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Thread: Ideas on how to dry large amounts of apples Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-08-2019 02:25 PM
dealfinder500
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkerbuster View Post
WE can this much applesauce & about 1/2 that much apple pie filling & apple butter every year.

We have bought & saved canning jars for decades though.
A few times we bought almost pick-up truck loads CHEAP at estate & garage sales.
Canning isn't tough.

If you start NOW buying bargain deals on Mason jars.
You could acquire enough CHEAP to cover your needs for NEXT YEARS apple crop.

Either that, or build yourself an efficient dehydrator about the size of a 20 foot cargo container.

Prices of jars have gone up over the last few years, but Walmart nearly always has the pint jars for $5 for a case of 12 on Black Friday. Usually you can order online to pick up in store (or order enough for free shipping), or just go in after the rush as gone (I doubt there's any worries of the canning jars being sold out - the two Walmarts near me have always had a giant pallet of them).

For a very effective way to make apple juice and sauce, you should look into a steam juicer. I originally got this for grape juice, but found it was amazing for tomatoes and apples.

For the apples, no need to peel or core - just cut them at least in half and put in the top. You'll get a ton of apple juice and then the pulp left over can be run through a food mill for sauce. Or, if you peel and core them first, then what's leftover in the top will be applesauce, just add whatever sugar/spices you want, if any. Sometimes you'll want to add a bit more of the juice back.

And the sauce and juice are already heated - nearly ready to be jarred and processed.

This also allows me to keep an assembly line going - while one batch of sauce is processing in the canner, I've got another batch going in the steam juicer, and by the time the jars are ready the next batch is about ready to go in.

This has made canning so easy.
09-08-2019 01:43 PM
prairiegirl1925
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
I also found out no one in my house cares for dehydrated watermelon or cantaloupe which tied up a drier for a day and a half so that will give me more capacity to dry the apples.
I wonder what else could be done with your melons? Freeze, trade, juice?
09-08-2019 01:37 PM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by puttster View Post
Sometimes I finish the jerky by moving the rig into the A/C.
We don't have ac here.

I just spent the morning sorting the apples I do have. I separated them into 4 groups.

The first group was large perfect ones that I hope I can store for months and use as eating apples.

The next group was smaller ones with maybe very slight damage but no bruising that should store for a while without going bad,

The first two groups make up the bulk of what I have so far

Then the real small ones and ones with damage that need to be processed right away.

And the last group goes to the compost.



I hope by sorting them I can buy myself a lot of time on the good apples and the poorer apples won't cause the good apples to rot.

I also found out no one in my house cares for dehydrated watermelon or cantaloupe which tied up a drier for a day and a half so that will give me more capacity to dry the apples.
09-08-2019 01:28 PM
prairiegirl1925
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
Right now I have an electric dehydrator, a much larger homemade dehydrator and two solar dehydrators full of apple slices and I haven't come close to making a dent in the number of apples I would like to dry this fall. I am planning to build a rack to hang them on and point a couple fans at them to dry a bunch. I am also thinking of scrubbing off the wood shed roof and just laying them out in the sun up there to dry.

Does anyone have any ideas on how I could dry a large amount of apples without spending a lot of money on more dehydrators?

When I say large amount, I mean I could get 4-8 bushels a day, every day for the next couple weeks if I want to put in the work of picking them.
If you have room in a freezer where you can store the apples after you process them, maybe you can stage them there until your dehydrators are ready for the next round.
09-08-2019 12:56 PM
puttster
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
I have done similar in the past with apples, but right now the humidity is high so nothing will dry that way. At the moment I am starting them that way and once they are as dry as they will get I intend to put them in the oven on low to hopefully finish up in a couple hours. I don't know if it will work but I figure it is worth a try.
Sometimes I finish the jerky by moving the rig into the A/C.
09-08-2019 12:47 PM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by puttster View Post
I use a Lasko Cyclone 20" fan to make beef jerky. The fan pivots so it can point straight up and then I put the wet meat on 20x20" room air filters (with a piece of screen on them) and stack those on the fan. The cardboard sides of the filters keep the air blowing upwards. Dries to perfect jerky in the garage in about 20 hours, no extra heat required.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00002N5ZB...i-a=B00002N5ZB

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Filtrete-3-...Filter/3800427

Maybe you could rig up something similar for apples. Wouldn't cost much to rig something up and if it was scalable, well, even better.
I have done similar in the past with apples, but right now the humidity is high so nothing will dry that way. At the moment I am starting them that way and once they are as dry as they will get I intend to put them in the oven on low to hopefully finish up in a couple hours. I don't know if it will work but I figure it is worth a try.
09-08-2019 12:23 PM
puttster I use a Lasko Cyclone 20" fan to make beef jerky. The fan pivots so it can point straight up and then I put the wet meat on 20x20" room air filters (with a piece of screen on them) and stack those on the fan. The cardboard sides of the filters keep the air blowing upwards. Dries to perfect jerky in the garage in about 20 hours, no extra heat required.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00002N5ZB...i-a=B00002N5ZB

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Filtrete-3-...Filter/3800427

Maybe you could rig up something similar for apples. Wouldn't cost much to rig something up and if it was scalable, well, even better.
09-08-2019 11:56 AM
IamZeke
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
Maybe. I'll keep that in mind and see what comes up.
Perhaps do a trade to a vendor at a farmers market. You can't do it yourself because they were given to you and this is a short term deal. But if you give them to a vendor on the QT for later credit then you can pick up other stuff to dry later when you finish these up.
09-08-2019 10:30 AM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamZeke View Post
Trade. If this is a one time thing then some folks may be willing to take stuff today for something they will harvest or make later.
Maybe. I'll keep that in mind and see what comes up.
09-08-2019 10:29 AM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old fart View Post
You could donate the fruit you can't process to your church, 4H, an old folks' home, orphanage, food pantry, hurricane relief, etc. Maybe a young man working on his Eagle Scout needs a project, or a young lady working on the Girl Scout version.

Truly, God's bounty is endless

Congrats!
To be honest, I'm selfish. If I am going to go through the hassle of spending an hour or so every day after work picking apples it is going to be for my own use. If I can't use them then I won't spend the time picking them.
09-08-2019 10:26 AM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaLou View Post
Do you have any friends, co-workers, church, professional group membership, etc. who could help you? Maybe for a share?

From whence does this free bounty arise? I'm so jealous
If I wanted to can them I could probably get all the help I could use, but since I am interested in drying them, not so much.

For the last few years every time I would see a eating apple tree and sometimes a large crab apple tree that didn't look like anyone was going to harvest it I would stop and ask, usually the answer was no. This year a few of those people remembered, tracked me down and told me I could have as many as I want. One of the guys has about 20 trees and the others have 2 and 3 and then I have the trees in the past that I was told I can harvest.
09-08-2019 09:59 AM
IamZeke Trade. If this is a one time thing then some folks may be willing to take stuff today for something they will harvest or make later.
09-08-2019 04:00 AM
Old fart You could donate the fruit you can't process to your church, 4H, an old folks' home, orphanage, food pantry, hurricane relief, etc. Maybe a young man working on his Eagle Scout needs a project, or a young lady working on the Girl Scout version.

Truly, God's bounty is endless

Congrats!
09-07-2019 03:33 PM
Idaho Survivalist
drying apples

Got old and never could use all I dried, but I used a dehydrator about 3 feet square and 4 feet high with racks using fiberglass screen. Heat came from 4 one hundred watt incandessent light bulbs and used two small fans for hot air circulation. Since most apples came in the fall as soon as I had to use my woodstove, I added my stove dehydrator, made like a box with corners but no sides, containing 6 racks. Have to change them some, but I dried a lot that way. I would hang the box from the ceiling.
09-07-2019 03:03 PM
LindaLou Do you have any friends, co-workers, church, professional group membership, etc. who could help you? Maybe for a share?

From whence does this free bounty arise? I'm so jealous
09-07-2019 08:28 AM
Daniel8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
I gave that a shot. We simply don't have enough sun at the moment, It looks like they may rot out there before they dry.

And to make things worse, I now have 60 watermelon and 42 cantaloupe to dry as well.
Sounds like you have a good problem..... to much food!
At my place we have a very large garden full of poor soil and crab apple trees and haven't seen a deer in years though there is huge acreage out back. Something to do with the area its just not good for food.

Just started a post about processing a cow in grid down. I think a smoke house would work best for that. But regardless, more jars are going to be on the list.
09-06-2019 06:10 PM
lasers
Quote:
Originally Posted by rg1 View Post
Old timers used to dry them on roofs, mostly metal. Lay down sheets or cloth, place apple slices, cover with screendoor wire nailed to 2x4's. Turn apples as they dry. Sunny area, you could build a platform from sheet metal.
I gave that a shot. We simply don't have enough sun at the moment, It looks like they may rot out there before they dry.

And to make things worse, I now have 60 watermelon and 42 cantaloupe to dry as well.
09-05-2019 11:17 PM
rg1 Old timers used to dry them on roofs, mostly metal. Lay down sheets or cloth, place apple slices, cover with screendoor wire nailed to 2x4's. Turn apples as they dry. Sunny area, you could build a platform from sheet metal.
09-05-2019 10:15 PM
lasers It isnt a yearly thing. It just worked out this year.

It is too humid and cold here to dry them without adding heat or air movement.
09-05-2019 08:39 PM
Kansas Terri I do not know where you live, but I grew up in an arid area. Fruit could be set on home made racks, and the racks would then be stacked up and covered with something like cheesecloth to keep the flies off.

That would not work where I live now, as it is too humid here
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