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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