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Dec 5, 2022
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I've had a shed load of apples this year, many have gone into a hydrator but i was thinking of doing a wine. Will i have to crush the apples or can i just slice them into the must? One of the reasons i only made cider a few times as its too much faff pressing out apples. Thanks
I've only done apple wine from crushed and pressed apples - 100% juice - and I agree it's a lot of work. I have to force myself to get started. It's my least favorite wine (along with pears) only because of the up-front work but I think it's worth it.

There are many recipes out there using sliced/chopped apples so, no, it's not absolutely necessary to crush them. If you go that route I would try to use as many apples as possible.

Good luck!
It depends on how much flavor/juice you want to get into the must. The more you break them down the better, and the more juice you will get. There are a bunch of posts here about how to do just that, everything from dedicated garbage disposals in sinks to a wooden mashing board, and I think even rolling over a large amount with a tractor. It depends on what you want and what you can do. I have a friend with an apple crusher, it chopped up six bushels in about 5 minutes. Thank God. We ran them through twice to get finer chuncks.
The more complex the mixture , the better the wine will be - sweet apples, tart apples, high tannin apples, bitter apples, and aromatic apples. But I think you really need to treat them as if you are going to make cider. So you begin by pressing them. There may be folk near you who routinely make cider and they may have the equipment you need/want to break the apples (scrat) and then press them. Your LHBS may be able to give you some names.
I have made it with chopped apples and have had great success. However, the work you save in pressing results in extra work trying to separate liquid from the fermented “apple sauce” you have left after primary fermentation. I scooped it into straining bags and squeezed it out. Lots of solids still went through which resulted in 6” of gross lees in a six gallon carboy after another three weeks of fermentation.

I’m hoping to start a batch in a few weeks using my new apple grinder and press. I’ll up the SG with simple syrup to 1.090.
i freeze all apples whole, come time i dump them whole into ferment barrel, after thaw and adding yeast, i stir twice daily with drill , the allpes will turn to mush, a little pectic enzyme to get liquid, i leave skins on ans seeds in, since you dont chop , press or grind the seeds are fine,
I've made hard cider and apple wine numerous times with apples from our orchard. I usually use a mix of Empire, Honey Crisp, MacFree and Liberty. I start just like I do when I make cider. Grind the apples into a pomace and then press it to yield juice.

The last batch I made in 2021 I used 60lbs of apples which yielded 3.25 Gallons of juice. I added 2.5 cups of brown sugar and 2 cups of white sugar which brought the SG from 1.050 to 1.088. I added campden tablets to kill the wild yeast, yeast nutrient, pectic enzyme, wine tannin and acid blend. The next day pitched the yeast. After 3 months the SG was .998. I racked it yielding 3 gallons.

After 14 months it was crystal clear and dry. I decided to back sweeten it corn sugar and stabilize it with potassium sorbate. Im let it sit in the carboy with an air lock another 6 months to ensure it wouldn't ferment again.

It was good and had quite a kick, but I didn't think it had enough flavor or ribustnees so the wine maker who works at the vineyard I manage suggested adding frozen apple juice concentrate. I added 2 cans to the 3 gallons which raised the SG to 1.014. Then I left it in the carboy another 6 weeks.

After 800 days from harvest I just bottled the wine a few weeks ago and its quite good. I ended up with about 11 bottles.


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* the traditional way to crush apples was to pound with a 4x4 post or stump in a traugh. The next scale above that was to have your horses walk in a circular race where the apple was placed.
Upgrading to modern motors one can create small amounts of juice (25 liter carboy) with a kitchen blender, if you try this do a short burst, NOT a long chop making apple sauce. Optimum is about a 5mm chip or flake. Small 1mm particles are harder to press
* freezing and pressing whole or half apples works well. For me a good freeze is at least two days in the freezer, and over a week doesn’t add any yield. Juice from freezing is cleaner than from grinding.
* you could get some juice by steaming then pressing. The juice yield will be less since pressing is harder to do. Pressing “mush” to get yield requires low pressure which pushes free juice out > increased pressure as the solids dry > more pressure as the mush stops being a fluid. Cooking releases pectin which causes turbidity. Pectic enzyme can break this down, ,,, but its only a cosmetic issue.
* apple seeds contain cyanide, a good process will not break many seeds.
I've had a shed load of apples this year, many have gone into a hydrator but i was thinking of doing a wine. Will i have to crush the apples or can i just slice them into the must? One of the reasons i only made cider a few times as its too much faff pressing out apples. Thanks
grind or mash or super dice with sulphite and press
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