Pressing Apples

Well, it’s been a while since I last added something to my website, but I’ve got excuses – I spent three weeks in February and March in the UK.

Our two apple trees have grown bumper crops this year – maybe it’s the Bees!

We decided that it was time to build a cider press and press the juicy goodness out of the apples.

Making use of some spare 12mm threaded Rod, Nuts and 100x50mm timber, I constructed a cider press. I picked up a hydraulic bottle jack from an Automotive store and we now have all the required items to apply about three tonnes of force to Apples.

It’s a very simple design, effectively a very strong frame with a jack to press down onto the mashed apples.

The apples were washed, quartered and then grated in a food processor. This grated mush was then put into “bags” of mutton cloth, sandwiched between pieces of wood and placed in the press.

Closeup showing the "bags" of mutton cloth containing the grated apple

Once the grated apple was in place, the jack is fitted above it and pressure is applied.

The complete setup - Basic, but it works!

From a 20Kg bucket of apples, we managed to extract 7 Litres of juice.

At this point you need to be wary of wasps

It was very successful. Especially since we didn’t spray the trees at all and found absolutely no trace of Painted Apple Moth in the apples when cutting them up.

I’ve since found out that after grating the apples, it helps to freeze it to break up the cells in the fruit – Will have to try this in the future to see if it improves the juice yield.

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