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Quick-n-dirty cider attempt without a press/juicer

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Being lazy, I think I have devised a technique I'm going to try for making decent cider (having learned from a few disasters now). Here are the constraints I'm working to:

- No apple press or juicer.
- Buying loose apples from supermarket, they have a reasonable selection of tart/sweet.
- Can't have access to extended messy sessions in the kitchen.
- I need to scale up, no point putting in the effort to end up with 2-3 litres of cider.

Aiming for 2-3 gallons of cider, I'm guessing I'll need about 15-20kg of mixed apples, and 6-8 litres of pure apple juice (plus maybe a few lemons). My plan is to:

- Quarter and freeze all the fruit about 2 days before starting.
- Gently simmer and crush the fruit with pure apple juice in a big stock pot (probably in batches).
- Dump it all in a massive fermenting bucket, add some more apple juice and possibly a bit of water.
- Mix in a good dose of pectolase, yeast nutrient, about 300g sugar, pitch cider yeast.
- (After about a week, pulp will have separated to the top). Transfer/syphon the liquid into 1gallon demijohns to continue fermentation.
- After another 2-3 weeks I should have something reasonable for bottling.

Anyone want to stop me before I do something stupid?
 

Rice_Guy

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* freezing is a normal way to make a few gallons of apple cider. It would take a while but you could squeeze juice with a potato ricer. ,,, I would be tempted to take a nylon straining bag, two pieces of plywood and four c clamps to actually do a small pressing. At best expect 50% yield. Quarter is work, I cut around the diameter and twist them open after they have thawed. Partially frozen apple will not press well.
* cooking, this is really an either or. There isn’t a lot gained from freeze then cook. Cooking will create a mush, squeezing in a nylon bag with the skins on should be cleanest. Cut flesh will tend to push through a straining bag
note you could combine as freeze - press juice - steam reduced moisture apple pulp - press to get more juice out
* you want pectase, lots of pectase
* lots of store apples are 1.050. early season will have lots of acid and as they age it decreases,, ex Macintosh fresh at the farmers market pH 3.25/ TA 0.92% and the same bushel two and a half months later pH 4.21/ TA 0.32%
* lots of yeast nutrient is like feeding candy to a six year old, ,,, DAP is bad! ,,, A traditional ferment is slow ,,, low nutrient and cool (50-60F). This is done to maximize flavor
* grocery store eating apples will be quite uniform, “sweets”. wild apples and cider apples can yield high acid, tannin (bitter apples) and the sweets. I use crab apples for tannin, about 20% of the crabs in the arboretum collection have interesting tannin. Going to the acid bottle is easiest for balancing pH.

two to three weeks? WOW yes you could drink it, it will still be fairly cloud, carbonic and have yeasty flavors

GOOD LUCK, and WELCOME TO WINE MAKING TALK, ,,, and wine is really quite forgiving there really isn’t anything wrong with being cloudy if it tastes good. ,,,, and,,, do you have a hydrometer to measure sugar/ potential alcohol?
 
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@Rice_Guy OK thanks for those bits!

For the benefits of a simple initial step (simmer/throw in fermenting bin), I've pretty much just accepted that half the space in the fermenting bucket and then a good 1/4-1/3 of the demijohns will be pulp/sediment. Yes, pectolase is going to be my best friend here!
 

Handy Andy

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What are the differences between apple wine and a cider (scrumpy) making?
 

Rice_Guy

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The main difference is legal/ tax rate for commercial people.

To be done well both products will have a balance of flavors (European producers have tannic and sugar and acid varieties). Normal US apples are 1.050 to 1.060 so natural ciders can be 6% plus or minus. To do a wine normally requires adding sugar.
What are the differences between apple wine and a cider (scrumpy) making?
 

toadie

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That's a good question. I was also wondering about the difference between apple wine and cider. Is the benefit of apple wine simply a higher abv?
 

Rice_Guy

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for all alcoholic beverages, there is a preservative effect that goes along with higher ABV, the risk of micro growth is reduced/ this is also a negative since oxidation of alcohol risk and resulting acetaldehyde “hot” flavors increases.
One should look at the apple family as a stylistic choice, ie what flavors do you like? ex I find more hedonistic joy when complex flavors from 5% of other fairly loud fruits are blended in (raspberry/ black currant/ elderberry/ crabapple/ cranberry . . .) remember in the fruit juice world apple concentrate is used as a neutral background source of solids/ sugar.
That's a good question. I was also wondering about the difference between apple wine and cider. Is the benefit of apple wine simply a higher abv?
 

toadie

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Thanks Rice_Guy. I pressed pears this year with my grape press. I like perry considerably more than cider but wow what a big job/huge learning curve. I also used sweet eating pears so I'm not sure the result will be as wonderful as I had hoped for. I'm actually thinking I might add some pear concentrate.
 

Rice_Guy

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This is a style decision, , , perry has a very mild flavor much the same as dandelion. When I add aggressive flavors it lets me be more sloppy on oxidation and hide the off notes which develop with age. If one thinks, oh apricot has sharp flavor notes, lots of apricot in the blend, a two year old wine will score better in a contest or as a Christmas gift.
, , another choice I will do is add 100 ml/ 2 oz of raspberry juice to a seven gallon carboy because I like a blush color more, we eat with our eyes before we actually taste
 
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toadie

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Well I have a lot of raspberries which I use mostly for sour beer (and for wine which I haven't quite dialed in yet) but I guess a cider or perry addition might be worth a try. Thanks again for the advice.
 
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