Scratter Brain

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troopa

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Well im getting to the end of building a cider press for a friend.. cough and me, seeing as though he has about 20 apple trees and 5 or 6 pear trees :)
But what i think is going to happen is i might run out of time on building a scratter and SWMBO although very excided and understanding about the cost of the press and about making our own fresh cider is very reluctant to go out and buy an Ozito bunnings speacial apple scratter(garden mulcher) which is understandable

So i tentatively "maybe" asking for a loan or trade(juice) of a scratter (time line im thinking is about 4-6 weeks by the look of the apples)

If you can help out then reply or PM im not stressed or if you have any other ideas on a substitute scratter for this years crop then by all means speak up :p
Or if your in the SE Melb area and wanna do an AG BIAB or drink some fresh Aldi cider for the time being then let us know

Tom
 

Greg.L

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With that many apples you will need a decent scratter or you will take forever to mill the apples. Sorry I am in the wrong state - you should try all your friends and acquaintances for a loan of a mulcher, its the easiest way. To build your own drum-style scratter would be as much as buying a mulcher. You would be surprised how many people have an unused mulcher in the shed, or try ebay and trading post for used mulchers. If you use a mulcher its best to repaint the insides to minimise the exposure to bare steel.
 

troopa

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Well i sorted the scratter out
I ended up building my own :p

IMAG0095.jpg

IMAG0096.jpg


And the press is done too.. been a great week in the shed

IMAG0093.jpg
 

manticle

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Would you be willing to part with the plans for the press? I know there are various ones around online but that does look good.

I would have offered you use of my grape crusher if you were stuck but it looks as though you have it sorted. Apples still need to be cut slightly smaller to go through the crusher and your homemade thing will probably do a better job anyway.
 

thelastspud

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So what does the scratter do? Just break up the apples a bit?
 

manticle

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Pretty much. Makes for more effective pressing/juice extraction.

A bit like milling grain (break up or crush the fruit into pomace).
 

punkin

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Nice work.... :icon_cheers:
 

Malted

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Have you tested them yet? I hope the grooving of the drum is sufficient.
Will your bottle jack have enough travel? Perhaps a tray underneath with a spout to direct the juice flow?

Excellent craftmanship. Fine looking equipment.
 

Greg.L

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Most people put ss screws standing about 5mm proud screwed into the drum,in a diamond pattern, to chop the apples. It looks like well built equipment, good to see people going the fresh-fruit way of cider. That press could work as a rack and cloth press, with a juice collecting tray.
 

troopa

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Manticle http://www.van-vliet.org/dempseywoodworkin...iderpress.shtml
Thats exactly the plans i used except i didnt make the 4x4 legs.. timber jiont up in Vermont had 90x90 already plied so i modified the plans slightly to use that and speed up building it

And yeah Greg that photo was prior to the screws being added (about 150 of em)
The Press worked flawlessly and so it should with a 12tonne jack up its behind :p
The scratter, well i didnt have enough screws all the way across so after a few more ciders.. beers.... cherry bourbon... saison... mead... liquore. I decided to pull the power tools back out(Great idea) and fixed that issue up
Worked better but not great. It wont feed a full hopper through (about 5-6kg) of larger royal gala that was over ripe 80cents a kilo from dandenong markets
I know i need to modify it with a LARGER feed in for bigger apples but for small home orchard apples i think itll be almost perfectly fine

So after measuring the weight of the apple and pears (19.5kg) i ended up with 10kg of juice which was about 9 litres into the fermenter. So efficiency is off and that could bee due to not wanting to put tooo much pressure on he jack and maybe not letting it sit longer to drain absolutely everything out

But in the end its made a bloody awesome brown pear and apple juice 1.040sg which went straight in onto of a 3rd gen ec1118 cake that that was an Aldi juice speacial and with a 50% pear im thinking itll hit about 1.005-1.010 and be in the ranges of 3-4.5%
 

troopa

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BTW no photos of the pressing but to let you know that 10kg of the royal gala and the 10kg of brown pears scratted just fit into the basket with a little tamping down. Which is great cause it means 2 pressed to a 20 litre batch :p
 

manticle

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Manticle http://www.van-vliet.org/dempseywoodworkin...iderpress.shtml
Thats exactly the plans i used except i didnt make the 4x4 legs.. timber jiont up in Vermont had 90x90 already plied so i modified the plans slightly to use that and speed up building it
Thanks mate. If I stop brewing every weekend and start building I could get one done for my next cider season (which for me is Autumn/winter on account of the weather)
 

troopa

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Where abouts you getting apples from Manticle?
Cause most are ready up in gippsland at the moment if not in the next 4-6 weeks

Edit oh yeah BIAB bag makes for a great bag for inside the basket
 

manticle

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I don't mean in terms of the apples as I know it's really apple season now. My cider season is not apple season (counter-intuitive I know).

I don't have temp control in terms of a fridge (have a CC fridge with yeast and hops) so I ferment everything with primitive temp control (water baths or just seasonally or both). Most of the year around in Melbourne this is easy to do as long as I pitch my yeast 2 or 3 degree below ferment temp (or get it there before the yeast starts multiplying).

The upshot of that is that my ciders, which I like to ferment between 10 and 14 are mainly fermented between autumn and spring. If making a fresh fruit cider (which I haven't for a bit on account of not having a press and finding a bench top juicy messy and a pain in the arse), I just get a blend of as many different apples as my local fruit market sells (usually about 6 or 7) plus a few pears and nashi pears.

Recently I've been using blends of store bought juice (most recent was all preshafruit - expensive but lovely) and touches of malic and tannic acid fermented to dryness and cc'ed for a couple of weeks. I'd like to get back into making fresh fruit ciders but less painfully.
 

Greg.L

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So after measuring the weight of the apple and pears (19.5kg) i ended up with 10kg of juice which was about 9 litres into the fermenter. So efficiency is off and that could bee due to not wanting to put tooo much pressure on he jack and maybe not letting it sit longer to drain absolutely everything out
That sounds about right for a basket press, if you converted it to a rack and cloth press it would go up to around 65% but would take longer to fill and empty.
 
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