My efforts in the kitchen are often inspired by Rachel, thanks! She recently made cider and I couldn't resist co-opting my existing equipment to give it a pilot run. I used a couple bags of Gala organic apples from Kroger (not the beauty hand-picked ones Rachel used) and pushed them through a vigorously cleaned meat grinder. This option was interesting. It was fast and seemed to sheer the apples nicely. Then, using a vigorously cleaned sausage stuffer, pushed on the pulp to get some juice. I used a screen on the inside of the piston to prevent the pulp from getting in the juice.
I was curious to learn the juice extraction efficiency using this setup and to know just how sweet gala apple juice is for fermented cider (it tastes amazing before fermentation!). From 3 kg of the pulped apples, I got about 1.5 kg of juice and by refractometer 12° Brix. I skipped the campden tablet step and pitched a wine yeast. I should get a nice 4-pack of cider that's about 6% abv. I'll bottle with 2.5 volumes of carbonation. Here's the photo shoot.
|galas and one granny smith|
|apples after the grinder|
|using a *cleaned* sausage stuffer|
|squished apples (apple cake?)|
|takes a lot of apples, ca. 50% by weight extraction of juice, meh|
• Book I used was Art of Cidermaking.
• Update 25-Feb-2011, most activity subsided and gravity around 00. Small sample tastes really good. I'll bottle in a couple weeks, once clarified.