Good options for small-scale cider press?


#4

I saw a YouTube video where the guy uses a mop press like the one you would see a cleaning person pushing around. The big yellow one. I think I’m going to purchase one for about 50 bucks at Home Depot for the sole purpose of pressing apples in.


#5

I can’t picture how this would work. Do you have a link to the video? Typically the two sides of those mop presses are angled slightly which I would think would push some apples out of it.

I used to mop floors at Safeway as a teenager and we tried to use these presses a couple times as a vice (can’t remember what exactly) but everything would just jump out of it.


#6

I think I saw the same video , maybe they had the chopped apples in a cloth bag , I can’t remember


#7

He put them in cheese cloth.


#8

Look up using Harbor Freight shop presses for the purpose. It is fairly easy to make the necessary parts for a cloth and rack cider press. I did that and am reasonably happy with the results. I ended up buying a grinder to use with it.

Chuck


#9

IF you want cider on the cheap use what I do which is a Juicer. See this link http://www.walmart.com/ip/Jack-LaLanne-Power-Juicer-Black/14968099. I know many people are going to think that’s terrible of me but I usually don’t make over 10 gallons of cider a year. It’s efficient and fast.


#10

When I say juicer I mean the Jack-LaLanne only for apples/pears because it’s good at it but for grape juice you want something like this one http://www.amazon.com/Victorio-VKP1140-Stainless-Steel-Juicer/dp/B001FT4FH4/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1443375112&sr=1-7&keywords=juicer.
They are night and day different juicers and grape seeds don’t do well in the Jack-LaLanne and apples dont do well in the Victorio because it would take all day to cook them down. The Jack-LaLanne keeps enough pulp in the juice to be a true rich cider and not an apple juice.


Juicing Apples for Cider
Unreleased University of Saskatchewan prarie cherries we want & what we know about them contrasted with romance series cherries
#11

http://www.kuffelcreek.com/ciderpress.htm


#12

Thanks- for now, I think the juicer may be more in line with the quantities I am dealing with. So far, the largest batch I’ve made is enough for 2 large glasses. :smile:

I have what I had thought was a decent juicer, but it struggles badly with apples. I’ll check out the Jack-Lalanne one. From reading about making the mash, I’m also thinking that maybe I need to do that with a blender, rather than just quartering them (what will fit in).

Thanks @scottfsmith. That was an interesting link.


#13

Chuck

What would be the best grinder to use in order to feed the rack and cloth press made from the Harbor Freight press?

Any alternative to 5 gallon glass carboy for fermentation?


#14

I made my own.

I do have around 150$ in it though. Had to buy the screw and I bought a 6ft piece which I wouldn’t have had to do. The welder charged money, and I even bought the Ash lumber.

The screw is exactly 2ft long so I have enough to do two more.


#15

What Kind of production do you get from that? (How many gallons per press and how much juice per bushel?) I would love to see pictures. I will likely build something like this in a year or two and am not clear on the details of its construction.


#16

Blueberry,

I got lazy and bought the Maximizer grinder from Pleasant Hill Grain. There are several similar grinders available. I liked this one for the handle on the crank and maybe slightly larger throat. I was planning to build one like that with a wooden cylinder spiked with stainless steel screws but life got in the way. The grinder works well even in manual mode though I migh put a motor on it someday. As to volume I can press at a time, I can easily do ten gallons of pulp, and this design can easily be expanded. I was limited by the pan size. I had a sheet of stainless steel that would make a pan 18x22" with a 1" lip. Bigger pan, bigger press boards, could easily go to 20 gal at a time. I think I was getting 10 gal pulp per bushel. Got more than 2 gal juice per bushel.


#17

39thparallel,
Like a cheese press an apple press could effectively be a 5 gallon bucket. The long screw in the middle of the above apple press shown is used to apply pressure by tightening a plate. That plate is pressed down the more the screw is tightened. Think of it like a screw being driven in a block of wood with the head of the screw being the plate. Let me show you pictures of a sausage press because it operates using the same principles. Here is the press


I guess in all fairness the sausage maker I just showed you is considered a juicer as well but unless you are doing several bushels of apples at a time it’s not worth it. The old homesteaders used equipment like I just showed you as multipurpose machines. The problem is cutting or crushing the apples is a separate step that requires a separate shredder machine of some type. So the long bolt you tighten down applies progressively more pressure until you squeeze the juice out of the apples. The apple mash is trapped between the plate being tightened down and the bottom of the press. The sides keep the mash in between the bottom and the plate so the juice has nowhere to go besides out the hole. Wrap your fruit in cheese cloth inside the press. I have used this device for juicing before. Like I said earlier unless you want to do it for nostalgic reasons the electric juicer I mentioned is highly efficient. Here is an example of the apple grinder I mentioned you would need to pulverize the fruit prior to pressing it http://pleasanthillgrain.com/appliances/apple-grinders?_vsrefdom=bppc&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=*Fruit%20Grinder%20%2F%20Crusher&utm_term=%2Bapple%20%2Bgrinders


#18

I also built my own press. It’s not a hard project, this is the first substantial thing I’ve ever built and it turned out fine. The barrel is 12" x 12" and if it’s completely full when I start I get about 2.5 gallons of cider. The finer you can grind up the apples the better your yield will be.

You can see the grinder I built on the back. It had a small rotating cylinder with screws in it to crush the apples very fine but was also very slow. This year I bought a grinder. The mash is not ground up as fine but it is much faster so overall production is still better. I’ve made 40 gallons so far this year with this setup.

Westin Apple Grinder


#19

The press is the easy part, to buy of build. Lots of good examples here.
I tell everyone, if your going to do more than 10 gallons a year, the grinder is the key. Getting a good grind fast is what keeps cider making pleasurable. We just want to be able to dump apples in by the crate full. A motor is really nice…

Getting the cutting head right is important too, especially if you press in the basic slatted barrel. If you get too pulpy, it just oozes out, also lots of juice gets trapped in the barrel, unable to escape from the pulp,where a coarser grind leaves some open channels for juice to run through. Admittedly at the cost of lost extraction.


#20

For our club MidFEx, we looked at various press manufacturers.
Apple Cider Press Manufacturers 1/24/14 PJD

  1. Happy Valley Cider Presses Current Club Manual Press Mfgr. (also offer units with motorized grinders)
  2. Pleasant Hill Grain
  3. Correll Cider Presses ( also offer units with motorized grinders)
  4. Beech Hill Artisans
  5. Yakima Press Company, LLC
  6. Jaffery Mfg (looks like a reseller)
  7. Weston Fruit Press
    We went with Happy Valley with the 1/2 hp motor for grinding. We LOVE it. It beats out our old Happy Valley manual press! Apparently they started with 1/4 hp, got complaints (stalling,) then switched to 1/3 hp, got complaints (stalling,) then settled on 1/2 hp.
    We made several modifications first:
    We added wheels with barn hinges and a steel shaft and copper pipe spacers, see photo.
    We added handles, see photos.
    We made a new mount for the motor shaft in order (see grey polyethylene blocks in photo) to get full tension on the belt. We added a new motor support plate to get better tension. If the belt tension is low, it will stall on a hard apple.
    We added an inline on/off switch, so if the motor stalls on a tough large apple, we shut her down immediately. You make sure to feed it one apple at a time, and it knocks em down.
    Thinking about a belt tensioner design now.

Now we have to figure out how to motorize pressing! I heard about using water pressure and a bag to press em.


#21

Well after two seasons of using the mop press and quisinart I’m thinking of buying one. Too much work and I think it just doesn’t apply enough pressure to get all of the juice out.


#22

It depends on what “small” is really.

We are putting a couple of bushels thru a centrifugal juicer, and that works OK. We do it in several sessions (which match how the apples ripen and our available time). And it works OK. I think these juicers do get more juice out of the apples than a traditional press, but they are slow, doing an apple at a time. However if you add up all the time grinding and cleaning up from a traditional press, it may not be that much longer, but never having a traditional cider setup I am just guessing on that.

I suppose that we will eventually have to “upgrade” to a different setup, once more of the apple trees come into production. But until then, this is working for us.


#23

I know this old article has been brought up http://www.motherearthnews.com/DIY/homemade-cider-press-zmaz82sozgoe . The washing machine would need to be tweaked for efficiency but it’s a great idea! This video has also been posted on here but as you can see these kids did a fairly good job https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nj9z7NbO9mk. Twenty gallons of cider an hour would be very difficult to beat with any other device. These kids were not the only ones to read the mother earth article https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00tjcmtbx4s. I like this example as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbxl1JyY4Og.