Fermented cider

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
• Oops, had I read in advance and used pectinase, I'd probably have gotten a 6-pack out of this effort.  Next time.
• 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.
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Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) said...

What ingenuity to use sausage equipment for the cider extraction! It looks like it worked pretty well. In the future you are always welcome to borrow our press.

The apple pieces before pressing are called pomace. I'm not sure what the remains after juicing are named. I do know that my chickens LOVE to take care of the disposal for me.

I'll await a future report on how it tastes.

Dave said...

Thanks for the offer! The stuffer looked like fun, it's a tad lightweight for the job, but it was still fun. Now is the tough part, the wait. I have to go stuff it in the basement so I won't tinker with it.

Mike said...

Nice! Cider is on our list of things to do. I wonder if you could use one of the filters they use for wine to get a clarified end product?

Dave said...

Hey Mike, You all do everything so well, I look forward to it. I hope I don't curse the attempt by early posting. The raw juice was soooo good.