Apple juice extraction problem

bejay9_10(zone 9/10)September 17, 2011

My first wine making attempts turned out well enough - using limes for "Skeeters Pee" and then some plum wine from my own Santa Rosa plums.

However, after a trip to the local mountains and "doing" a "pick-your-own" apple adventure, I find that I'm having difficulty extracting enough juice to make cider for my present wine-making recipe.

I washed, seeded the apples, ran them through the food processor and put them in a large wine strainer bag (which comes with the initial wine-making kit). However, it is not exuding enough juice to fulfill my need.

Now I'm wondering if I need to purchase an expensive juicer for this - or has anyone come up with a reasonable alternative.

Some recipes suggest the use of frozen apple concentrate, and am wondering about the merits of this - also which commercial brands come without preservatives if so.


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Buy or make a cider press.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:18AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

OK - so do you have some building plans? My son is pretty good at making things - especially if it is something he is interested in - like saving money.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 11:10AM
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Google cider press plans. There is one guy selling a booklet called the whizbang cider press, he is recommended by Mother Earth News but you have to buy his book, I think it's about 16 bucks, not too bad. He has other plans too. Look for Whizbang Cider Press.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 12:51AM
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sheryl_ontario(Muncho Lake, BC z2)

I would just make up the difference with juice. You might want to test the acid as commerical apple juice from the store will have quite a bit more acid in it. Or just reduce the acid in the recipe by a small amount.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 2:23PM
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fedup321(7 NC)

freeze your apples first.....that will make them mushy, then use a straining bag with apples and gentle squeeze them for the days in the bucket.lift bag let it drain and peelings and junk left will come out leaving only juice.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 5:53PM
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You could also simmer or steam the apples and either strain out the pulp or cook it with the pulp already in a nylon bag and then squeeze the bag. Have read that freezing first breaks down the cell walls to release juice so you can try freezing like fedup says.

Or buy a steam juicer. Amazon has the steam juicers on sale now. There are several to chose from. Don't buy aluminum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Steam Juicers

    Bookmark   September 25, 2011 at 10:49PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Much obliged for the helpful hints to you all. I may need to go back up to Julian to get more apples. The last box - 3/4 full cost me $30. So I'm hopeful that my own little apple "orchard" will start producing soon. Some of the apple picking places are almost as expensive as "DisneyLand."

Anyway, I am now on my latest batch of Skeeters Pee. This is almost 2-3 weeks down the line from first prep, and only yesterday did it start to perk. It has been extremely cold for Oct., and was slow to get a heat source to it. I now have a grow lamp near the bucket, and wrapped a flour sack or 2 around the entire scene. When I checked it late yesterday, it looked "bubbly" - so I hurriedly put on the cover and air-lock.

Since then it has bubbled - like put, put, put, put, etc., and this early morn - it is put,put, put -- put, put, put, etc.

In summary then, I have either a re-start ferment - or - it is about to go to lime juice heaven - i.e. down the drain.

So much fun.

By the way, my last Skeeter's Pee was a bit bitter near the end. Why was that - could be too much added flavors - tartar or ? How about remaining seeds in the mash - would they affect taste? So many questions, so little time.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:58AM
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Hi Bejay, It could be seeds or maybe it has lees from the yeast adding off flavors, or maybe it needs to sit and mellow out for a year. The white pith of citrus fruit is usually bitter, you didn't get any of that in there, did you?

For the start of primary fermentation I use a cheesecloth or coffee filter to keep fruit flies out, because I read the yeast needs oxygen. If you use an airlock you might want to stir it twice a day during the primary.

Best of luck with your trees, that's a lot of money to buy apples!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:10PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I did zap the limes in the micro, to help release the juice, and also used some of the zest. Perhaps either one of those "tricks" may have triggered the slightly bitter taste. Although, I didn't notice this earlier when first drinking it, only near the very end.

Sorry, aging wasn't even in the cards - we drank it all.

My little fermenter is still going strong - with the burps at the rate of a nice, strong heart beat. I have high hopes, cuz it's a long way until next summer when the plums come in.

fedup321 - I will definitely try the freeze technique for the apple juice extraction. Are the seeds and cores removed before putting in the mesh bag then?

I appreciate your help now and previously - remember me?

With a little luck, this could be a part of my "culinary/wine/baking" efforts most satisfying.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Perhaps there is a small cider press locally who can do your juicing.

I do some for others but not the conventional way, it's better and a lot faster then a press, juice comes out 100% clean without any pulp...have a look.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Juicer

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 4:29PM
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