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Entries in Cider (17)

Thursday
May202010

Cider Apple Mills; Grinding and Shredding Apple at Home...

Vigo Centrifugal Mill 91202 in the UK or Speidel Apple Grinder in  Germany.If you are going to make cider at any decent volume you will find that apple grinding is the one real headache in pressing apples at home. If you've pressed enough apples you find out pretty quick that hand-cranking is OUT. The one exception might be if you have some over sugar'd and under exercised kids around the house and well I don't... Hand turning the grinder on my old barrel press at my place was over in just one quick season.

I read all about folks adding 1HP motors to their on board barrel press grinders and briefly thought about going that route for a bit. Not knowing how long I even wanted to continue with my old home style press kept me considering the other options.

The most attractive option to me was a hobby+ sized apple crusher I could grow with, like this one to the right sold by Vigo in the UK for £745.00. If you check the link you can see a video of this grinder in action. They claim it is for the "enthusiastic cider maker". That mill looks as though it is the Speidel Apple Grinder sold here at Speidel in Germany. No one in the US imports this model but I always like the way it looked. Easy to clean!

I've also read tales of the lower priced Czech made "Fruit Shark" also sold in England here at UK Cider. UK Cider has a great write up on it and some purchase information if you are on that side of the Atlantic.

In the United States here you'll find companies like the good people at St. Pat's in Texas who import the super nice 220V Italian stainless steel version for $1250 plus freight. St. Pat's also has a video linked to their product page which is pretty cool.

I have also seen and heard talk of using garden shredders as potential apple grinder solutions for the advance cider hobbyist. From what's been written on the cider forums some claim success with such devices but I've never seen anything in the local lawn care department that made me want to run out and throw apples through it for consumption.

While browsing around the pages of a recent Harbor Freight Advertisement online and I ran across something I really wish I would have seen last year before I dropped the big bucks on my 220V Italian Stainless Steel Apple Grinder/Shredder. I haven't seen Harbor Freight's Chicago 2-1/2 HP Chipper Shredder in person nor can I endorse it's use but I'd certainly have given it a whirl at $175. Wow! I really does looks sweet. Add yourself a bin to collect the pomace and start pressing!!! If it doesn't work you got a nice little yard chipper and yards of free mulch.

Edit: This post dedicated to Heather and Jason @ The Candle Wine Project whom I recently got to meet. I know they will be thinking about how to grind them up some apples come this Fall.

Harbor Freight Garden Chipper Shredder Update:


Got a couple comments from Rick who checked out these Harbor Freight Chipper Shredder Units. Check his comments for details but he says it looks as thought it may work. Here is his pic!  I mentioned this in my reply but this blade looks exactly like a buddy of mine's smaller apple shredder from Germany. I used that for my biggest season yet in 2008 and and it worked really well. Thanks Rick!

Wednesday
Nov112009

Fifth Annual Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition ~ The Pro-Am Event for Apple and Pear Fermentations

The following information passed along to me about the Fifth Annual Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition. This is the only North American competition with an emphasis on cider and perry only. Even the beer, mead and distillation entries are required to be derived from apple or pear. Nice!

 




 



The Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association is pleased to announce its call for entries for the Fifth Annual Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.  This Pro-Am competition has divisions for both commercial and noncommercial producers and is open to ciders, perries, meads, beers, and commercial distillates, provided they are made with apples or pears.  There are nineteen categories of entry.  For traditionalists this competition includes a category for Standard Cider & Perry (with five subcategories). The Standard category has requirements that the entry be produced from a minimum of 85% juice, not include both sugar and water (or sugar syrup and water) in the list of ingredients, and not have added flavor.  The Association reserves the unrestricted right to submit commercial entries in this category to testing to verify conformity to requirements.

Judging for the competition will take place at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Saturday, December 12 , 2009.   Entries must be received at the drop-off/ship-to location between Monday, November 23, 2009 and Tuesday, December 8, 2009.

Most entry categories included in this competition conform to BJCP style guideline categories:

Beer

20. Fruit Beer. Restricted to beers made with either apples or pears only.
23. Specialty Beer. Restricted to beers made with either apples or pears only, but may include other  ingredients.

Mead

25A. Cyser (Apple Melomel). Apple Juice and honey-no other ingredients.
25C. Other Fruit Melomel. (Pear) Pear Juice or blend with pear juice and no
other ingredients.
26C. Open Category Mead (must contain apple or pear)

Standard Cider & Perry

27A. Common Cider
27B. English Cider
27C. French Cider
27D. Common Perry
27E. Traditional Perry

Specialty Cider & Perry

28A. New England Cider

28B. Fruit Cider
28C. Applewine
28D. Other Specialty Cider/Perry

Some additional categories in this competition are not recognized by the BJCP:

2006-1 Macro Cider or Perry (see full details of how this is defined in the entry packet)

2006-2 Intensified Cider or Perry

A.    Prefermentation (Ice Cider) (Open to commercial and noncommercial
divisions)

B.      Postfermentation (Pommeau) (Open to commerical division only)

2006-3 Distilled (Open to commercial division only)
A. Eau de vie
B. Brandy (Oak Aged)

In accordance with this competition’s custom, and in keeping with the Association’s mission to promote and educate, there will also be a training seminar for judges the evening before the judging.  This is free to competition staff, including judges and stewards. Any remaining space available will be offered first come first reserved for a nominal fee of $15.00 to anyone else wishing to participate and benefit from this opportunity.  The number of extra spots has been increased slightly this year but it is best to notify Rex Halfpenny as soon as possible if you’re interested.  The seminar will take place in the Pearl Room on the second floor of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on Friday, December 11 from 7PM until 9PM Eastern Time.

If you would like to participate in the judging, you must contact competition organizer Rex Halfpenny (mibeerguyd@aol.com) and provide the following information.

- -Name and contact information

- -Commercial producer affiliation if any

- -Judging experience; novice, experienced, advanced, BJCP rank (if
applicable).  (It is customary to pair less experienced judges with more experienced judges).

- -Style categories that you are best qualified to judge

- -Style categories entered (this is used to ensure that judges will not evaluate their own products)

Each entry must include an entry form attached to the bottle with a rubber band and the appropriate entry free. Noncommerical entries are $10 for the first entry, $7 for the second, and $5 for each subsequent entry.  Commercial entries are $50 per entry ($35 for members of the Great Lakes Cider & Perry Association).  To encourage international participation the entry fee will be waived again this year for entries produced and shipped from outside North America.  Entrants are still responsible for paying their own shipping and duty costs.

Each entry must include a minimum of 24 ounces (or 750ml, i.e. two 12- ounce bottles). It is suggested that at least two containers are entered (regardless of size). This gives the judges the opportunity to sample your entry from a fresh bottle should it be elevated to the second round Best of Show (BOS) judging. The second bottle may also be used by first round judges should they perceive a problem with the contents of the first bottle.

To aid in maintaining fairness of blind judging commercial entries will be poured out of sight of judges and identified by a randomly assigned identification number. Noncommercial entries will be poured at judging tables and must be sent in bottles free of permanent labels or markings.

For the full entry packet please email the Association’s competition chair Rex Halfpenny (mibeerguyd@aol.com) ,  lead registrar Jeff Carlson (carlsonj@gvsu.edu), or find it online at www.michiganbeerguide.com.
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