Author Topic: Juice & Strain Method  (Read 1221 times)

Offline Jarhno

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Juice & Strain Method
« on: October 03, 2013, 01:58:25 PM »
Hey Brewers,

I read the Juice & Strain article on the AHA website and am very interested in buying a juicer and trying it out. Before I do, though, I had a question.

The article seemed to say that if you have a high powered juicer you could speed up the process considerably. They say in parenthesis that a 1,200 watt juicer would yield (I think) around 8 gallons per person per hour. I cruised amazon.com really fast to get a ballpark idea of pricing and saw a certain brand that had 800, 900, and 1,000 watt juicers for $150, $200, $300 (respectively). Now I'm not excited to spend $150 on a juicer and $200 is my absolute limit I would spend.

So my question really is, does anyone know if the lower watt juicers would work well for someone trying to make 1-5 gallons of juice? I work in the lighting industry so I'm intimately aware that wattage is a measure of power consumption not how efficient the motor or device operates, so I'm really trying to ask people with personal experience on the subject. Any preferred juicer brands or juicers in particular?

Thanks for your time, everyone!
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Offline denny

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 02:07:29 PM »
Although it can be done, even using a high power juicer is tedious and time consuming.  I think you'd likely burn up a cheaper one if you tried to do too much at once.  Just something to consider.
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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 02:38:37 PM »
I use a Jack Lalanne power juicer. ~$100 new. I used it regularly for 5 years for fruits and vegetables before the blade got too dull to be efficient. Then I retired it to cider production and have made ~120 gallons in the last 3 years. Running several bushels through it, with the dull blade, is no doubt abusive. The plastic is permanently stained brown from all the apples. I hardly even use the pusher. I just feed the  continuous parade of apples until the pulp hopper is full. Then clean the machine and repeat. I have a small wine press and use it to press even more juice from the pulp but a paint strainer bag squeezed by hand will work. No real need to strain. You can just let the juice settle and rack off the sediment.
As I said, the process is hard on the machine. But it's old and it keeps on going and I have a backup purchased from a yard sale for $20. Juicers are often purchased with good intention and rarely used and can be fairly easily found used and in like new condition for cheap.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 03:11:27 PM by Big Al »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 03:36:50 PM »
As I said, the process is hard on the machine. But it's old and it keeps on going and I have a backup purchased from a yard sale for $20. Juicers are often purchased with good intention and rarely used and can be fairly easily found used and in like new condition for cheap.

Yep. Got one years ago for Xmas and never used it. Probably got at most 25 bucks for it, new in box, at a yard sale.
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Offline eyousey

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 08:21:41 AM »
I thought I might chime in on this idea since I just did it yesterday.   After reading the article I picked up an older 850W juicer from a family friend that wasn't using it anymore.  She had bought it with good intentions, used it for some amount of time, and didn't want it anymore.  I got it for about $50.  I also looked over Craigslist and eBay and almost got one there before things got over what I was willing to pay for an experiment.  If/when this juicer dies, I plan to replace it with something more powerful.

I got about 4.5 gallons from 1 bushel of apples.  I was expecting about 2-3 gallons, so this was a happy surprise.  The motor did get warm by the end, but I had to stop often because I was using the little container that came with it to put juice in.  Next time I plan to juice straight to the bucket.  I also had to stop and clean the pulp shoot from time-to-time.  This first time was just to see how it worked, and it worked perfectly.  It is a little messy, but the process is sound.  I've done the traditional grind and press method, and this is much easier.  It can also be done in the kitchen vs. out back or in the garage.

Total time from when I started to sanitize to last apple was about 1.5 hours.  This would be cut down if I didn't have to stop every few minutes to empty the juice container and wait for the juicer to spin down and up.  So, I think about 1 bushel per hour is not out of the question on my 850 watt juicer which is a Breville JE95XL (older model of current JE98XL) that can take whole unseeded fruit.  Also, smaller apples will mean faster juicing since they won't require pre-processing (halving/quartering).  There was also some clean up time after that, but I know that will vary per person.

I could have gotten more juice if I had also squeezed out my pulp, but it was pretty dry, and I might have only gotten about another quart or so.  I figured that I can sacrifice it this time.  It does make a lot of foam, and not all of the pulp makes it in the pulp bin.  I was pouring the juice through a mesh strainer, and it would clog up with pulp after a while. 

The resulting juice was about 1.052 gravity.  I put in some potassium metabisulfite and plan to pitch the yeast tonight. 

I would do this again, and might before the fresh apple season is over.  The juice tasted awesome and my wife was telling me during the process that she wasn't enjoying it at all.  She was washing and helping to cut up the larger apples.  In the end, after a taste of the product, she said it was "totally worth it." 

The recipe:
1/3 bushel Fuji
1/3 bushel Jonagold
1/6 bushel Breaburn
1/6 bushel Winesap
potassium metabisulfite (dose according to instructions)
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 lb pilsen dry malt extract per 5 gals juice (body and residual sweetness)

Yield: ~4.5 gallons
OG: 1.052 (before DME)
FG: TBD
Yeast: Safale S-04
ABV: >5% (est.)

Instructions:
Juice apples by preferred method.  Add potassium metabisulfite according to instructions for the volume of juice produced.  For me, it was about 3/16 tsp.  Mix in and allow to sit for 24 hours to do its thing.  Dissolve 1lb/5gals of DME into 1 quart of warm cider and add back to main batch.  This will bump the gravity and give the yeast some needed nutrients.  Also add in the nutrient and energizer.  Scale them accordingly for your juice yield.  Pitch hydrated yeast and off you go.  Rack and clarify once fermentation is complete.  Bottle, keg, or whatever you want to do.

Theory of the DME:
The yeast will eat all the simple sugars from the fruit and hopefully "forget" how to process the maltose of the DME.  This will leave some sweetness behind, and also the dextrins in the DME will leave some body.  I just did two 1 gallon batches of cider, one with DME and one without DME, and the with DME had a better all around taste and body.  It was less tart/dry and some more subtle complexities.  So, this is my scaled up version of the DME version.

Offline hubie

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 11:40:31 AM »

Theory of the DME:
The yeast will eat all the simple sugars from the fruit and hopefully "forget" how to process the maltose of the DME.  This will leave some sweetness behind, and also the dextrins in the DME will leave some body.  I just did two 1 gallon batches of cider, one with DME and one without DME, and the with DME had a better all around taste and body.  It was less tart/dry and some more subtle complexities.  So, this is my scaled up version of the DME version.

Please write back on how this turns out.  If your DME theory is good, wouldn't it work better if you added the DME after you've passed the bulk of your fermentation activity? 

Online morticaixavier

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 11:47:26 AM »

Theory of the DME:
The yeast will eat all the simple sugars from the fruit and hopefully "forget" how to process the maltose of the DME.  This will leave some sweetness behind, and also the dextrins in the DME will leave some body.  I just did two 1 gallon batches of cider, one with DME and one without DME, and the with DME had a better all around taste and body.  It was less tart/dry and some more subtle complexities.  So, this is my scaled up version of the DME version.

Please write back on how this turns out.  If your DME theory is good, wouldn't it work better if you added the DME after you've passed the bulk of your fermentation activity?

I suspect it's the dextrins alone that are adding your mouthfeel, body and sweetness. I still don't think I buy the whole lazy yeast hypothesis.
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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 12:10:04 PM »
Get straight to the point and add maltodextrin. I have found it adds noticable body, but any sweetness fades.
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Offline denny

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 12:15:39 PM »

I suspect it's the dextrins alone that are adding your mouthfeel, body and sweetness. I still don't think I buy the whole lazy yeast hypothesis.

Exactly what I was thinking.
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Offline greymane

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 11:26:37 AM »
Has anyone tried the Juice & Strain Method to make a Perry? I have several bushels of inedible pears that cook up fine, but can't be eaten raw for all the tannin. I'm looking to make a 5 gallon batch this year.
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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2013, 09:17:24 AM »
Has anyone tried the Juice & Strain Method to make a Perry? I have several bushels of inedible pears that cook up fine, but can't be eaten raw for all the tannin. I'm looking to make a 5 gallon batch this year.
I did. Worked great.

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 08:30:16 PM »
Would pectins add body? I know int he end they create Jams and Jellys so i can only assume it would be a thickening agent, but ive never juiced before.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Juice & Strain Method
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 11:18:07 PM »
Unless you're heating your juice you won't have to worry about pectin.

Also when pectin acts, it gellifies which means you're mean drinking something jelly like.
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