Diving Hard Core into the Cider Business

Scaling Up!

Cider apple in orchard

You have decided to jump in with both feet into your lifelong passion for cider and turn it into a business. You knew it was going to be a substantial amount of work, but no one had prepared you for navigating equipment logistics, production, and operations management!  Maybe you’ve started with a rack and cloth method or home brewing but you’re ready to take it to the next level. Here’s where we enter, as we’ve been there too. In fact, we started a mobile juicing unit traveling to orchards all over the Okanagan so we know just how much work is involved with pressing the fruit. So much so, that we decided to help other cider makers and orchards with their processes using what we learned on our journey.

So who are we?

At Juicing.Systems, we are a fruit processing equipment retailer with a specialty in assisting cideries, to enhance their production and ensure they are getting the most out of their produce. Want to know more? Check out the About Us page on our website to get our full story and meet the faces of Juicing.Systems.Apples in bin

How do we do this you ask?

We are the sole distributor for Kreuzmayr equipment in North America providing sales, service, and support. Kreuzmayr equipment features craftsmanship from Austria, with high-quality machinery that promises high yields and capacities tailored to your unique operations.

How can this help me?

We take the manual labor off your plate. Our ready-to-operate machines do all the fruit processing with minimal supervision. This alleviates manual labor which means saving on labor hours as well as increased production efficiency. Higher output in less time allows your operations to grow with the rising demand for customer needs.

What have past clients said?

Bins of applesMany of our past clients have started their production with a rack and cloth method as it is cost-effective but is incredibly labor-intensive, both physically and throughput wise.  One particular client had a family-owned and operated cidery which was based on making natural and refreshing cider using a rack and cloth system, using the 30 varieties of apples grown right on the orchard. Their cider was quickly popular and sold out by the end of their first summer. Production quickly grew to over 400% per year and they decided it was time to ‘hang up the cloth’. Here’s what she had to say:

 

“This system allows for a lot of efficiencies. The mash is totally dry when it comes out. We are super pleased with the yield that we get out of it. It has really been a game-changer for us. It’s allowed us to grow our production and use more of our crop for our cider without totally exhausting ourselves and our staff.”

How did it change their operations?

Investing in large scale equipment is no small decision with many physical and emotional factors contributing. Rather than looking at it in terms of a large purchase, we encourage our clients to view it as an investment that will pay for itself. To put some numbers behind this, we have done a comparison table.

 

Say you are pressing 40,000 liters (10,000 gals) per season with a rack and cloth press:

 

22 ” Rack & Cloth

Kreuzmayr KEB 400 Press

Output per day:

2000 liters

4000 liters

Man hours per day:

24 hours

7 hours

Required days:

20 days

10 days

Required man hours:

480 hours

70 hours

Cost of labor: 15$ per hour

$7200

$1050

In addition to the cost savings, it is not uncommon for other cider makers in the area to contact our client who purchased a belt press. Due to the pressing days becoming much easier, these other Pressing rollers cider makers jump on the opportunity to outsource and ditch the rack and cloth. This creates revenue to support the client who invested in our belt press.

Clients have additionally chosen to work with us because they are looking for ways to increase efficiency. Starting out, procedures are often done by hand or use equipment that requires a heavy amount of labor. Another one of our clients specializes in fruit distilling to make craft brandies and varietal gins. This was his way of describing his process preparing the peaches for the still prior to his purchase of a KEP 650 Destoner:

“I was cutting 2000 to 3000 peaches by hand just getting the stones out and shredding the rest of it. It was painstaking and it took hours. I said there has got to be a better way.”

Basket of peachesThat’s where we came into the picture. This distillery had a yearly production of 10,000 pounds of fruit a year with their only power source was a single phase 220 V. With this amount of fruit, they knew processing manually just was not the best use of their time. That is when the hunt for the perfect machine began. This client found many machines with a similar purpose but was either too small or much too large for their scale of production. Upon arrival and set up, the distillery’s production transformed from hand cutting a few peaches per hour to 1500 lbs per hour.

Another client has a craft cidery who saw customer demand go through the roof with their unique cider. With this increasing growth, they knew a rack and cloth method would not allow them to grow as they needed to. Their investment of a single belt press allowed them to eliminate hard pressing days while increasing production to meet the needs of their customers.

Here’s what they said about the outcome of their purchase:

“For us, it has allowed us to double our production while decreasing the amount of work by a significant amount during the pressing season. We had grown from about 6,000 liters to 20,000 liters within a couple of years and we’re working on a good traditional 22-inch rack and cloth style press. The juice was good quality, it all worked fine, but it really took 4 people working it really hard…The amount of labor that went with it for the 20,000 liters was intense and would have been more for the 40,000 liters.”

So how can we do this for you?

Fresh pressed juiceWe would love to help you get your cidery on track to success. Whether it is optimizing your procedures to decrease the amount of manual labor, we create custom solutions for your unique cidery. We believe in guiding our clients in every step of the way which translates to our technicians traveling to your place of business to provide on-site setup, training, and support. Furthermore, we check-in and encourage all our clients to reach out at any time if they have any questions or concerns. Visit our website for more info at https://www.juicing.systems as well as please request a quote on specific equipment and we will contact you shortly with more details.

 

 

 

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