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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tomsawyer on March 28, 2011, 04:06:38 PM

Title: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: tomsawyer on March 28, 2011, 04:06:38 PM
I'm interested in making some hard cider/perry this fall.  I already make wine so I have a small #20 ratchet press.  Will this thing hold up for pressing cider?

Also, I am looking at getting an apple crusher.  Is the standard red Weston crusher a good buy?  Is it robust?  It seems to have a wooden drum and steel "teeth", are the teeth screw heads?  I've never seen one up close to know how it really works.  I saw where you can make a crusher from a garbage disposal, but I'm thinking the manual crusher would work well enough for me.
Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: denny on March 28, 2011, 04:08:02 PM
As a point of comparison, this http://www.applejournal.com/correll/desc.htm is what I've got.  The Medium Plus size.
Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: tomsawyer on March 29, 2011, 12:53:42 PM
How does that work, you are grinding into one basket while pressing in the other?

I was thinking of using a garbage disposal setup for crushing apples, but I heard they tend to get hot since they aren't typically designed for continuous hard use.
Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: denny on March 29, 2011, 03:29:42 PM
How does that work, you are grinding into one basket while pressing in the other?

Yep.

I was thinking of using a garbage disposal setup for crushing apples, but I heard they tend to get hot since they aren't typically designed for continuous hard use.

Yeah, I could see that happening.  I also wonder if it's possible to overcrush?  Bob Correll, the guy who built my press, makes everything on it by hand, even the metalwork.  He consistently wins cider press comps (who knew?) based on overall throughput.  Take a look here to see what the shredder assembly looks like.

http://www.applejournal.com/correll/const.htm

Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: tomsawyer on March 30, 2011, 01:18:06 PM
I asked a guy who's used a disposal type of grinder and he said the finer grind isnt a problem, but that the ripeness of the apples is a key.   According to him you don't want to let them get too ripe or they won't press nearly as well.
Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: ryang on March 30, 2011, 02:09:50 PM
If you're talking about the Whizbang cider press, I am planning on purchasing the building plans for that once my folks' apple orchard (only 6 trees) is old enough to be producing lots of apples.
The design seems pretty bulletproof.

Not downplaying Bob Correll's design at all, just plan on building my own with simple parts.

I would be interested in trying a side by side comparison of the two ciders coming from the two different mills... fine grind vs coarse grind.
Title: Re: Some Beginner Cider Questions - Equipment Selection
Post by: denny on March 30, 2011, 03:19:18 PM
I would be interested in trying a side by side comparison of the two ciders coming from the two different mills... fine grind vs coarse grind.

My guess is that the difference would be yield rather than quality.  In line with that, I get more juice out of the apples if it's been a rainy fall as compared to a dry one.  And it seems to help to "sweat" the apples.  Let them sit for a week or 2 after harvesting.