So I want to make hard cider. I am likely going to start with apple but I want pear too.
There are a couple of options for the actual juice.
- Buy it. Either pasteurized or not.
- Make it.
1. is pretty easy, and may be where I start. The downside is when it comes to pear, that becomes harder to find in gallons at any reasonable cost. This takes us to
2. This has become an interesting challenge. I want to try and not drop $400+ for a crusher and press. And I don't want to give up that kind of space. At least until I am happy with the cider and want to make a LOT of it in one go. So.......
I think I can mulch apples with the KA meat/food grinder. I tried this morning and I was cautiously happy with the results. Used a corer/segmenter thing to make manageable pieces (manageable for the throat of the grinder). Turned a few apples into mulch in a reasonable amount of time, and with someone feeding and someone using the tool it would go really quickly. So I think crushing/mulching is sorted.
The issue is pressing. I had a great idea, what looks like a cider press that I already have? Ahh.. the 5 pound LEM sausage stuffer. This is where the process fell down some. If you just drop the mulch in it pushes out like meat for sausage would. Ok, I don't have a bag, but Kathleen cut up a tea towel for other things so a square of that behind the nut for the tube and that should do it.
No. The juice bubbles up through the pressure relief valve. I can fix that too.. so I put a washer on that to "almost" close. I could hear air escaping when I cranked down. Then I started pressing and no air, no juice.
I ended with apples on the ceiling, and in my air, up the wall, up the cabinet, under the cabinet. The gasket gave and allowed a blow out. Not one that isn't cluey I backed off lickety split and minimized the shower.
I think it is time to order one of those fruit bags they use in the presses for the next go.
So, who juices their own apples? I don't want sauce (cooked). I need raw juice. I hope apples are hard that pears to do with with.