Step 6: Pressing using a car jack

A board was placed on top of the mesh containing the apple pulp, and a car jack placed between the board and the frame to apply pressure.
<p>Hey, how much of the sodium metabisulphite do you add to the juice? I'm making my first attempt to this cider business some time soon and I was wondering if too much or too little would be bad..? I read somewhere that it could be poisonous if taken orally, so I'm guising too much isn't good. What ratio do you use? Thanks!</p>
Hi. Im looking to make about 5litres for my first attempt. Does the size of the fermentation bucket matter? ie will it be a problem if I ferment 5litres in a 10 litre bucket?
<p>Hello Rosemary. We don't use any pesticides with our trees. What about the worms? I guess they need to be cut out during the first steps, or can you recommend a &quot;best practice&quot;? </p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>If you don't use pesticides, then that is good. The health risks from that are far more dangerous than the odd worm. Even if you ate a maggot, it would be extremely unlikely to do you any harm at all.</p><p>To be honest, I don't worry about worms at all. If you have loads of apples, then checking out each one individually is a lot of work. I don't consider the worms themselves a problem. They can cause apples to rot by making holes in them by which germs get in, but it is the rot (especially any vinegar bacteria which will turn alcohol into vinegar) I just reject any apples that are obviously gone bad and are rotten. If you only include good looking apples and sterilise the juice, then you should be fine. </p><p>I chuck the bad apples away when collecting and for any that I miss once I have got the haul back, they go on the compost heap.</p>
Thanks for the reply, were would you buy an appropriate yeast for cider?<br>
Would store bought juice be alright to use?
<p>Hi. </p><p>Yes it can be used. I've actually used diluted concentrated squash (cordial) before now. Not exactly classy, but OK if you are just makign a punch base for a party or something</p><p>Here's what to know/ponder...:</p><p>- Any apple juice can be fermented, whether pressed or bought.</p><p>- Shop bought juice is obviously usually going to be much more expensive than pressing your own apples, but the quality of the juice will be very reliable</p><p>- With shop bought juice one thing to watch out for is preservatives. If it has been heated treated (pasteurised) it should be fine.</p><p>- If sulphur dioxide has been used to preserve it, it may be tricky to get the yeast started. Sulphur dioxide is there to inhibit yeast and other micro-organisms. - Check the label!</p><p>- if it is sulphurised, then it will still work, but you may need to bear some air into the juice before the start. If you do this (and cover loosely to keep out vinegar flies), two things happen</p><p>1. the sulphur dioxide tends to be released making the juice more likely to be OK for your yeast</p><p>2. the oxygen in the air you beat in helps your yeast breed in the early stages of fermentation. This beting in should be done even if the juice is heat treated</p>
<p>Hello Rosemary, I'm a total novice, and have simply juiced my apples and left it in a large container for a month. I had a smaller bottle which I have tried and it tastes like beautiful sparkling apple juice, (very fizzy!) I haven't opened the 25 litre container yet...as I'm not sure what I could do next. I have bought campden tablets and cider yeast...? Is there anything I can do to make this more alcoholic at this late stage? </p><p>I didn't add anything or interfere in any way.. :) Many thanks! </p>
Hello,<br><br>first of all, we all all novices initially, so good on you for having a go!<br><br>You say you have left the raw juice for a month without any treatment. This is risky in that it can spoil, but you could br fine. All apples have traces of yeasts and other organisms on them and so can ferment or spoil depending on which ones take hold.<br><br>If your smaller bottle is a bit fizzy and tastes OK, then you probably are OK. It will be fermenting with wild yeast, I suspect. The main thing to check for is whether it is really vinegary. If so, then it is spoiled as far as alcoholic cider is concerned (although you can probably use it as cider vinegar).<br><br>For the big load of juice, if it tastes Ok, then you have two main choices. You can:<br><br>1. just add a new yeast culture to it and let it ferment, keeping covered, etc<br>2. sterilise it, then add a new yeast culture.<br><br>The first option will probbaly work, but there is some risk of spoilage. Having said that, if it was going to spoil it probably would have noticeably done so after a month, so it might be fine<br><br>The second option will kill off any spoilage organisms tha may be there, but not yet got hold. This is good, but you need to be careful with your new yeast that the sterilising doesn't leave too much sulphur which stops it getting started.
Thanks for the advice. We got it out and it does taste like cider. Very cloudy and not so fizzy. We decided to add the sachet of yeast and a few teaspoons of sugar to get it going in the right direction. It's not vinegary at all so that looks promising? Tastes quite strong to be honest but I don't have a method of testing yet.... we put the lid back on with the air lock. <br>I'm not as keen to add the campden tablet, what is your opinion on adding sulphites or just leaving be... ? Will the cloudiness clear when ready? <br>We're also not that keen on sterilising as it takes away the raw, unprocessed fun I guess (and the ease!).. I rather suspect it will be drunk quite quickly...I will invest in a hydrometer now!<br>Thank you again for all the advice!
Either way, You have nothing to lose. Try it and see what happens. It will probably work. It may be slightly rough as you have left it for quite a while, but it could well be good. It's like cooking. You can get lucky and cook a fab cake first time, you might burn it completely, but most likely, it will be satisfactory and you'll be better next time - good luck :)
<p>Rosemary I've left my cider fermenting for 8 days now. It has stopped bubbling just in the last couple days and I've just measured it with a hydrometer and it's 1.010. However, I tasted it as you suggested to see if it was too acidic and bitter and although it is quite bitter and so I plan to use calc calb, it also tastes quite weak .. The taste together with the specific gravity of 1.010 would indicate to me that maybe there wasn't enough sugar to begin with (I didn't know to take a reading before fermentation), what do you think? Temperature through fermentation had been so-so. I'm guessing maybe I should add some sort of sugar/yeast/water starter and referment for another week? Or am I simply reading too much into this? Thank you in advance again ?</p>
<p>Oh I used only Bramley apples </p>
<p>Bramleys - yes will be acidic. I am not sure how strong that will be. If you don't have an original gravity reading (OG), you can't really tell. I'd be inclined to add some sugar as you suggest. The yeast should perk up again. Normally adding any calcium carbonate is best done early one or you can get a chalky taste. You may get away with it. Yeast like a reasonably amount of acid. </p><p>If you have a large amount, consider splitting it and trying two variations. You might find one works better than the other, which spreads the risk and can help when trying it next time, to see what works and doesn't</p>
Could you give me an idea of how much sodium metabisulphite and yeast and carboante to add per gallon? Thank you! Just about to try this ?
<p>I am quite loose on measurment, but half a teaspoon of sodium metabisulphite is probably the moast you need. For yeast, ths comes in sachets and each one will easily do 5 gallons</p>
Thank you! My cider has been fermenting a week and just about to add carbonate. All going well.
Oh - and I made the press from your pictures - works a treat but I think I'll make something more sturdy for next year - the manual car jack press is very time consuming and not ideal for the amount of apples I had to get thru!!!
Excellent. I would tend to agree that it can be time consuming. I have contemplated using a washing machine before now. The spin and drain function could work (or even an old spin dryer)<br><br>I found the really labourious part was chopping the fruit, more than pressing it. I use a sharpened stainless steel spade, but there must be some sort of power tool that could be adapted. One of those roadside tarmac compacters would be good, but possibly OTT!!!<br>
<p>I use a sledgehammer (with plastic bag taped round the head) and just drop in on the apples in a sturdy bucket - makes short work of it! </p>
<p>hi i am about to make the cider however was wondering could i hold the finished cider in a 1 gallon carboy </p>
Oh - and I made the press from your pictures - works a treat but I think I'll make something more sturdy for next year - the manual car jack press is very time consuming and not ideal for the amount of apples I had to get thru!!!
Ok - great thread. So I've now crushed and pressed my apples and got 1 gallon short of 50 gals , can I add a gallon of boiled water to top it up ? Does the water damage it in any way?
<p>Thanks for the instructable! I've followed the first few steps without problem but would like some clarification about bottling. I added the yeast about a week ago (step 8) and it has stopped bubbling now. Should I bottle it now (step 10) or should I leave it a bit longer?</p>
<p>If you wish to DOUBLE the strength.. re ferment.! i.e: add 1kg of sugar (or dextrose) and approx. 10g of yeast to mix, stir in thoroughly and RESEAL.. The tightness of the seal is paramount..along with using an AIRLOCK..No bad bacteria allowed into your mix.. Here's a pic of an airlock I made..</p>
<p>Hi I would like to start making cider, I have loads of apples on my tree and I'm hoping cider making is easy the only thing is I have no idea what to do I have never brewed beer, wine, made Apple juice or anything like that , so can you help me with a step by step guide of what to do and what I will need ( I don't really want to spend a lot of money if possible) </p><p>Thank you </p><p>Caroline v </p>
Great, that's what this Instructable is. Have a go and post some pics or something of how it went. It is simple and very cheap
<p>Thanks for the great idea of the cider press Rosemarybeetle! This year we seem to have so many apples that even after canning, freezing, eating them, feeding them to the goats and giving them away; we still to haven't made a dint in the amount we have on the trees. Anyway after finding your link to how easy I can make a temporary press from a car jack (In the winter I plan to made something more permanent if this is successful of course ) Anyway after reading about your cider press I also stumbled on your actually receipe for cider and this also looks simple to the novice that I am so plan to attempt this at the weekend and see how we go. Thanks again for sharing this.</p>
<p>Hey, that's great. Go for it. Really glad if it has helped :)</p><p>I've used parts from office chairs before too (the ones that have a steel screw to adjust height) - not quite as good but they work. </p><p>I like Cider-making as it is really so easy to make and super cheap. The only other essential is yeast.</p>
thats why here in aus it's legal to brew beer and wine but not distill alcohol fenris is because most of the blind and death situations were due to illegal bootlegging not from brewing cider, beer or wine mate i brew beer like most australians and yeah have had a few infected brews but worst case was a taste that you wont like not blindness or death stop trying to ridicule home brewing it's a safe and fun thing that most people that drink be it wine or beer should have a go at !!!!!!!
<p>Comments:<br>Legal or not, it isn't a good idea to hit higher alcohol levels than wine .. 10% to 15%. re: apple jack. Do not use freeze distillation of you want to get above 20% ABV .as you approach 40% it gets really dangerous. .Just don't try. although 'legal' in some countries .. it is not recommended because the bad alcohols get concentrated. You can read about it. It can also give you an intense hangover in the short term, and wood alcohol problems in the long term. Also, I've read a lot about apple brandy. Even if you know what you are doing, and get something safe to drink, homebrewers who tried it report that it surprisingly tastes like grain alcohol .. tastes like everclear tm..Initially it is indeed 'shine' It is probably 10 to 100 times harder to get something good tasting when trying to make apple brandy than doing the wine.. First you must make the wine, then you must distill it, then You have to add the right ingredients and age it for a few years usually in an oak barrel.</p>
<p>Hi rosemarybeetle,</p><p>Firstly, thanks for sharing your knowledge and advice reading through the comments has got me excited to begin my first brew. I have a couple of questions... </p><p>We have bought a couple of glass bottles from Ikea that have the swing top seal, like the Grolsch lager bottles. Do you think these will be sturdy enough when bottling and hopefully won't explode?</p><p>Also, once (and if) successful, is there any simple methods to gauge the abv of the brew without obviously consuming and seeing what happens? :)</p><p>Many thanks</p>
<p>1. Abv .. get a hydrometer and measure before and after fermentation. Inexpensive, about $10 usd.</p><p>2. Ikea will have to tell you if those bottles can sustain pressure. Your beer/wine store or online can sell you bottles with the swing top that can sustain pressure .. or bottles and caps. etc. They are fun and reusuable</p><p>3. if you do get too much sugar in your cider, the bottle will blow up. It really can be dangerous and certainly messy. A very good way to avoid this is as she mentioned, store in a cool to cold location. The cooler, the less yeast activity. Or, you can kill the yeasts before bottling. If you put your bottles say in a root cellar, some people put the bottles in a box in case of accidents. </p><p>4. There is much good info below this post. </p><p>enjoy!</p>
<p>Love this... I was just kind of winging it in making cider this year (for the first time).... It's in a carboy with an airlock, really beautiful color and it's now stopped fermenting... I needed instruction on how to finish it! Thanks</p>
<p>How much sodium metabisulphite needs to be added to the juice? </p>
<p>How much sodium metabisulphite needs to be added to the juice? </p>
<p>Hi, this is my first time making cider. My problem started at the pressing stage, it took quite a time (over a few days) . I added the yeast clearing powder and left for about 36 hours ! Then I added the yeast for fermenting but nothing seems to have happend . Can I start fermenting again or have I left the pressing too long .</p>
hi. you might get way with it. before anything else keep it covered to stop flies getting in.<br>you need a new yeast starter. get half a pint of warm water add 2 teaspoons sugar and some yeast (cider yeast is best but any brewing yeast should work)<br>put it im a warm place and give it 2-3hours to grt going. then stir that into thd juice. your fermentation needs to be in a reasonably warm place.<br>try it. it may just work. <br>Good luck!
<p>hello, im having a second attempt at the cider making, last years didn't go well! iv read somewhere that you need to fill your fermentation bucket full once the yeast has started to work its magic, else the air contact will ruin the cider, is this correct? any help greatly appreciated!</p>
<p>Hi! Have you tried aging any of your cider, and if so for how long? Have you tried back-sweetening any of your batches? Keep brewing!</p>
<p>Hi, Just wondering if I can use plastic bottles as pressure vessels, don't want to risk the glass bottles breaking!</p>
<p>Hi there. yes, as long as they are bottles designed for pressure (in other words fizzy drinks bottles) They can still burst though. A friend of mine blew a hole in her ceiling when a plastic bottle blew its cap off. </p><p>The best way to be sure is to use a hydrometer to keep an eye on the fermentation. Alternatively, a cider that has stopped visibly fermenting and has been left for another week is very unlikely to ferment much more.</p><p>Finally, if you add camden tablets of a small amount of sodium metabisulfate after the fermentation, it will eliminate this risk, but you will have still cider (which is OK. I like still cider)</p><p>Never bottle when the fermentation is bubbling actively.</p><p>hope that helps</p>
Hi, I pressed my cider a week ago, sterilised everything and added sodium metabisulphite to it, then cider yeast I got online. Should I see the fermenting process happening in the containers yet? I have left it in my kitchen, which can be a little cold. <br>Thanks :0) <br>
Hi. <br> <br>The sodium metabisulphite may have killed or retarded the yeast. It needs a day or so to dissipate the sulphur dioxide before adding. If you added directly, then that can make it start very slowly too. If you made a yeast starter, and that was fermenting, but nothing happened after 4 days after you added it, then it sounds a bit dodgy. If it's really cold, that may be a factor, so some form or heat helps, but not too high obviously. <br> <br>Evene if yeast has failed, It's not that bad though. If you have more, then make sure the must is in a reasonably warm place first (it can take half a day or so to come up to temperature), keeping covered. Then make a new starter. give it at least 3 or 4 hours to get going strongly then add. <br> <br>If you can't get brewing yeast in time, you can use breadmaking yeast. Slightly less subtle taste, but to be honest, not that noticeable <br> <br>Good luck!
Sorry never done this before , do you put a lid on the drink after the yeast is put in?
Hi Elliot, <br> <br>yes, you should keep it covered or flies get in it and potentially introduce vinegar-causing bacteria. It is best to have it airtight (but you need a fermentation lock to let out the gas if it is sealed!) <br> <br>Alternatively, cover with a lid that is not sealed, but weighted down to stop creatures getting in. The gas will seep out as it builds up. This is the simplest way :) <br> <br>Good luck
Hi! <br>Just a quick question &ndash; I have pressed 10 litres of apple juice and added 1 campden tablet to the lot (which was my educated guess that just 1 tablet will do) and when 24 hours will pass I am due to reintroduce the yeast. I have a sachet of cider yeast which is 5g.... and it says it is not enough for up to 23 gallons or something like that.... however, nor recipe or instruction on the sachet, or any website actually states how much yeast do I need to mix per litre, or per gallon of juice? Do I just chuck in the whole 5g sachet into my 10 litre bucket??? And also, as I pressed my apples with the home juicer, at the moment there&rsquo;s about an inch of thick foam floating on top... do I just sprinkle the yeast on top of foam and then mix it all up after 10-15 minutes??? Your advice would be highly appreciated! Thanks<br>
Hi, <br><br>a few things. You should get the yeast started separately with half a pint of juice in a clean covered jug in a warm place until frothing. Make sure it is going before you add to the main juice. I am not sure if you meant to say the sachet says it IS enough for up to 23 gallons, but 5g should be enough for 10 litres (5 gallons or so).<br><br>In terms of how to mix, you should beat the yeast in and in doing so you beat some air (oxygen) into the juice. Although this sounds a bad idea, the oxygen allows the yeast to reproduce in the early stage of fermentation. This means plenty of yeast to metabolise the sugar. It will use up the air (and this prevents the cider oxidisng) at the beginning, then fermentation will slow as the yeast breaks down the sugar into alcohol and CO2. As soon as it is added, cover closely to prevent flies getting in (This is important - use an air lock if you have one. If not, just keep the lid on at all times. It shouldn't be tightly sealed (or the gas pressure will build up. It is to keep put germs on the flies or in the air and to stop more oxygen getting in.<br><br>
Oooh aarr ooh arr ! <br>Rosemarybeetle - apologies for writing to you but have just found this &quot;Instructables&quot; website in search of some &quot;cider advice&quot; and reading all the comments it appear that you seem to be a well-informed cider-maker ?! <br>Hopefully, if my assumption is correct, could I therefore pose a question to you in regards to my first cider-making attempts please! <br>Briefly, for years have noticed a fair number of apple trees growing around where I live, roadside, and as I particular enjoy a cider or two, in fact anything that's alcoholic, thought it about time I put these apples to some use !! <br>So, last week, with neice and nephew in toe scrumped the afore-mentioned apples (no idea make/model - some green, some red, some ripe, some not so ripe). And, as per a YouTube thingy I found...&quot;how to make your own cider&quot;, washed, chopped and mushed the apples (using a hand blender no less - took a while and the darn thing got a little hot, but thankfully the Boss was at work so got away with it ! Anyway, squeezed out the pulp through muslin cloths and ended up with over a gallon of juice in my bucket (rinsed clean with a campden tablet). Made up half glass of &quot;yeast starter&quot; as per instructions (dissolving spoon full of sugar in warm water and adding spoonful wine yeast) After an hour added yeast mixture to bucket, mixed and covered with clingo then placed in airing cupboard. Within an hour or so it looked like the primary fermentation bit had started as was frothing slightly. Anyway, next day checked it - nowt ! Liquid looked still and as if nothing was happening. Therefore, thinking I may start up the fermentation process again, added three teaspoons of sugar. <br>Checked it again this morning - still lifeless! <br>Now, here comes the question....any idea what I should do now ?! Do I need to syphon it off to the demi-john, even though it's not bubbling away or is there something else I should do to try and restart the fermentation ? Or do you think I've blown it cos my apples weren't all ripe ? <br>Anway, if you can help in anyway, be greatly appreciated after all the efforts so far !! <br>yours, beginning to wish I bought some cider from the local, <br>Dom <br>

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