Minnesota Horticulture: Apple Cider Vinegar - Using Apples from Your Own Tree
First You'll Need to Squish The Apples
Upon researching this, I find that there are a lot of creative ideas out there on how to make a press to get the juice from the apples. You need to cut up the apples. Initially, I read that there are several methods of apple cider vinegar making. One uses just the peels, cores and seeds. The other uses the whole apple, cut up. Yet another takes a fancy apple squisher and smooshes the apple with a floor jack and the apple has no choice but to make juice, which is collected below and then the fun begins.
My favorite, so far, has been an apple press kit made by Dempsey Woodworking. This innovative kit uses red oak and a 6 ton bottle jack. The entire press is absolutely creative and the red oak is beautiful in a rustic sort of way.This press gives you leverage and the bottle jack is a nice touch. Just pump and pump your apples instead of turning a screw crank. Nice work!
Cutting Up Or Getting Ready to Squish
You can use any method you want to use, but I think my apple cutting method is going to include a few different methods.
I have an apple peeler/slicer corer machine that I have. I have an electric Food Processor. I have a five gallon plastic pail with a spigot on the bottom. I have an old fashioned grinder Perhaps I should mount that in some sort of a wooden box with a specially designed drain on the bottom. Cleaning up the apple mess would be the biggest issue, since you'd want to use it more than once, so, perhaps no slots under the apple, but perhaps a paddle to knock the extra apples out of the squishing area.
You're going to use the apple pulp. Well, actually, someone suggested eating the apple pulp and just using the peel. You can do what you want. I have far too many apples to worry about whether I get to eat them or not. Many years, including this one, I have apples still up in the tree. Spring is not a good time to walk below the apple trees in my yard, because the old apples [from last year] will drip on you. The birds will eat the apples and there will be bugs that will move in and clean up what the birds don't get. Plus, the birds will probably eat the bugs that are living in the apples. So, it seems to be a win/win for all.
Should I Ship Out My Own Apples?
I have so many apples. My first project will have to be designing an apple picker that will gently pick the apples. I really don't care for the current one that I have that pokes holes in the apples, although, I guess if I am making apple cider an extra hole in my apple really is meaningless and shouldn't worry me.
If I am going to pick them for farmer's market, then, I want my apples to be gently picked.
Here's One on Pinterest - Nice Touch With Grinder
I Planted Ten Apple Trees
I originally planted ten apple trees and each year we seem to lose one or two, so every year it seems we are adding another tree. Winter is hard on trees and the one year there were some sort of army worm that was razing the trees.
I don't spray my apples. Those apples are survivors. I have a few ideas of what to do with the apples. The trees that were here when we moved in are well established trees. One tree that I have and I cannot identify what kind of fruit it is, since the previous homeowner planted it. The tree grows a quick green fruit and then loses all of them when the first wind hits in the summer. Then, they all ripen on the ground and get smooshie and we mow them with the lawnmower. I believe them to be some sort of pear, since the inside is a softer pulp. I don't really want to find out the hard way what they are.