Hands on with a DIY Homemade Apple Cider Press

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by melbo, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    So I recently found myself at a Home Apple Cider making party. [js] Was a great time and the resulting cider was amazing. The rig that was constructed for the event is described in the attached file.

    To begin, an assembly line was set up to core and cut the apples which came from the host's local orchard. No bad apples in Washington State...

    IMG_0123 (Large).

    They were then transported downstairs to a sink setup that contained a garbage disposal for creating the slurry. This was an ingenious creation and worked quite well.

    IMG_0124 (Large).

    IMG_0128 (Large).

    IMG_0129 (Large).

    The slurry, which was the consistency of chunky applesauce, was then loaded into pre-drilled buckets that contained mesh bags which were the type used to strain paint. Note the large zip ties around the bucket for reinforcement.

    IMG_0130 (Large).

    IMG_0131 (Large).

    A series of wood blocks were placed on top and the whole thing was compressed with a bottle jack. The cider immediately began running out the holes in the bucket and was caught in an aluminum pan beneath the bucket.

    IMG_0132 (Large).

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    After 10 minutes of pressure on the slurry, the bag was removed, re-positioned and pressed again, repeating as long as juice was still flowing.

    IMG_0138 (Large).

    No further straining of the final product was necessary and I had a few glasses right from the press! Good time had by all. Thanks Ken if you happen to read this [winkthumb]

    Maybe I'll make a batch of ACV and a batch of hard cider someday.

    Instruction in the attached file came from: Orion Homebrewing: Build A DIY Apple Cider Press Basket For Under $20

    Attached Files:

  2. oldawg

    oldawg Monkey+++

    Going to try that.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I could make a rig like that with ease if I had enough people who wanted it. However, why not add a return loop to the discharge, and run it through a second time? the garbage disposal provides more than enough push, and a simple shunt valve with a "Y" would recycle it.;)
  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    The squeezed used slurry could still be used to make applebutter. ..... just sayin'
    sarawolf likes this.
  5. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Or yeast and sugar and water added and .............. what would russians do with potato peels? ...... a mash is a mash, is a mash.
    the possibilities are nearly endless. There is always slopping the hogs. (last on my list.)
    GrayGhost likes this.
  6. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Get the Monkeys sloppy first....;)
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    And how well do you like bacon?
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Ghrit, I love Bacon. Why raise them, they run around all over the place down here free for the harvest. I have a very nice limitted access (very wet, I use a canoe) state game management area about 45 miles away that allows you to shoot all the hogs you want, with the only significant rule of, haul out all you kill. No size or gender limit either.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I just might have to go hunting with you Tac....;)I have a rotisserie pig roaster just waiting to be tried out.:D
  10. nathan

    nathan Monkey+++

    Thanks Ive been looking for a cider press
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Stupid question: how do you clean this rig between uses?o_O Do you just run it and flush it, or complete dissemble and scrub?
  12. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    The buckets are simple to clean and the mesh bags are disposable. I didn't stick around to watch the cleaning of the garbage disposal but they are pretty self cleaning with enough water flushed through while running. My last jug from that night just finally started to turn to vinegar. Funny look on my 6 year old daughter's face when I poured her a shot last night.

    I think that you keep it capped to make vinegar and keep it uncapped with a vapor/water lock to make alcohol. Or the other way around...
  13. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    We used to make cider 40-45 years ago when I was a kid. The press and chopper was probably a hundred years old then.

    The home made press looks good and innovative. The disposal for the apple grinder is quite clever but would be my concern in the process.

    We washed whole apples with dish soap to rid them of bacteria and rinsed with fresh water. Then into the chopper where they were cut into 3/8-1/2 inch pieces and fell in the basket below. As we chopped them and in the basket below we would mist with a solution of water and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to reduce the oxidation of the apples and juice.

    Oxidation is what makes apples brown and it gives the fruit a sort of paper / cardboard flavor. It appears much of the apple pulp looks really oxidized before it is pressed. I suspect the high speed of the disposal may whip a lot of air into the pulp and oxidize it hard. They might explore a much lower speed cutting device. And one that does chop them and wouldn't pulverize the seeds (adding bitterness) would allow skipping the whole coring process and you just cut out any bad spots and then put the whole apple in.

    Even oxidized cider beats most store bought stuff that has been squeezed, soaked, squeezed, soaked and squeezed again then pasteurized.

    GrayGhost likes this.
  14. HappyPuppy

    HappyPuppy Monkey

    Really nice simple setup. Here in Washington apples a huge and tasty crop and can be had very inexpensively. This is a great way to extend the variety of uses.
    These can include Apple Jack and fuel type alcohol.
    melbo likes this.
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, these were Wenatchee apples :)
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