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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Question

    As I’m readying my yard for bees I decided to invest in a few apple trees. I must say I enjoy a good glass of apple cider almost as much as I can enjoy a spoon full of honey, not to mention the wonderful product one can get by combining the two [img]smile.gif[/img] .
    Now I realize I won’t have enough apples to make much cider for a while yet, but it does not hurt to plan for the future. Does anyone know were I may be able to find a good set of (free) plans to build a masher and cider press? Are there any other wonderful resources out there akin to beesource but for cider making?
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Bridgewater VT. USA
    Posts
    238

    Post

    eBay item 4363024168 (Ends Mar-11-05 17:00:18 PST) - Apple Cider Mill Wine Press & Grinder Plans! 6 Sets
    is this what you are looking for?
    Stuart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    scsasdsa
    I checked e-bay first before posting last night, but I must say I’m a bit apprehensive of getting digitized plans that way. I have been several times before from similar sales.
    I was burnt the worst from hanna_enterprises (normally I wouldn’t single someone out, but I might as well warn others).
    I purchased a CD that was said to contain an e-book containing a complete beginners guide of how to in keeping bee and build a hive. The CD actually contained a 4 or 5 page PDF of badly copied easily and freely available information from the Internet and a snippet of the differences between a queen, a drone and a worker. These plans were all from copywritten sources (including one from beesource) with their copyright illegally removed.
    The seller claimed to own the copyright and all documents belonged to him. I complained to the seller, nothing happened. I complained to e-bay about fraud, but they did not care. I left neutral and truthful review of the seller; I received my only negative one in return.
    Essentially I got stuck paying for some person to illegally make a profit from other people’s hard work.

    On the good side however it seems as if that seller has not been selling that item since my complaints. Though I can’t be sure as I have not been keeping tabs on that item type. He is still however selling other items and likely cheating other unsuspecting people.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    If you doa Google search you can probably find something usefull. I've made cider for about 20 years now, starting really small. I first bought a kit and built a small unit. After a year I sold that and bought a bigger unit with a hydraulic ram. Some years I'll make up to 450 gallons or so. It all depends on how much you want to make and how many apples you have. A word of advice: always use apples from the tree, either seconds or surplus. Never use drops as this will open the risk of ecoli bacteria. Always wash your fruit before squeezing. Good luck.
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Karl,

    I have started an orchard. Do you have any books you can recommend??

    I am shooting for 150 trees in 3 to 5 years. How does one estimate (roughly) yeilds.

    I am planting (and have planted) HoneyCrisp, Sweet Sixteen, and Zestar. I have 10 trees planted and 25 on order for this spring. Going small while I learn the ins and outs of pruning and grafting.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Bruce, check with your County extension office on pamplets on fruit trees for pruning, insect control, etc. Mine was a great help. I have approx. 200 trees. At first I had put in 5 or 10 trees of a lot of different varieties. Learned that it is hard to sell an unknown variety. I now have macintosh. red cortland. cortland and empire pretty much exclusively. This winter I cut out the 10 red delicious trees I had. I focus on popular, well respected apples. Easy to sell . Good luck, they will keep you busy. Karl
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  7. #7

    Post

    On the whole press idea: a friend mentioned to me that his family had a hand press. Sounds like it attached onto the side of barn and had a large 2x4 as the handle. Close to the barn was a wood box. Using the lever to press down on some object the apples got pressed. Just think of a large garlic press...

    On books and resources, yes county ag agent is a good way to go. But good apples of commercial quality can be had from just about anywhere for a good price. I would go to state farmers market and buy by the case load for cider. On the other hand, why grow these apples? You will never have them look as good. Consider growing old-timey varieties. A good starting point would be NAFEX, the North American Fruit Explorers. Check them out. I bought 8 dwarf trees from someone I learned about there: David Vernon Old Century Farms Orchard in Reidsville NC. I expect them to be unique, ugly, classic cider apples. I will blend them to taste. As far as yields go, he told me to expect a bushel per tree...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Thanks Joe and Karl.

    I'll probably do the cider thing too on a small scale.

    I am zone 3 here and limited somewhat. The Honeycrisp is a "Hot" seller and is good for zone 3. And the SweetSixteen is hardy as well. The Zestar is the newer U of Minn variety and is "probably" OK for zone 3. All are good keepers and delicious.

    I stick to standard sized trees as dwarfs are just not hardy enough for the north winds here.

    I also have 6 Harolsons, 1 of which is really old. I have done a succession of radical pruning shince buying this place in 2000. Last year the yeild was outstanding on this old tree.

    I will be seeking Organic certification on the apples (if I can just through the hoops).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Bruce: Key to getting the most juice out of your apples is grinding them up as fine as possible before squeezing them. Look into a good grinder whatever you do. As to organic, its a tough road with apples as there is a great amout of insects and diseases to battle. Re yield I think the bushel to a tree is a safe bet. Cortlands and empire I think yield a bit more than that on semi-dwarf stock.
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,369

    Post

    &lt;&lt;there is a great amout of insects and diseases to battle.&gt;&gt;


    Since appearance doesn't matter as much,
    how much of that is necessary on cider apples?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,025

    Post

    The cider digest is a discussion group for artisinal cidermaking, with lots of expertise to share on varieties etc. You'll want to graft stock if you want to be harvesting anytime soon. Some folks use a garbage disposal to shred the apples, and then a homemade press for the squeeze. If you live near a cider mill, they'll sometimes let folks mill and press. Home winemaking shops sometimes have rental mills and presses.

    Appearance does NOT matter; just avoid rotten ones. A few worms just add to the flavor. Definitely check out the digest though.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,025

    Post

    The cider digest is a discussion group for artisinal cidermaking, with lots of expertise to share on varieties etc. You'll want to graft stock if you want to be harvesting anytime soon. Some folks use a garbage disposal to shred the apples, and then a homemade press for the squeeze. If you live near a cider mill, they'll sometimes let folks mill and press. Home winemaking shops sometimes have rental mills and presses.

    Appearance does NOT matter; just avoid rotten ones. A few worms just add to the flavor. Definitely check out the digest though.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
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    209

    Post

    On the economic side, cider is a good utilization of small fruit and what you would call seconds based on appearance. Your first quality fruit can be sold for a much higher value than cider. I look at cider as a draw . After I start making cider for the season the fresh apples also sell better. Seems as if people will stop more readily when I have the cider for sale and then almost as an after thought they pick up apples or honey as well. Good appearance will make the apples much easier to sell. I tend to be pretty critical of finish when I sort the fruit. If in doubt it gets juiced.
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Dousman,Wi.U.S.A.
    Posts
    209

    Post

    Ben, I have to disagree. I have always taken the greatest measures to make sure there are no worms in my cider. Does that mean its never happened? No. It probably has. But I work very hard to create a high quality product and I do not equate worms with high quality. Just my 2 cents worth.
    Trying to age gracefully, don't think its working!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    231

    Post

    Wow, I walk away from the computer for a little while and suddenly cider becomes a hot topic. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Well thanks for the info, it’s a start, but heck that is all I need my trees have not even been planted yet.

    Another quick question though for those of you who make cider, do ‘Cider Apple’ trees really make that much of a difference in quality of cider?
    I ask, as Cider was just an after though, after buying my trees (I purchased a couple of 5-in-1 Apple Trees ) and I was thinking of a McIntosh or two. I figured that they would complement my other fruit, as I find that raspberries and cherries make for a good cider too, though I never made such myself.
    -Robert<br /><a href=\"http://photos.bobsbees.com\" target=\"_blank\">Photos and Such</a>

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,025

    Post

    My history is entirely with making hard cider, though most principles cross-apply. The most interesting ciders usually come from a blend or different varieties, some high-acid, some aromatic, etc. There are some varietal, or single-apple, cider apples out there, but that's not really my field. I know England grows some cider varieties that are supposed to be the bomb. Talk to growers in your area and see what thrives; the most delicious tree in the world, grown in the wrong climate, will not reproduce the taste its heritage implies.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  17. #17

    Post

    I had dinner with my friend and he described again how they crushed the apples. The kids stood over a trough and smashed them with a pole attached to some kind of a plate. Sounds like one of those earth tampering things. I need to keep an eye out for some stainless to recycle.

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