October 13, 2010
You grind up the apples into pomace, and then press them to get the juice, but then you have left over pomace. I have found that for every 100 lbs of apples, I end up with about 30 pounds of pomace waste, which is about a 5 gallon bucket. What do you do with it?
In Cider: Making, Using & Enjoying Sweet & Hard Cider by Annie Proulx and Lew Nichols, they suggested feeding it to livestock, spreading it on a field for fertilizer, or using it as compost.
The thing I learned about pomace from the Cider Workshop is that pomace turns smelly like vinegar really fast unless it is mixed with wood or straw. Therefore, this plays a major role in determining what to do with the pomace.
Because of the vinegar smell factor, I’m unable to bag up the pomace and send it out to my folk’s farm for the cattle or fertilizer, though I have been keeping my eye on Craigslist as local farmers have requested wormy apples for their cattle. Another thing to be aware of with pomace is that it will briefly ferment, so the cattle can become drunk, which is not exactly a good thing.
Therefore, I have been composting my pomace and using wood chips to keep the smell down, though I might have to come up with some other method next year. I have had one neighbor ask for some pomace, which I placed in a 20 gallon trash sack for them. Here’s hoping they did something with it quickly!
Also be mindful that not every apple makes it into your cider, as you will cut into some and discover that it is too bad to be used. This adds to the volume of compost you will have.
I thought about trying to make some sort of product with pomace, but I realized with the stems and the seeds in it that it wasn’t really edible. Besides, it didn’t taste very good, as it was too dry and chewy. I thought about drying some to make potpourri, but it is a lot of pomace to be drying, and more work. When I go commercial, I’ll probably have to have something set up with a farmer to deal with the pomace.
One other note on pomace is that I have been told it can bleach. A year ago, I was at a cider pressing, and they told me that one year the German Sheppard dog slept on his side in the used pomace. His fur on that side bleached out.