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Blacksmith

Cider press

I am writing an article on "How to make a simple cider/wine press"
Would most people understand basic woodworking terminology, or would a detailed "this is how you drill a hole, to stop the wood from splitting " be better ?
Dont want to "teach me granny to suck eggs" or assume everyone knows what a "pilot hole" is.
Cheers.
Dave
Treacodactyl

I'd tend to suggest assume people know the basics and keep the article just about the press. If people would like to know a bit more about the basics we could either answer questions, find a basic woodworking site or perhaps ask a kind person to write an article on basic woodwork for us. Wink
kinkycat

Is this article on site? Can't find it anywhere.
Blacksmith

On its way, hot -foot from the "editors".
Dave
wishus

Excellent! I would love to make my own cider! It would be a good excuse to keep drinking it.
Bugs

As the masses are clamouring I'll do it once I've got me some tea.
dougal

wishus wrote:
Excellent! I would love to make my own cider! It would be a good excuse to keep drinking it.


There shouldn't be any rush to press apples at this time of the year...

Those folk who are interested, but *don't* happen to have a few hundredwight of apples sitting around, might care to check these other threads on making cider from commercial apple juice...

"Cheats Cider" : http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?p=46607
"Easy, Cider!" : http://forum.downsizer.net/viewtopic.php?t=3420


Very Happy
Blacksmith

I have noticed a very feint sulphurous smell as soon as my cider bottles are opened, seems to taste ok.( certainly gets you drunk as a mattress Laughing )
Anyone else find this ?
Dave
Penny Outskirts

Could it be Edward the Confessional getting his own back??? Laughing
Blacksmith

Ewwwwwwwwwwwww ! hadn't thought of that, the cats have been under suspicion though.
Either that or leaving them to ferment on the pentagram drawn in blood on the forge floor has something to do with it ? Twisted Evil
sally_in_wales

Dunno about cider, but we sometimes get that smell on wine that is undergoing a secondary (malolactic??) fermentation, and fi d if we let it mature a bit longer it goes away
Blacksmith

Could be, I do tend to be a bit impatient !
(Better that washing up liquid flavoured wine at the BBQ) Laughing
Dave
wishus

Most excellent advice! My dad has just finished bottling up some wine made from the grapes in his 'pergola'. (3 of the 6 bottles exploded, which serves him right for only testing the one demi-john)... so I'll see if he has any demi-johns to spare and try that.
dougal

I note that the cider press article appeared late yesterday.
Good on you for the holiday homework, Bugs!

Blacksmith, that is a thing of beauty.
Have you got it dirty yet?
Blacksmith

Thanks all, ('specially Bugs for making my article look so professional Embarassed )
Yep, I have used it, finished it a bit late for the apple season, but tried it out on some cheap apples from the market.
I am working on a apple chopper (powered by an electric drill) at the moment............ details to follow.
Dave
Treacodactyl

It's good to get the article up now as it gives people time to make one before this Autumn! I may have to wait a little longer as I don't think we have that much room. Confused It would look great in the kitchen though. Very Happy
Jonnyboy

It looks like a great piece of kit, I've seen similar stuff for sale for several hundred pounds.

We made our cider with a juice extrator last year, it was slow and far from satisfactory, hopefully if I get this built we can make the most of our glut.
JB

Apart from scaling that down a bit what changes would one need to make to use the same design as a cheese press?
Blacksmith

Cheese press, another use ! not sure on modifications, will make enquires.
I have made a couple of similar assemblies (minus basket) as book binding presses. The list continues...........
Dave
kinkycat

Great article. We have looked at the Vigo presses, but for a large-ish press they are asking big money.

Are you planning to make and sell presses? How much juice would you expect from a barrel squeeze? (to avoid any technical terms).
Bugs

It seemed sensible to put this in here as there's already a discussion afoot about it, but for anyone who comes along later, here is Blacksmith's excellent guide to making a cider press from a few straightforward parts

Might be worth rehoming this thread in the R, P, Homebrewing forum?
Blacksmith

I'm not planning on making presses, and with the downsizer ethic of "buying locally" I hope any small engineering companies will be able to make the parts not available "off the shelf". ( I can supply working drawings if you want them)
I used about 2 carrier bags (oh the shame !) of windfall apples and 1 bag of cooking apples from the market. These were mashed up using a baulk of timber, wrapped in an old net curtain and pressed.
It took 3 goes to get a gallon of juice.
Cheers, Dave.
dougal

JB wrote:
Apart from scaling that down a bit what changes would one need to make to use the same design as a cheese press?

IMHO its overkill for cheese.

Cheese only requires a very low *pressure* (I estimate 2 to 5 psi - tiny compared to that needed for juicing), although most recipes do talk only about the *force* applied (and one has to dig around to discover the area that the force is being applied to).
The idea is that this pressure 'binds' the curds, as the whey is (gently) expelled, and the curds shrink.
The pressure has to be maintained for many hours (often 24).
With a pure screw press, designed to minimise elasticity, once the curd shrinks, the pressure will disappear.
And there's no way of gaugeing the pressure.

Hence screw-based cheese presses have a spring arrangement
1 - to measure the force by the spring's compression, and
2 - to deliberately provide elasticity, maintaining pressure on the cheese as it shrinks

And I think 'design-for-sterilisation' is more important with cheese than fruit juice (which may be pasteurised or subject to masses of the 'right' yeasts).
Blacksmith

If anyone is unable to source the additional parts required for the press, I am able to supply the following :
Top plate . 6mm BDMS. Drilled, tapped, finished in Hammerite paint, supplied with Hx Hd machine screws and washers to attach top nut to frame 7.50 + P & P.

Pressure plate. 6mm BDMS. Drilled. MIG welded guide tube (to suit screw) finished in Hammerite paint. 9.00 + P & P.

Basket Hoops. 4mm Black. MIG welded. drilled and countersunk. Finished in Hammerite paint. 7.50 ea ( 3 for 20.00) + P & P.
Dave
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