[NAFEX] Disposal Apple Grinder
don.yellman at webformation.com
Wed Apr 28 22:06:13 EDT 2010
I rise in defense of the disposal apple grinder.
Back around the turn of the century, when I began trying to spread the word on this idea, I had already been using it for three seasons, and its major drawback -- heat buildup -- was thoroughly covered. Reaction was mostly disbelief, and a tendency to find reasons not to try it. But a few people did, and liked it. Other potential issue raised, such as corrosion and cleanliness, are non-issues. In the intervening years, I have written quite a few pieces on this idea, some of which are findable on the internet, covering construction and operation in great detail.
Now a few tinkerers have picked up the idea and tried to address the overheating issue, if such it be. (See, for example, the website on the whiz-bang apple grinder.) One technique is to perforate the motor case and blow compressed air through it during operation. My own concept, which I have not yet tried, is similar to a wort cooler; that is, surrounding the motor case with copper tubing secured with band clamps to run a trickle of water around the motor case with a hose. The objective is to keep the motor windings cool.
I have altered my thinking on the size and quality of the disposal required, since I installed a more expensive disposal from Costco and found it did not work as well as the cheap ($30) Badger model from ISE, which is only 1/3 hp.. The Badger was reinstalled in the table. If your apples are precut in halves, preferably by a loyal assistant, they will go through the disposal so fast that a 5-gallon bucket is 2/3 full in less than 10 minutes. The grind is perfect for pressing with Happy Valley bags, and we do not observe cloudiness. I once made apple wine from the juice, and it settled out as clear as horse -- well, you know. I use two pressing bags in my press basket, and can produce those two continuously without popping the overheat button. Then it's time for me to take a break anyway, and I allow the disposal to cool down naturally.
I continue to believe that the disposal grinder is the best solution for the backyard cidermaker who wants to produce about 10 gallons in a couple of hours. The disposal is an off-the-shelf item and anyone can knock together an adequate table stand and wire it up. The disposal grinder is not a perfect solution, but it is a very good solution, far better than the expensive hand grinders which produce apple chunks. One of these days, the prototype disposal grinder, which resides in my basement and is not particularly pretty, may end up in the Smithsonian. They haven't called yet.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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