The Brewing Shed

A Thirsty Gardeners Guide to… Scratters

What the bejesus is a ‘scratter’?
A scratter is the traditional name for a mechanical device that pulps apples prior to pressing.

I see. Why would I want one?
If you want to press signifiicant quantities of apples, you’ll NEED one. Remember, you need to crush apples down to the consistency of porridge before pressing. For the odd demijohn or two of cider you can get away with using a food processor. Just don’t blame us if you knack your Magimix. For greater quantities of magic apple juice, we’d suggest hot footing it down to your local wood merchant for a stave around 5ft high and at least 6 inches in diameter. Just ask for ‘A GIRT BIG STICK’.

There appears to be a multitude of mechanical manglers on the market. What type should I get?
Avoid the cheapo option of the ‘bucket and electric drill’ attachment. We had one once and soon found out that apple juice and electricity wasn’t the best of combinations. The hand operated mechanical jobbies that fit onto some presses are ok, especially if you want to develop massive forearms for arm-wrestling gorillas.

We’ve used both the Varies Fruit Shark and the Speidel Apple Mill with great success. The Shark will munch through your apples at a rate of 600kg an hour, whilst the Speidel will beast them at 1,000kg an hour. The only drawback is the price… you can import a Fruit Shark from the Czech Republic for a princely £449 + £28.95 delivery*
Email for more info.

The Speidel will set you back an eye-watering £606.00 + £28.00 delivery (plus VAT on both prices).* Visit Vigo for more details on this bad boy.

Ouch! Any other options? 
Some small scale cider makers use garden shredders, but again there is a risk of the apple juice causing electrical mayhem. Even worse, garden shredder blades are usually made from mild steel which will react with the malic acid in the apple juice – the blades will go rusty and your cider will go green.

So just to recap… you are saying that if we break our Magimix and electrocute ourselves, the Two Thirsty Gardeners cannot be held responsible?
That is correct. Now off to the wood yard, and be quick about it!**

*Prices correct at the time of going to press.

** Two Thirsty Gardeners cannot be held responsible for any splinters received from man-handling large bits of lumber.


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