fruit structure is ruptured and aromatic precursors are released
from epidermis cells. This steam brings potential undesirable
compounds (in grapes, the main ones are pyrazines and C6
compounds). The steam is then sucked into a condenser (cooling
exchanger) and the resulting condensate is harnessed in a separate
vessel. Roughly eight per cent of the water is removed at this stage,
raising the sugars to roughly 1 degree Brix. The condensate can be
returned to the batch or discarded.
The evaporation of the water in the vacuum chamber has
a secondary effect: it makes the temperature drop from 85°C
to between 33°C to 35°C. The mash is then extracted with a
screw pump. At that stage, pectinase enzymes can be added
with extreme efficiency because of the ideal temperature and
Flash trial conducted in B.C.
The preliminary trials in B.C., show that a few hours of maceration
after going through the Flash Release unit are ideal to help press
and significantly improve yields. Pressing the mash obtained on a
belt-press does not seem to be a viable option.
However, pressing in a basket press or a pneumatic winery-like
press with the use of rice hulls for drainage proved to work very
well and resulted in entirely drying the pulp.
Besides the yield improvement, how did the flash impact
• The juice clarified naturally, exceptionally well
• The fermentation was clean
• The colour before fermentation is a deep golden yellow
• The cider is rich and slightly tannic
• The aromas combine fresh apple, exotic fruit and quince
Flash trials conducted in Quebec
A cider producer in Quebec, ran apples (Paula red, Ginger Gold,
Milton, Bright gold, Sunrise, Lobo, Jersey Mac) through the Flash
The apples were crushed and thermo-flashed, then pumped
into a pneumatic press with rice hulls for helping drainage. This
was not an academic experiment but, as a reference, the cidery
compared three batches:
• Thermo-flash: lower grade apples
• Control 1: autumn apples
• Control 2: summer apples
Juices after pressing:
Trial conducted in B.C. on a mixed batch of Pink Lady and McIntosh apples
Sample Brix pH Density TA MA RS
• Total acidity, malic acid and IAN lower on the thermo-flash batch.
• Addition of nutrients at the beginning of the fermentation needed for the thermo-flash.
• The thermo-flash juice is perceived significantly less acidic, well balanced. It might be an option for non-fermented apple
juice as well.
Thermo-Flash 12.1 3.39 1.0506 6.52 6.34 72.9 4.4 42 <3 <3
Control 1 12.7 3.34 1.0534 7.33 7.03 68.1 4.1 49 3 52
Control 2 11.2 3.19 1.0480 8.30 7.5 77.7 4.7 74 4 77
Photos courtesy of Nuance Winer Supplies
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