Author Topic: Dave does applejack math  (Read 4549 times)

Offline David in MN

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Dave does applejack math
« on: July 20, 2016, 03:48:54 PM »
OK, so this is all hypothetical because jacking cider is illegal even though it's about as dangerous as putting ice in vodka and sipping it.

As I was walking with my daughter yesterday I noticed all the apple trees in my area. Many. Got me thinking. I know one neighbor with a tree who lets them freeze and I know my brother and sister in law have more than they can harvest as well. So I reason I can get a few bushels of apples this fall.

That's great and I plan on making a batch of cider but here's the rub: that's more cider than I can realistically drink in a year (I rarely break 3 batches). So what would I do to preserve them? I immediately considered the jacking process (freeze the cider and remove ice chips to make a liquor).

Obviously I'd never do such a thing as it is illegal and getting jack to 60 proof requires freezing to roughly -20f which as we all know is impossible as it's colder than commercial freezers and outdoor temperatures never get that cold, especially in Minnesota.  ;)

So I did some math and figured that my usual 5 gallon 8-ish percent cider frozen out to 60 proof yields 1.33 gallons or just over 5 liters of finished jack. I realize I'll lose some due to imperfect processing but just think... 5 liters of quality local liquor for the cost of some sugar, a packet of yeast, and a day of work picking and pressing apples?

Now the wheels start spinning and I'm imagining running this operation like a pro. Oak chip aging, building my own cider press, and how to best filter ice. It's a really cool thought experiment I'd obviously never do.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 03:54:55 PM »
saw these at a reenactment last week.  Looks cool.  http://www.happyvalleyranch.com/  obviously for legal purposes only...

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 04:20:07 PM »
The rounded math has a 5 gallon batch of beer yielding 50 bottles.  Call it a bottle a week for a year.
I'm not a Puritan, and will probably consume 3-5 times that unless I was actively training for some athletic event (it has been years).

While I encourage your R&D pursuits, given the winter holiday parties and other opportunities for sharing your brew (and cider) I wouldn't consider 3 batches of cider to be a supply surplus crisis ;)

Offline David in MN

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 04:51:30 PM »
The rounded math has a 5 gallon batch of beer yielding 50 bottles.  Call it a bottle a week for a year.
I'm not a Puritan, and will probably consume 3-5 times that unless I was actively training for some athletic event (it has been years).

While I encourage your R&D pursuits, given the winter holiday parties and other opportunities for sharing your brew (and cider) I wouldn't consider 3 batches of cider to be a supply surplus crisis ;)

Yeah but I just use cider to fill the keg between batches of beer which I prefer. It's not that I dislike cider, it's just that if I have bushels of apples I need to do something. I rarely bottle anything outside of mead.

I guess I could do some crazy high grav apple wine experiments but... Get my drift?

Jack solves the problem of having all those apples sitting around by converting them into a few bottles. Makes sense why our ancestors did it.

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 04:55:37 PM »
There's a reason it's illegal you know...
They called it “apple palsy” because this process does not remove methanol.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2016, 05:38:50 PM »
There's a reason it's illegal you know...
They called it “apple palsy” because this process does not remove methanol.

heads or tails?

Both!?  :o

Offline David in MN

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Re: Dave does applejack math
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2016, 06:02:35 PM »
There's a reason it's illegal you know...
They called it “apple palsy” because this process does not remove methanol.

I've heard the fears. But I'm more than capable of getting wrecked on homebrew (have done it a few times years ago) so a dram here or there doesn't really scare me. If the ferment is good the risk should be fairly well mitigated and a northern cold ferment should be the lowest risk.

Like any poison, it's in the dosage. Being informed is the key.