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Cider press

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by begreen, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We're looking into cider presses and grinders and need advice on what to look for and what to avoid. What are folks using out there?

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Apples. Ripe ones. We have so many this year that the cows are getting lots of them

    Sorry, we buy pasteurized cider to prevent the bad bugs without having to add sulfites.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Apples we have. A lot of our early ones went to the ground because we were a bit overwhelmed with processing other produce. But it looks like we are going to have a great harvest from our other trees. There are several bushels of Macintosh style apples (Kings mostly) that are juicy and delicious. They can't go to waste. I'll risk the bugs, they haven't done me in yet.
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    We press our own apples, just not ones that have dropped on the ground. I Pasteurize the cider before we bottle it, and have had no problems for years. We use an ancient counter-top unit, and have a blast doing it. The only thing I'd like is a way to move the nut up the screw a faster way. I'd like to see a split nut so that we don't have to turn the screw 50 turns to get ready for the next squeeze.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Here is one we built last winter. We bought the hopper and screw wheel, etc so just had to cut out all the wood. It turned out to be quite a task but turned out really well. Now if we only had some apples! Bumper crop last year; none this year.

    Cider press-2.JPG


    EDIT: We purchased the parts from Happy Valley.
  6. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I'd like to make one with a hydraulic bottle jack. Have to be careful about the oil, though, it's poisonous. I was at a mill somewhere a few years back, and they used, I think, mineral oil in the hydraulics, for safety.

    Hydraulics would be much easier than the screw system, but hardly authentic to the originals.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have no problem with authenticity. Hydraulics are fine and well isolated from the pulp being squeezed. There would have to be a leak to be a problem.
  8. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Heat seeker, Try making a deepwell socket from PVC to work off a cordless drill or brace and bit.

    Ehouse
  9. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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  10. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I make our cider with a borrowed antique press. It works really well but will flat wear you out cranking the screw press and grinder. Looking into making something a little less manual. Might be a good winter project.
  11. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Good idea!
  12. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    You could also get an old steering wheel off a boat or tractor and adapt it for a nut spinner.

    Ehouse
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Actually hydraulics might prove to be slower. As for ease, the screw system is very easy to use. All one needs to do is use a wood handle on the top as you get lower into the pulp and it screws harder. Very simple and effective.
  14. dougstove

    dougstove Member

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    I have a homemade press my dad made with a hydraulic jack.
    It works, but it is slow and fussy, because the travel on the jack is insufficient for a round of pressing.
    So I have to jack, let it off, shim the jack, repeat, etc.

    I think a screw would be better, and am thinking of mounting a screw rather than the jack.
    My limitation is that I do not currently have a grinder/chopper; a food processor does not last with apples.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You might try a machete for chopping the apples. Wear goggles.
  16. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    We use an old hand cranked meat grinder, after cutting the apples into quarters so they fit. Messy, but effective.

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