Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Making Cider  (Read 26399 times)

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Making Cider
« on: August 26, 2018, 09:07:21 pm »
Looking at out forthcoming apple crop, I am thinking of making cider this year, I've a cider press organised but was wondering if anyone had experience of the plastic tub and drill powered blade type of Apple scratter ?, this years an experiment therefore I dont want to spend a lot of money  :innocent:


  • The Accidental Smallholder
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  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Carnoustie, Angus
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Re: Making Cider
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 03:48:23 pm »
No, but last year I used the 'heavy log and strong bucket' method which may be an option for you. It was fine for a relatively small quantity (maybe 20kg in all) but I wouldn't want to do much more.

This year we've invested in a half share of an electric mill...


  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 04:22:53 pm »
Yes we use the drill blade and works well. We 1/4 the apples first then use the drill blade on the bucket to get them reasonably small before going in the press.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 09:40:33 pm »
Whats the drill attachment ??

Heavy log in a bucket got heavy pretty  quickly and ive plenty more trees to press yet.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 09:15:23 pm »
We did a batch in the food processor, but any significant amount would kill the motor… so we did invest in a crusher… as we have about 20 odd apple trees…. (but only juice, not cider)


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2018, 10:17:17 pm »
One local chap used a garden shredder.. said it worked well but I haven't seen him to find out how well it coped with the acids longer-term.....


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2018, 12:24:47 am »
Several folk on a site I used to belong to before it closed also used to use their garden shredder after giving it a power washing out .
   Would one of the electric drill paint/ plaster stirrers be helpful if you fit the side handle to a heavy duty drill ? Quarter the apples after you've tipped them out on to the floor on some thick cardboard or plywood sheeting using a cleaned spade,  then shovel them in the bucket & use the paint /plaster mixer to cut them smaller .

 Available from  Screwfix for £ 6 .00 ish
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 12:27:04 am by cloddopper »
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


  • Joined Aug 2011
  • Nottinghamshire
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2018, 07:55:58 am »
I'm.using an old fashioned turny handle job this year, I'd steer clear of the drill attstchment pulpmaster or make your own. I used angle grinder on a plastering paddle to cut loops into blades. Popped hole in lid of a sheep mineral bucket and Bob's your uncle.


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Angus
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 03:01:04 pm »
I have gone through most of the options of pulping apples described above and for what it is worth can give my opinion on merits and one method that is not described. I now have a monstrous Speidel  mill and a hydro-press. Having close to 80 trees made it worthwhile invested in some kit.

- Drill attachment scratter : works ok but you still need to quarter the apples and the volume you can process is limited. The bits are quite coarse so the juice yield is not optimal.
- Hand propelled wheel scratter similar to above whole apples will mostly just bounce about so still need to chop /quarter them
- Bucket and stick ok but only with limited amounts.
- Juicer works ok but sometimes a bitter taste as it also grinds the pips.

I have s in the past resorted to grating the apples on a kitchen box grater, this gives the most juice out of a given quantity of apples but obviously you do not want to do too many apples this way and you need to watch your fingers. But good if you relatively quickly want to make a litre of fresh apple juice.

Personally I would stay away from using garden shredders, they are not designed for dealing with liquids  and apple juice is quite corrosive and the materials used are not food grade.



  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2018, 09:50:50 am »
just catching up - how did the cider making go?

I hadnt seen this thread before deciding to make cider this year for the first time so i had the painful experience of quartering 50lbs of apples then squishing to a pulp in a bucket using a sledghammer (no nuts were harmed in the making of the cider) instead of a peice of wood.
While i was pressing I didnt think I got all the juice out - seemed too wet when I took it out of the press.
Made 2 gallons which is fermenting away as i type but I am not doing that again next year.  :o
So, after the event, I decided to look into scratters and here's my idea... what about a set of gear cogs from the rear of a bicycle with the spindle powered by a drill.  This would be at an angle in a pipe of some sort so that no big chunks of apple get through - What do you think?
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit.


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2018, 11:37:03 am »
I've not made cider either as per juice only .
This year we've been given nearly 40 pounds of very red rosy tart quality first wind falls . We've made much of it into apple sauce and pressure canned it in small 160 ml jars ( 34 of them ).
 What was left of the apples including adding all the parings & apple cores removed from the coring knife has been put in the food processor and chopped to almost the size of grains of wheat sized bits of apple.  I was able to put it  into demi johns without much difficulty ( cut the bottom off a drinks bottle that the neck of only just fitted in the neck of the demi jonn and used it as a long convenient volume funnel. I used a length of cleaned new broom stick to push & bruise the apple crumbs a bit as they went through the funnels neck .
They all got a dose of seeded yeast culture   topped up with a 1 pound per pint sugar syrup to half way up the bottle shaken well then  air locked and left in the airing cupboard .  Its taken a just over three weeks for  them to have "fully dropped  and started to ferment " .
I gave them the first racking off from the dropped fruit on Thursday & ended up with two gallons of cloudy mustard coloured must . Splitting  that in to four  demi-jonns  added a pinch of yeast nutrient and a half teaspoon of yeast to boost them as well as adding a another 1/2 pint of 1:1 sugar syrup & then put them back into the airing cupboard with them . They're bubbling away very nicely this morning .

 I'm hoping this will produce a country style apple wine  rather than a pure juice cider …. time will tell .
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2018, 06:09:19 pm »
I have done one batch of apples (20Kg )  using the quarter and drill scratter then pressing. Taking a bit of time is the key , then in the press , got just under 10ltr. I kept 2 ltr for apple juice the rest is fermenting for cider,need to stop it soon as I dont want too high an alcohol content , more of a quaffing cider  ;D
One thing I will do for the next batch is use a crucifix cutter to speed up the process


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2018, 09:53:33 pm »
We managed to get an electric scratter last year for 99 quid. Didn't want to spend the money but it's been brilliant. This year we've about 20 gallons bubbling away

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2018, 05:12:57 pm »
Well I bottled the "cider" and have put it by for secondary fermentation, I have small paddling pool for the bottles to sit in for a week or so, just in case , good thing Mrs RTB is away on holibobs  :)

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Making Cider
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 02:40:23 pm »
 :excited:  Well blow me down !  I've just opened one of the lucozade sized bottles of fizzy cider.
Poured it out carefully so as no to disturb the bit of sediment and have drunk a nice fizzy and ever slightly alcofrolic drink to celebrate something or other , who cares  :thumbsup: 


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