My New Italian Apple Grinder
November 2, 2010
My local homebrew supply store had this apple crusher that the store owner had imported for someone, and then the person didn’t buy it. The store owner then tried selling it for the cost of which he imported it, but nobody was wanting to take it. I wanted it because I knew it would be much better than my current wood chipper acting as an apple grinder, but didn’t feel the timing was quite right. He knew this, really wanted it gone, and decided to knock more off the price in an attempt to get me to take it. It worked – I figured I would never again find such a high quality machine for that low of a price.
This machine was made for grinding apples, so the design and materials made for ease of use. It is stainless steel, so it is all food grade.
Winegrowers Supplies out of the UK sells this model and has the following specifics posted about it:
Italian Mill: stainless steel milling blades [picture on website]: throughput up to 1000 kgm/hour, strong stainless steel hopper, 220 volt 1500 Watt motor, with switch and short supply cable with EU-plug, 27 kilos, this is a very solid machine, the top of the hopper is a few inches lower in height than the Speidel mill, 1400mm high x 600mm x 530mm.
The scary thing is that the manual is in Italian and German, neither of which I can read.
Anyway, I took it home, sanitized it, and then shredded about 80 pounds worth of apples in 20 minutes. The apples no longer had to be chopped up before feeding it through, unlike the wood chipper, so that is a huge time and labor savor.
I didn’t dump the apples into the hopper, also what we affectionately call “The Tuba,” to find out what it would take to jam, partly because the top of the hopper is much higher up and it is difficult to pour into. Instead, I put the apples up on a table and then tossed them in.
Because it was much wider than the wood chipper, I had to swap out the bakery bucket for a tote to catch the pomace in. However, this actually means that I could grind up a large quantity and put the tote lid on it and continue grinding into another tote.
The consistency of the pomace was coarse chunks, and I actually think that the coleslaw consistency of the wood chipper gave me a slightly better yield, but not much.
As far as clean up goes, it was beautiful. I simply unscrew the Tuba hopper, remove it, and hose it off. Then I hosed off the blades and the exit chute. There were no places for apple chucks to hide, and no way water could get into the motor. Clean up maybe took half as much time, possibly less, meaning there was also a water savings. Also, unlike the chipper, I didn’t use two buckets for chopped up apples to be placed into the shredder, so that gave me additional time/water savings on clean up with less equipment being used.
All in all, it probably took an hour less to process 80 lbs of apples with my new Italian grinder than the Harbor Freight wood chipper. One of the things my husband really likes about that figure is that I did the entire apple washing, crushing, and pressing by myself, and I still had that kind of time savings. It now makes my apple press the slow part of the process, but that is okay. Also, I wasn’t as tired when I was done with everything. I will, however, have to experiment with how to best feed apples into it, and how to position it in relationship to my other stations.
And the wood chipper? It is being banished into my gardening shed to start actually doing what it was designed to do – chip up small tree limbs.
Pros over the wood chipper:
- Do not have to cut apples up before feeding into the apple grinder = massive time savings.
- Does not jam like the wood chipper did = time savings
- Completely food grade!
- Easier to clean up = time and water savings
- Does not require as much supporting equipment to operate = need less buckets, therefore less to clean up = time and water savings
- I can operate the entire system by myself, operate it in a shorter period of time, and operate it without being as tired!
Cons over the wood chipper:
- Wood chipper had better pomace, which gave a slightly better juice yield.
- The top of the wood chipper was at a better height to feed apples into.
- Wood chipper is much cheaper.
Tie: Both are pretty quiet.