Cider press help

We picked up an old cider press this week at a farm auction, and I just got it cleaned up today. Everything looks to be in decent shape except it’s missing the follower for the press and more concerning the tray has a minor crack and a little warping. As seen in the pictures, the warp is enough to cause leaking out the back. Should I move to replace it or could I get away with sealing it somehow? Also, if I replace it does it need to be Ash or Maple out could I get away with white oak?

This appears to be a Red Cross Junior.

What if you melted beeswax and painted it where it is cracked? I would think that would seal it and not affect the juice.

1 Like

If structurally sound , the bees wax sounds like a good option.?
Maple beech and sycamore are closed grain wood I remember being suggested for such food grade contacts.
Or how about apple wood ! That seems appropriate !
Oak, is porous grain , may be harder to sanitize ?
I have a home built sycamore,grape press,
I use a sheet of plastic on the bottom
Good find,

1 Like

White oak is closed grain, thats why it’s used in cooperage.

Well, it has tyloses that block the pores that make it water tight.
But it does have larger pores than maple / sycamore,that could be harder to sanitize,
If one was worried about such things,
Just my opinion,

Good idea! I’ll look into that.

Ive been making hard cider for 15+ yrs and I am finally using my own apples. If there’s a mistake to make in this craft, I’ve probably made it!

I recently built a hydraulic press to improve my press yields and throughput. For the base I used an oversized lunch tray as a “liner” with a drain hole and plastic spout. You could cut the tray to size if you can’t find one that fits directly. That might let you keep what you have and protect your juice. Simply punch a hole where you want it to drain. For the top plate, I had custom food grade sheets cut. You could get a custom sized piece cut for your tray to the actual shape of your tray.

For a basket press, I strongly recommend using an all-grain brew bag for your pomace. (Reference my comment on mistakes) You can thank me later. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post links here or not (Im a newbie), but I’d happily share my source for the custom cutting board material (or anything else).

1 Like


The HDPE plastic was custom cut by Shapes Plastics

1 Like

That’s exactly what I am contemplating. I was thinking a hybrid of buckets like the whizbang type until i get a better tray. Are those shade cloths?

1 Like

They are and the work quite well. No squeeze through. Obviously the don’t fold over as nicely as a cloth bag someone’s grandfather brought back from India 100 yrs ago (saw that in a YouTube video of cidercmakers in the UK) but they do the job and are easier to clean up.

Coolaroo 302245 6X15 90% Uv Wheat Shade, 6’ x 15’

I cut them down the center to make 3x3 squares for my cheeses. Using a butsne fire starter I singed the unfinished ends to keep them from unraveling

1 Like