in a nice way.

Hope your motivation will return to you when the season gets better!

I'm sure it will, right now I have a lot going on am feeling a bit overwhelmed.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:08 pm

I've been working on writing something up about how I graft. I want to get around to doing the actual grafts this year so I can take pictures and the weather has tuned kind of crappy. I'm hoping the weather cooperates tomorrow or the next day but it may have to wait until next week.

In the mean time I noticed the European plums have suddenly started blooming :D Everything is running so late I have no idea when harvest time will be. The pears are fully bloomed just in time for the crappy weather, the cherries are thinking about it but the apples haven't even begun to blossom. I'm still thinking it will be a very good year for pretty much everything and looking forward to it.

Tonight I even took a sip of the mixed fruit brandy I made a while back. The fruit flavor is coming forward quite nicely, a general fruitiness that you can't place exactly what fruits, which is what I expected and planned on. It's actually quite nice, there is also a nuttiness from the deep tails cut that is beginning to turn into something nice. I like to go deep into the tails with whiskeyish but usually don't like to with fruit but I think it may just work out with this one.
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby cranky » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:12 pm

The other day I said I'd try to say a few things about my grafting experience so today I am going to try to talk about my efforts for grafting.

First off I think I should tell you I'm not very good at grafting but I keep trying and am getting better every year. I'm sure there are plenty of people on this website that are much better at it than myself.

I think I began trying to graft about 5 years ago because I want to preserve the KD apple tree and have a clone or two of it all to myself. So I studied up on it on the internet and found a website that was very helpful
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yar ... uit-trees/

Like most of the fruit stuff I do I only get one shot at grafting every year so a mistake feels like a huge setback but if it doesn't work you just wait a year and try again. Eventually you have success.

My first attempts were dismal failures. In spite of doing everything that website told me to do not a single graft succeeded :( So I patiently waited another year and tried again. I would like to say my second attempt was a great success but but it was also a miserable failure and I wound up spending a lot of time analyzing what went wrong. I thought maybe I was doing the grafting too early in the year so the next year I waited extra time until the trees were well on their way to leafing. That year I actually had tremendous success. By tremendous I mean out of a dozen or so attempts I had a single graft take, actually a few took but some were broken by birds and I didn't remove the tape soon enough on another and girdled it which caused a lot of additional problems and actually almost killed the tree.

The next year was last year and encouraged by the success of the previous year I waited extra long again and once the leaves were sprouting I began my attempts at grafting. This time somewhere around half of the grafts succeeded. I'll be happy this year if half of them succeed as well.

My view of grafting starts with the trees, obviously it takes at least two the tree you want to change (understock) and the one you want to change it to. As you know I wanted to change it to the KD as far as what to use as understock, I bought some apple trees on sale at the hardware store for 75% off. I specifically bought a Red Delicious tree with the sole purpose of converting it to a KD. I also have a tree or two I grew from seeds.

before you do grafting you have to take cuttings, this takes some planning. I take my cuttings when the trees are dormant, this means late December or early January other parts of the country you might be able to do it earlier.

After I take my cuttings I wrap them in damp paper towels placed in plastic bags and place them in the bottom crisper in my refrigerator.
APPLE CUTTINGS 12 APR 18 - C.jpg

My wife hates this because I won't let her use that crisper until spring but it's the best place I have to keep it.

When I feel it is time to graft I get a razor blade some tape I have that has proven successful and the scions (cuttings) and head out to try grafting. The reason I wait until leaves start to come out is that means the trees have begun waking up and are now pumping sap up to the branches, keeping the cuttings in the refrigerator keeps them dormant until you have completed the graft then they take several days to wake up and by then the tree is already feeding them and hopefully neither of the two realize the graft has happened.

When you make the graft you wrap it in tape, within a couple of weeks if it takes the scion will begin growing. For some reason sometimes it can take much longer than a few weeks and you just have to be patient. One of the trick then is to figure out when to remove the tape, remove it too soon and the joint is too weak and will fail. Wait too long and it can girdle the branch and kill the scion so you have to watch it and try to remove the tape at the right time.

I have tried just about every graft on the list. My first success was with a whip graft but few of them have taken. The cleft graft has also worked for me but with very limited success. My most successful grafts have been kind of like a cross between the cleft graft and whip graft. I don't know specifically what it is called but what I do is find a branch on the tree that is the same size as the scion. I cut the branch on the tree into a wedge and the end of the scion into a V shape and fasten the two together wrapped tightly with tape.
APPLE GRAFT 15 APR 18 #15 - C.jpg

APPLE GRAFT 15 APR 18 #17 - C.jpg



Then I wait to see if they decide to take, I look for signs that the branch is starting to increase in diameter and if it looks like they are I remove the tape. If I remove the tape and the joint looks weak I re-wrap it and let it go a little longer. If it looks like nothing is happening I leave it alone until I know for sure the scion is either growing or dead. Once I got frustrated with failures and rather than unwrapping them I just yanked them out and found one had actually been taking only slowly and I killed it. So now unless it shrivels up and dries out or starts growing I leave it alone. I have had some take as long as 6 weeks to begin showing signs that it was growing.

Now here are some pictures of successes. The first 2 are examples of the way I just described, one has the V cut into the scion, the other the V was cut into the understock, It works either way but I've had more success the first way. They are one year old now, I won't let them bear fruit until they are 2 years old just to make sure the joint is nice and strong

APPLE GRAFT 12 APR 18 #1 - C.jpg

APPLE GRAFT 12 APR 18 #5 - C.jpg


This last one is the first success I've had. It was a whip graft and is now 2 years old. Last year it grew a tremendous amount and is now about 4 feet long and the diameter of a quarter, when I did the original graft it was the diameter of a pencil.
APPLE GRAFT 12 APR 18 #3 - C.jpg


I guess that's about it for what I do, like I said, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who are better at it than I am but each year I get a little better. :D
User avatar
cranky
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 4759
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:33 pm

Wow... really really cool. Thanks for taking the time to write that up and include pictures, i'm sure it was a bit of a project. Really appreciate it.

So, is there any kind of product or chemical or anything they use to assist this? Or a specific type of tape? I feel like i've read somewhere, that in some orchards, they would go about grafting all the trees? I'm not sure why you'd do this, but my theory would be that maybe... there's a type of apple or fruit that is really spectacular but takes forever to grow, or doesn't grow very well. So, they'd grow an orchard full of understock that are trees that grow quick and strong and take grafts well, then when ready, graft them all with scions of the apple tree that is really nice apples? IDK, i'm just throwing this out there for something i feel like i may have read long ago. Could be full of shit.

This process kind of sort of reminds me of "cloning" which they use for growing other types of plants. Mainly in the ahem herb business. That you have a great succesfull plant, and want more of them, so you clone it by taking cuttings and then using rooting gel or something, and it turns into it's own plant. In this case, it's also guaranteed to be a female plant.

Thanks again cranky, i'd love to try this some time, and please keep us updated on how these young scions fare. I'm sure you (and K) would be thrilled to have a KD tree of your own just steps from your front porch :ewink:

CC
CatCrap
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Kareltje » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:25 pm

As far as I know that indeed is the reason to graft: you sow some strong apple for understock and then you take grafts of the specific kind you want to have.

I planned to do that with wallnut. It proved easy enough to sow and grow some small trees, but it was advised to take grafts of specific races. Makes the tree grow nuts some 4 years earlier and gives the wanted size and taste of nuts too. But I was warned that wallnuts are very difficult to graft and there is a serious risk they bleed to death or at least much harm. So I abandoned the idea.

For fun you can even graft different races on one tree.

Thanks cranky, very good instruction! :clap:
User avatar
Kareltje
Distiller
 
Posts: 1586
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:29 pm

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby The Baker » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:58 pm

Or you want to introduce a more popular variety so you chop off the old ones and graft the new ones onto the stumps.

Geoff
The Baker
The Baker
Distiller
 
Posts: 1696
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Copperhead road » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:11 am

PEACH BRANDY TIME
220L of peach pulp ready to run.....
@tater I have not added sugar to this one :lolno:
Attachments
3D7DC7ED-466C-4BF1-B4A3-DC737665573E.jpeg
07F8F6C6-AB7F-4A09-AB69-ED32ECF07BBA.jpeg
Ferment finished
If it’s not made of copper it simply ain’t proper......
User avatar
Copperhead road
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:28 pm
Location: Brisvegas downunder OZ

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby Copperhead road » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:55 pm

Sorry I just realised I posted this in the wrong section, didn’t mean to plant my peach brandy in Crankys thread.
Sorry :oops:
If it’s not made of copper it simply ain’t proper......
User avatar
Copperhead road
Site Donor
Site Donor
 
Posts: 344
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:28 pm
Location: Brisvegas downunder OZ

Re: Lets get carried away with fruity goodness

Postby CatCrap » Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:51 pm

yeh.. that seemed like a super random post. But.. it was fruit orientated, so technically on topic. ish
CatCrap
Swill Maker
 
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:56 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Fruit /Grain season is here



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest