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Thread: Fruit juice and cider

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    You can find places that will juice your apples for you and you buy the cider from them......

  2. #12
    Senior Member TheFlyingKidney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    We send our apples, usually a couple of hundred KG to a cider maker.. Crates of cider in the past..

    What we have made quite well is a myrobel (cherry plum) wine (tastes a bit like sherry) and not half bad in small amounts.

    Some years are better than others but it did get a prize in the local show

  3. #13
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)

    That is definitely the wine making way, with the demijohns and air traps.
    I guess that would be used to make a high strength, still (not fizzy), cider 15-20 ABV.

    For a fizzy, beer strength (OK a bit stronger, 6-10 ABV), cider we used to do it this way:

    soak the apples overnight in a big barrel of water. (Gets the worms and bugs out).
    throw that water (and bugs) away and wash the skins in fresh water.
    cut out any bad bits, stalks etc.
    chop up, either by hand or using a macerating machine.
    layer the chunks between two or more boards. (usually as a stack of boards).
    you could use cloths between the boards and apples, don't forget to wring the juice out of them later.
    press the juice out. (we had a homemade gadget that used a couple of hydraulic car jacks).
    filter through a seive.

    That's got the jucie got out of the apples.
    You could buy juice (not the supermarket stuff in a box), or concentrate in a cider making kit if you dont have access to apples.

    put the juice in a big fermentation bucket, and measure the sugar content (specific gravity).
    add some brewers (invert) sugar if you want a higher initial SG. (higher alcohol at the end).
    sprinkle on the yeast of your choice. (yes the yeast can make a difference).
    put the, airtight, lid on.
    sit it in a cool place for a few weeks to ferment. (how long depends on the temperature, the sugar content, etc.)
    check the Specific Gravity (sugar content) now and again. (This also means taking the lid off, letting more air (oxygen) get to the yeast so it keeps working).
    once the sugar content is down to zero, or just above, it's ready to bottle.
    you may want to filter it through muslin at this stage if its still got bits in.
    syphon into bottles, leaving a 25-32mm (1"-1.5") gap (depends on the bottle shape).
    add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to each bottle, and seal. (not too much sugar unless you want exploding bottles).
    (the sugar at this stage is to restart fermentation in the bottle. This consumes the oxygen trapped in that gap when you seal and adds pressure and fizz to the finished cider).
    put away for a couple of months at least. (one or two bottles may explode as the fermentation raises the pressure).

    If you scroll down to the bottom of this webpage you will see that all the cider brewing kits they sell there use this 'bucket' method like you would for beer - not a demijon in sight.
    (Interestingly I see that their fermentation buckets do have airlocks- wusses, just opening the lid now and again to check the SG lets the pressure out).
    I also notice that the last kit there even includes a mini-press for pressing your own apples.

    If you use plastic (PET) bottles like they have in one of those brewing kits then they won't explode, they are way stronger than glass at containing pressure. (Old pop bottles that have been sterilised will do the job).
    Last edited by nukecad; 30-11-16 at 18:27.
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  4. #14
    I was on a health and environment kick the year I started brewing, so plastic and sugar were a no-no at that time. Hence I got some glass demijohns and I bottled into reused glass bottles (I don't recommend Stella bottles for that, by the way, the capper seems to struggle with them).

    This year I'm not being such a fusspot and also not quite as eco-friendly. I've got a couple of plastic fermenting buckets with grommets for airlocks and a tap for bottling, and I have got some PET bottles. And cider yeast is currently on order. I will try them for ease of use. I suspect my apple varieties and impatience have been combining to make my cider too sour for me. As for crushing the fruit, I'll stick to my juicer as it sounds easier and besides, I own it already. Also I'll clarify my cider by racking it once or twice during fermentation. And now that I have PET bottles I'll be putting a bit of sugar in them to make my cider fizzy. I never thought of the oxygen in the bottles -another reason for sugar in the bottles. I'll see how it goes this time.

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