Apple wine/Cider without apple press

Discussion in 'Beginners Wine Making Forum' started by gethighonyourownsupply, Aug 3, 2018.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Aug 3, 2018 #1

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all, hopefully this is the right place and I haven't missed any relevant threads when I searched.

    I have about 1.5kg of (currently diced & frozen) apples I'm hoping to make into Cider or Apple wine but don't have a press. I'm hoping to make 4-5 litres as I have a nice 5L demijohn I'd like to use later in the process which I don't want to leave a lot of air in, but I can use smaller glass bottle(s) if I have less. I have made gooseberry wine successfully in the past and looking around the net I can see I have these basic options when no press is available for apples:

    1. Mash up the apples and strain juice out. I'm trying to avoid this as it will be time consuming and messy and may require a lot more apples.
    2. Mash up the apples and ferment them in a fermenting bag. I'm also trying to avoid this as it looks messy and requires more maintenance/risk of bacteria getting in.
    3. Ferment the thawed apples whole/smashed a bit as you would with most other fruits, but for a longer time, as suggested in this guide http://www.habitat21.co.uk/cidermaking.html
    ...this would be my preferred option, but from the amount of apples I have, it looks like most of the volume in my fermenting bins would be taken up by the apples themselves with little room for liquid (I'm anticipating I may need to add more apples to make up the 5L I'd like, if possible).
    4. Forget about apples and just buy loads of pasteurised apple juice (a bit of a cop out).

    Bear in mind it's really a learning experiment so don't need to end up with the world's greatest drink but don't want to make something completely disgusting and have wasted my time ;). Big thanks anyone who can give suggestions! :)
     
  2. Aug 3, 2018 #2

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    394
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oregon
    Rent a press from your LHBS.
    Any option that requires more apples for the same end volume would be my choice.
    For apples i would avoid water, i often use apple juice in place of water for other fruits.
    Option 4
    Get a 5 or 6 gallon food grade bucket and a paint strainer for a 5 gallon bucket.
    Put the strainer in the bucket.
    Fill 2/3 or so with your frozen apples.
    Pour off enough juice to take a hydrometer reading.
    Adjust sg with sugar mix in additives INCLUDING BENTONITE and pitch yeast. Cover with a towel and stir twice a day ( really stir, it will fizz a bunch each time )
    After 1 week gather the strainer at the top and tie off lift out of the bucket and let it drip.
    Siphon liquid into carboy or demi john. To finnish, settle, and age.

    This is just the basic steps if you decide to go this way let me know and i'll add details.

    For the amount you are doing a used juicer from goodwill will work also.
     
    Scooter68 likes this.
  3. Aug 3, 2018 #3

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    To get all the flavor out of the apples you need everything but the seeds in the batch. (Well not the stems or hard seed shells.) Straining will work or a mesh bag. The bag really isn't all that messy just wash your hands, lift the bag out and squeeze. Meadmaker has you on the right track. More apple no water is the best route. Oh and a mix of sweet and tart apples.

    Keep in mind a clear apple wine should have an ABV above 10% and clearing will take lots of patience. A hard apple cider takes a lot less time and cloudy cider is normal ABV 6-9% normal for cider. These are just common traits NOT hard fast rules by any means. Remember in a pinch people take the cap off a gallon of pure Apple Juice cover with a cloth or balloon and let it sit for a few weeks and then have a natural hard cider. Not suggesting just saying there are many paths to a hard cider.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  4. Aug 3, 2018 #4

    salcoco

    salcoco

    salcoco

    Veteran Wine Maker WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,239
    Likes Received:
    793
    get a 10 gallon bucket. it will be useful for other fermentation as well.
     
  5. Aug 4, 2018 #5

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    394
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oregon
    Cider is yucky and tastes like beer . LOL, for wine i shoot for about 12% and use apple juice concentrate to back sweeten, diluting back to 10% ish.
    With a final sg around 1.010. served cold any day of the year. Nice to drink on a warm afternoon and pairs well with large holiday dinners. Dont bother with a label except for the car boy. You might forget what it is by the time it clears.
     
    FTC Wines and Scooter68 like this.
  6. Aug 6, 2018 #6

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the replies everyone, I've gone with a setup like this:

    1. Squashed up the defrosted apples a bit (I had more than I originally thought, plus a couple of peeled/chopped lemons so put those in), wrapped in a big sterilised muslin cloth, fastened and dumped in a 6L bucket (loads of juice already came out though I didn't squeeze very much).
    2. Added sugar dissolved in a bit of water, that topped it up to nearly top of bucket.
    3. Yeast Nutrient in, let stand overnight and then added Yeast and Pectolase.

    That's where I'm at, it's been in the airing cupboard a day now and smells great! I didn't leave much space and the bag swelling put the level dangerously close to the top so had to pour a little out to stop the risk of overflow. Plan is to press the bag a bit as it ferments and hopefully add more sugar in a few days to keep the process going a bit longer than the expected week or so.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2018 #7

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    meadmaker1

    Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    394
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Oregon
    What are you using to determine your sugar.
    You could have held out on the water and added it later when things settled down.
    You can also pour some in another container and join them back when you pull out the fruit pulp.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2018 #8

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry to say I am literally guessing sugar as I don't have the device to measure alcohol level. I've put in 1kg and plan to add in small amounts every few days until it seems like yeast reaction has stopped. Any advice on when to do a taste test? The 6 litre bucket is pretty full but a lot of that will be apple pulp that won't go into the demijohn. The mixture of apples was a bit more tart so not too worried about ending up with some extra unconverted sugar in.

    Definitely learning a lot about liquid levels/what space the bag takes up so keen to get another batch on the go as soon as the bucket is free, though I'll need to buy another demijohn ;)
     
  9. Aug 8, 2018 #9

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,324
    Likes Received:
    6,821
    And a hydrometer.
     
    Scooter68 likes this.
  10. Aug 8, 2018 #10

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    Buy two hydrometers, they are one of the most inexpensive tools and too easy to break to do without. It's one of the most indispensible basic tools and going without one is not the way get to the results you want.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    drainsurgeon likes this.
  11. Aug 8, 2018 #11

    drainsurgeon

    drainsurgeon

    drainsurgeon

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2016
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    130
    What Scooter said. Make sure you use plenty of pectic enzyme and be patient. It will clear eventually. I used 110# of apples, froze, quartered and pressed and got 7 1/2 gallons to start and ended up with 6 1/2 to bottle. I added some cinnamon sticks while bulk aging. I also used apple juice to make an f-pac for back sweetening. It's about 2 years old now and it's wonderful!
     
  12. Aug 10, 2018 #12

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK thanks everyone, lesson learned about buying a hydrometer, really wish I had started with one. As I didn't have one to start with then my understanding is that if I get one now it won't be any use for this batch that was started on Sunday.

    Does anyone have advice about how long to leave in the fermenting bucket before I pour/squeeze into the demijohn? I've added about another 700g of sugar in two batches over the last few days. So that makes about 1.7kg total in about 5-6 litres of liquid. Bubbling *seems* to have stopped but it did fizz quite a lot each time I added the sugar. Was thinking of doing the transfer this Sunday, which would give it 7 days total in the bucket.
     
  13. Aug 10, 2018 #13

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    Without a hydrometer how do you expect to know fermentation is complete? Not using one initially just means you have no way of knowing the expected ABV. You still need one to know for certain that fermentation has stopped. Also you should have been taking SG readings each time before and after you added sugar. Without doing you have no way of knowing much about the wine. At this point the fizzing could mean several things. Also what condition is the apple pulp in the bag? Mushy, or still have some firm pieces of apples? With a normal fermentation at this point you could probably pull the bag out, but without much info it's pretty hard to give solid advice.
     
  14. Aug 10, 2018 #14

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    sour_grapes

    Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    9,324
    Likes Received:
    6,821
    What Scooter says is true, but, to directly answer your question, you can transfer to your demijohn when your hydometer reads about 1.010 or less.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  15. Aug 10, 2018 #15

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    As suggested, you can transfer now but the issues you face now are that without knowing the initial SG you have no way of knowing when you have maxed out the yeast's alcohol tolerance. It's possible that having reached it's max the yeast will die and fermentation will stop potentially at an SG above 1.10 or below. Or other factors could cause the fermentation to stall. Assuming that it does not stall, follow sourgrapes advice, when the SG reaches 1.10 pull the bag, and transfer to demijohns. However, once the SG stops dropping and holds steady for 3 days, it's pretty safe to assume that fermentation has ended. If the SG at that point is above 1.000 you should treat the wine with both K-meta and potassium sorbate to prevent any unexpected restart of fermentation during aging or after bottling.
     
  16. Aug 10, 2018 #16

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Scooter68

    Fruit "Wine" Maker

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2015
    Messages:
    2,421
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    My apologies if my response (s) seems less than encouraging, unfortunately, it's really hard to give solid reliable support without, good info on what was done initially, and without good measurement practices along the way. Good wine making takes good record keeping as well accurate and appropriate additions of ingredients along the way. Without those things, it becomes a hit or miss process with the potential of producing something that 'has alcohol,' but would be less than enjoyable to drink and not something you'd share with friends.
    Most folks on this board like to create wines and meads worthy of not only consuming, but drinks that will impress friends, and even win a competition now and then. Discipline, and patience are two of the more important things many of us learn soon after starting those first batches.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    meadmaker1 likes this.
  17. Aug 14, 2018 #17

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    No you're quite right ;). Starting without a hydrometer is definitely the big mistake I've made and in hindsight would have been an obvious investment. Unfortunately it might be a day or two before I can get my hands on one but will do ASAP.

    Two days ago, the swelling bag pushing the top open became too annoying (I'm pretty worried about over-exposure to air/mess) so I squeezed everything I could out of it, threw in a big handful of the bits (which were very soft/pulpy) and now I'm pretty much liquid-only, and it looks like I'll easily have enough for the 5L demijohn . Today is the 8th day since start and I can still visually see some bubbling, but am noticing the smell has gotten more sour since a few days go so planning to do the transfer to airlock'd demijohn soon/when it doesn't react to stirring, unless I can get a hydrometer pretty soon and it indicates differently.
     
  18. Aug 14, 2018 #18

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    gethighonyourownsupply

    Junior

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK thanks, that's great advice. Hopefully I'll have my hands on a hydrometer in a few days before I get too worried about the risk of it turning into vinegar and panic-transfer to demijohn! The apple was pretty mushy when I squeezed the bag out, though the various different types I'd used have degraded slightly differently. It smelled good, but am noticing it's gotten more sour in the past few days.
     

Share This Page