First Time Apple Press

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I'd been thinking about doing a cider for awhile but hadn't seriously looked at it until I drove past the inlaws orchard while out colecting firewood. Was quite suprised by the number of apples still on the trees so decided to put together a cider the following weekend. Did a bit more research on the net on how to put together a press and figured I should be able to work something out so went ahead and made a starter using some US05 I had on hand and some bottled juice.

Knocking back a few beers out in the shed on Friday night I was getting a bit nervous that making up a press was going to be a bit harder than I first thought. I was pretty sure that the father in-law had a bearing press but just needed to work out how to hold everything together when I looked at the pile of eskys stacked up and one had the outlet tap pointing straight at me. That should do the trick I thought so the next day we headed out to the orchard and colected about 100 kg of apples. Gave the first bucket a bit of a wash and started smashing them up in my mash tun using a couple of lumps of wood. The wife eventualy came out and said that she had got hold of her dad and he said he didn't have a bearing press and that maybe we could press the apples by covering them with wood and driving the car over them, now even I thought that wasn't going to work. Anyway the moto of the brewery is "It's not what you stuff up that maters it's how you move on from the stuff up that matters".

So we lined the esky with a piece of shade cloth then spread out a layer of crushed apple then covered the apples with the rest of the shade cloth. Layed a couple of sheets of food grade chip board on top and a couple of larger pieces of timber as spaces then placed the car jack on top. We used the base of the bottle capper that's bolted to the wall as a brace for the car jack and off we went.

Only got a few litres from the first press and soon realised that we hadn't crushed fine enough. Crushed the same apples again and were able to get a lot more juce out of the next press. The press worked realy well and was quite simple to put together I'm sure that it would work even better with a finer crush, we only ended up with 24 litres from about 80 kg of apples.


Anyway after all that I don't think we will be using this design again because Mr Smiley in the picture reckons that maybe next year we could use his dad's grape crusher and wine press. Now that's some info I could have done with last week.

Maybe someone out there might like the idea.

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