My apple journey

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Re: My apple journey

Postby Bushman » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:21 am

I am hoping we still have apples when I get home on from Europe on the 19th.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby The Baker » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:19 am

Shineon said, 'I was thinking of dumping it all into my 30 gal fermenter and adding sugar....'.

I did that, added just enough water to make it maybe a sort of thickish slurry and just enough sugar to make it lightly sweet to the taste, just like a sugar wash.

Very scientific.

Seemed to ferment fine but that was three or four years ago and my stilling technique wasn't that good then. I have just started working on re-distilling it. Pot still. It will need some extra apple flavour so I plan to maybe use some apple juice (can't get concentrate here) and/ or some apples one way or another. Unfortunately I haven't got a thumper yet....

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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:56 am

the only sugar will be from the concentrate as I want to keep as much apple flavor as possible, the max will be 1.060 and hope it ferments dry.

Bushman, Cranky reported apples as of a day or so ago but if it's like here they'll be gone quickly once they start dropping.

We've had crazy wind storms this late summer early fall and this has hurt my harvest tremendously, hopefully you'll get some and enough to make a little something.

I'll just make due with what I have and be thankful for that :thumbup:
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:32 pm

Bushman wrote:I am hoping we still have apples when I get home on from Europe on the 19th.

All the late apples I pick are well ready. The tree I'm currently picking holds onto apples until after the first hard freeze. We had a light frost last night but should still be 6 weeks from the freeze. It might be a little different up north. There is a tree I pass in someones yard with what looks like might be Arkansas blacks and they are dropping a few but still hanging on. Hopefully they are hanging on for you too :D
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:57 am

Checked the apple pulp yesterday and it's dry as a bone!

It's probably been dry but all I've done is swirl the buckets around to keep the pulp moist, they smell pretty good for only one type of apple so I'm hoping it turns out good as a brandy as well.

Now today I'll buy enough apple concentrate to do up another 5 gal carboy and let it rip then do the run once it's completed.

Since I only have enough stuff to fill the boiler and thumper once I'm going to do a single SLOW spirit run instead of stripping because I gotta do what I gotta do.

There's enough juice in the pulp so I'll squeeze 2 of the 5 gallons and use it in the boiler, the other 2 I will put directly into the thumper and see what comes of it.

If it's not like I want after the run it can sit in a carboy until next year when I'll have more, I guess I'll see soon enough!

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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:16 am

It's been a while and I finally got about to check the apples I pressed a while back and some of the ones that's just pulp, 3 of the 4 5 gal buckets are fine and the one that had 4 gals of juice has a nice lacto infection and I'm now concerned about that.

I just haven't had time to run the still and if I do it will need a good cleaning before I run anything to keep, lol

The juice smells a little sour and not like vinegar so that's a plus but I don't see any free time in the near future unless I take a day off work which I simply can't afford to do because we have so much going on ATM

I'm thinking on thanksgiving day I may miss my annual hunt and go and strip all this apple stuff to low wines just to not have it all spoil, I like vinegar but not 20 gallons of it.
I don't have enough "juice" for the boiler to strip the pulp in the thumper so I may just use water and do it that a way.
Sometimes life getting in the way sure can mess up a man's likker makin!
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Re: My apple journey

Postby hellbilly007 » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:26 am

I hear ya on life getting in the way. I drive truck, out all week. When I get home I'm either resting or spending time with the family. My stilling time this year has been virtually nil.

I wouldn't mind having a small batch of vinegar, of my own making, but as you said not 20 gallons. Good luck on getting it all stripped
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:40 am

I told the wife I'm running this Thanksgiving am, I'll get the still cleaned weds when I get home and load the thumper full of the pulp and use what juice I have with a little water to make enough steam to strip it out.

Come to think of it... I still have 8 or so gallons of dunder in the keg! It's been covered but it still might have gotten funky and I don't mind that but I may have to break out the pressure washer for this one and a steaming run. lol
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:29 am

A while back I had 10 gallons turn vinegar on me. I always take forever to get around to all the apple I press and one of my 10 gallon fermenters has a broken latch so the lid doesn't seal well. One day I got ready to run it and found 3 or 4 inches of mother on top. I saves a couple quarts of the vinegar, which was AMAZING, and ran the rest. It came out fine, maybe a little less yield that normal but it didn't lose much. I have a couple other quarts of vinegar I've saved, some made on purpose and some not but from that day on if I ferment in anything larger than 5 gallons I usually pasteurize and sanitize very carefully so I don't have to worry about when I will get to it.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:34 pm

Definitely a lesson learned Cranky, I never thought of pasteurizing but now I know :oops:

I have to use a couple gallons to blend with an overly sweet mead, hopefully not gallons but some either way so I'll be busy Friday regardless and hope I get a decent yield. We'll see!
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:49 pm

I'm not real crazy about pasteurizing but almost losing that 10 gallons really made me concerned about doing large ferments with unpasteurized juice. If you are careful with the pasteurization it doesn't really seem to affect the final product much.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:04 am

Today I'm running all the apple pumice, steam running 10 gallons of it in the thumper with 5 gallons of cleared cider in the boiler with 3/4 gallons of over oaked rum at 65%.

I have no high hopes for this as it will be used for apple pie but there is a nasty taste from the apples which I left on the wild yeast too long and I believe it's coming over in the distillate too.

I'm also having a problem with my thumper not heating evenly so the bottom is quite cool while the top is boiling and is now producing liker and I don't want to stop and break down to stir it but I don't want to loose any precious alcohol either, oh well.

I'm not sure what to expect now that I've tasted a little of the spirit and it does in fact have the same off taste like the cider so I'll turn it up and strip the hell out of it and rerun with the boiler only after the strip run.

All of the apples were fermented with the wild yeast and only 5 gallons pressed but it had the same smell as the pulpy stuff after a few weeks.

I'm curious as to why the smell is there, it almost smells like a liquid vitamin.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:58 pm

Chock this one up as a cleaning run, the spirit will not be ran again except for another sac run if I choose to add on the still.
I'm guessing sitting on the yeast that long, plastic fermenters, hell I don't know but it's bad bad bad.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby cranky » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:46 pm

Sorry to hear that but sometimes all it takes is a little time...sometimes a lot of time and things come around. I was actually on the verge of rerunning 2 years of apple but it has finally started to come around. Maybe you can make a vodka out of it.
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Re: My apple journey

Postby Shine0n » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:33 am

The yield was lousy, only 5 quarts total.

If I had a stove top pot still I could rerun it and see?
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