Advice Please

A forum for cider makers
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Mashman
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Advice Please

Post by Mashman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:45 am

Hi Guys

I have been brewing all grain for many years but have always fancied trying cider making. I now have a source of apples, mixed dessert and cookers. I have bought a scratter and am building a press using RSC's, threaded rod and a bottle jack.

Can anyone recommend the best cloth to use to make the cheeses ? I was thinking of net curtain material, is this OK or does someone have a better idea?

My beer is fermented under temperature control, this will not be available for the cider as beer production will continue and I hope to have at least 4 X 25lt bins of cider. The ambient temperature in the autumn will probably be lower than ideal beer fermenting temperature, maybe much lower. Any recommendations for a yeast ?

I thought I may leave one bin to ferment naturally using the wild yeast on the apples, this is surely the traditional way. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks, any thoughts, comments or suggestions welcome

Cheers

Mick
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vacant
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Re: Advice Please

Post by vacant » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:55 am

Mashman wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:45 am
I now have a source of apples, mixed dessert and cookers.
Noooooooooooooooooooooo! [-X

I'm surprised Jim hasn't immediately banned you for trying to re-ignite the "dessert vs cookers" cider war of 2011 :wink:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=45754&p=480783
I brew therefore I ... I .... forget

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Mashman
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Re: Advice Please

Post by Mashman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:39 am

Whoops, not seeking to re-ignite past conflicts. Just looking for advice.... :oops: :oops:
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lord groan
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Re: Advice Please

Post by lord groan » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:56 am

I've used plain unpatterned net curtain for a couple of years, works very well but I've twice 'burst' the fabric by pumping the bottle jack too hard to try and get the last drops out - you wouldn't believe that a jet of apple pulp hitting your shin can hurt so much!
So worth having some spare fabric.
Don't try and be clever by sewing the net into a purpose fitted bag for the press, the seams tear apart easily, done that too!
Just make a rough bag by pushing the centre of the net fabric to the bottom of the press making sure the sides come up all the way round, fill with pulp, then twist the fabric edges together to stop the pulp oosing out the top and start pressing!

HTH
(I'm pressing my second batch of the autumn today - mixed dessert and cookers too)

charlie
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Re: Advice Please

Post by charlie » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:50 pm

I used coffee sacks when I tried it.
they were 50p each at the time but can be quite expensive now.
Wild fermentation is the way to go and no temperature control is necessary.
My batch was pretty much all cookers and undrinkable.
Brewing in the badlands between Arnside and Milnthorpe.
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wilfh
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Re: Advice Please

Post by wilfh » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:04 pm

Net curtain works best for a rack and cloth design where you build it up in layers. Its more efficient than a basket press for apples rather than soft fruit andless likely to tear as all ready noted.

With some sort of board ( I use hdpe chopping board material) between the layers it works a treat

Building the layers takes practice as it is important that they ate flat and uniform. The net curtain will slide mire and i find the more patterned ones work better as there is more friction.
Cheers
Wilf

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Re: Advice Please

Post by wilfh » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:09 pm

And another thing...

If you only have cookers and eaters and the acid is huge. Say above 1% total acid then wild ferment, bottle then leave for a year. Time will drop the acid if you have the patience!

Wilf

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Mashman
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Re: Advice Please

Post by Mashman » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:14 am

Thanks for all the reply, I have just about finished the press and hope to do a trial press today 🤞
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Re: Advice Please

Post by globalweeble » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:27 pm

A bit late for me to add a comment for this but for what it is worth... I would recommend leaving your cooking apples on the tree for as long a possible, ideally even picking them off the floor. In the last few days of an apples life on the tree they get a lot more sugary and juice levels increase.

I am about 40 miles west of you and picked my cookers this year in early October and probably could have waited a week more.

I do a third of my batch with wild yeast - it tends to take a bit longer to ferment and has produced both my best and worst cider. You may need some raisins or yeast nutrient if you have a lot of cookers.

I once tied do a demi john of pure cookers - it was not very nice. I did the same for some other traditional Kentish eating apples but they were very bland. I found a blend tastes a lot better than solo varieties.

Finally I store all my cider outside, the yeast "goes to sleep" in the winter but starts bubbling again in the spring. Harris cider ferments between 10-35C so might be a choice if you want to drink some cider before summer. I guess in colder parts this might not be possible.

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