2

Every guide and youtube video out there suggests that one should grind apples before pressing them. Even in industrial settings the apples are ground first and then pressed.

Why not just press whole apples? There would be less oxydation too.

  • Oxidation is actually a beneficial affect at this stage. Yeast requires oxygen in order to make alcohol and it's pretty handy that you don't have to oxygenate the cider before making hard cider. – LoganGoesPlaces Oct 8 '15 at 14:43
  • @LoganGoesPlaces I separated this issue into its own topic: [homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/16323/… – allanlaal Oct 10 '15 at 16:00
4

There are two reasons:

  1. Force. Sphere is most resistant shape to crushing. That's why eggs are roughly spherical, and thin shell can support hen's weight, and more. Pressing whole apples would require much higher forces than pressing grounded ones.

  2. Efficiency. Grinding breaks peel, and to some extent it also breaks cell walls. It helps juice flow freely. You can overcome that, to some extent, by applying even more force.

It is possible to press whole apples, but it's harder to do, gives you less juice, and require more durable, and thus more expensive hardware - with dubiously better results.

3

Apples are grinded first because it makes juice extraction and pressing easier. It is the same process with grapes and wine. Grapes are first crushed, macerated and then pressed.

It also allows to get some juice to macerate the solids and extract flavor, color, etc. After pressing, the solids usually become compressed hard, making maceration difficult to achieve successfully.

You can also control the quality better, if you notice any rotten apples (or worms), you will be able to remove them before pressing.

As for oxydation, it is a lesser concern at this stage as there is no alcohol produced yet. Acetobacter cannot produce acetic acid when there is no ethanol. Other contaminants (dust, flies, bacteria...) can be dealt with easily with proper sanitation, covering the containers... the usual precautions.

  • Molot beat me to it, good answer. – Philippe Oct 8 '15 at 13:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.