The official Cider thread.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    Ok, my press is almost ready (I will get pics soon I hope).

    But my biggest thing I need is an apple grinder.

    Now I have read about folks using garbage disposals, but I want to go non electric and would like to find an "apple eater" hand operated grinder.

    Any ideas, or does anyone have one laying around you want to sell?

    Aside from that, post your cider production here.
     
  2. cider

    cider Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Oh, I thought you meant me.

    We used to make the best cider in the world, IMO. :) Had 50 acres of apples to choose from. My advice is use a mixture of tart and sweet varities, never just one.

    Have fun! I love cider.
     

  3. BellsBunnies

    BellsBunnies Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    428
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    A hand-cranked sausage grinder maybe?
     
  4. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    One of the older Rodale press books on making things for the homestead or farm had plans for an apple grinder that works like the Happy Valley Ranch one, except you make a wood housing instead of cast iron. The rotating grinding part is glued up wood discs with metal teeth in it. To be honest, after seeing a Happy Valley grinder and press at a friend's, and having used an antique cast iron one that other friends own, it doesn't impress me, so I am going to use a garbage disposal this fall and see how it works. My press uses a hydraulic jack and stainless steel tub with 1/16" perforations. In a few weeks I should know if it works or not.
     
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    Well, make sure you post your results here. I understand that unless you get a commercial brand (I think 2.0 HP) disposal that it will grind apples for about 15 minutes before it overheats and blows it's built in default. Then you have to let it cool and reset it. Let us know how it goes.
     
  6. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    368
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    only time I see the hand crank ones is on ebay or some antique shop and they are pricey. I'm with Jim on not being impressed with the manual ones (at least the smaller ones I've seen in the US... the UK has some big ones that are quite impressive but I've never seen them stateside.

    I did see a number of fellas in the UK use the bucket and spade technique. You could always try that... (though I wouldn't want to go through too many apples that way)
     
  7. mandidawn

    mandidawn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    647
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    SE MICH
    I picked one up at cabela's last year, not to expensive either - works good.
     
  8. bill not in oh

    bill not in oh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,869
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Location:
    Earth
  9. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,446
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    How about taking apart & reassembling a push mower? It's got a killer blade & an engine. Reverse & redo all the elements so that it works like a giant blender. You would have to put extra time into the design so you don't chop off a hand or something.
    You all are lucky to be doing cinder this year. We got hit with a late frost here & I don't think but 3 or 4 out of 40 trees have apples. If that wasn't bad enough, I never got to spray because of al the rain .Our trees have been begging for better pruning than what I've been doing for the last 5 years or so.
    I'll let you all know if we get any Cider.

    veme
     
  10. lwj2

    lwj2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    Location:
    SW VA
    This is what keeps us in business in hospitals.

    Get the Lehman grinder -- Keep your hands and fingers where they were designed to be, instead of seeing me or a fellow medical type in an emergency room.


     
  11. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    The Lehnman's grinder looks like the Happy Valley Ranch one to me, especially the description "Cast iron reinforced hardwood hub studded with sharp stainless steel teeth". I don't thinnk it does as good a job as the old all cast iron ones that I have used.

    If the garbage disposal idea doesn't pan out, I will do what some friends have done--clean up the garden shredder and us it. I put a 1hp electric motor on mine to replace the 5hp(?) gas engine, and it makes it more pleasant to use. Works great for my friends, and all I would need to do is a super job of cleaning the insides of the shredder, I think.
     
  12. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

    Messages:
    3,516
    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Location:
    AR (ozarks)
    Just got a letter from my homesteader neighbor 4 miles down my road he says he had a bumber crop this year from his two trees he has made 30 gallons of cider I think he is going to make some hard cider also. I miss the apple cider I use to drink when we visited carriage hill farms in OH while I was growing up (one of the few pleasent memories I have of OH)
     
  13. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    what is the cocnsistency of the apples before pressing? how small must they be ground up?
     
  14. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,180
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    WI
    The finer the better. The finer they are ground, the more juice can be pressed out. Some grinders that I have seen aren't a lot better than what you could do with a knife (and lots of time), but a commercial grinder produces closer to a slurry, almost mush.

    I may get my new prototype system working this weekend and will try to do a test with some early windfalls and maybe some pears, and if I do, I will try to get some pictures to go with a report. But don't hold your breath, this looks like a busy weekend around the old homestead. I need to get the garage solar hot water panels (for heating the garage floor) connected and ready to go for cold weather, and lots of other small projects too.
     
  15. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,220
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    NW-IL Fiber Enabler
    Paul made a trade on an old cider press (with grinder) that he has taken apart & is in the process of rebuilding/repairing. He needs to weld something on the grinder, I think ... This past weekend I picked up a juicer at a garage sale (still new in the box, never used) for only $10.

    So, what's the difference between apple cider and apple juice???
     
  16. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    From this site http://www.answerbag.com/q_view.php/36322

     
  17. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,220
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    NW-IL Fiber Enabler
    Thanks Bob!

    Sounds like I can use the juicer to make apple cider then!?!?!?
     
  18. Jackpine Savage

    Jackpine Savage Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    191
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Central MN
    My DW picked up an old cider press at a garage sale. The wood portion of it needs some work, and I don't think its going to get done for this season. I did do some searching for a method of grinding and found this:

    Homemade apple grinder
     
  19. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    wow, incredible. i was envisioning how i would make a grinder if i needed one. i had decided to use stainless steel screws if i did. lol, that is how the linked grinder is made.
     
  20. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    Yup, that site is in my favorites. Not sure if I would build that one or not.