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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Question fruit press, juicers, other?

    In making some mead, and planning for some future batches, I see where they sell fruit presses down at the local homebrew store.

    The presses range from 289 to around 500 dollars for the larger models. Even used ones are not cheap.

    Mainly to be used for apples.

    In talking with a couple people, they asked "why not a juicer?" "Pulp out one side, juice out the other." Sounds reasonable. I can see using it for more then apples as they are advertised for various functions (health drinks, etc.). But what are the advantages of a fruit press versus a juicer, or whatever else people are using.

    I look at fruit presses as really neat items. Something not changed over the years. But are they practical or inconvenient in labor and time? Will it be another item taking up room in the garage since they are bulky?

    So what do you use? Is there an easier piece of equipment? Is there more to a fruit press other than just the juice? Why not just use a juicer?

    Comments?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Lightbulb

    If you had a fruit press you could also use it for a wax press. We are always looking for a way to get that last bit of wax out of old combs.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    The Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    297

    Default

    It would be interesting to hear from someone that tried the juicer route.

    I got a big old screw-press, and it is cool. That is nice because it is also in the way 363 days a year. To make cider you also need a grinder. I got an in-sink disposall for that, and it works pretty well.
    While the whole process is delightfully ludditeish, it is also alot of work, mainly because my apples were so wormy this yearthat I had to do a lot of trimming.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I have a small fruit press I use on grapes for small batches of wine I make. It also doubles to crush & strain honey from my TBH. I must say it is a lot of work and gets in the way most of the year. I do store it in my extractor tank that I also only use once a year. I would suggest that if you were to look for one, get a large enough one that you do not have to load, press, & unload multiple time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,373

    Default

    I tried a juicer for raspberries once All I got was mangled raspberries! Then I broke down and read the directions. "For hard fruits and vegetables only". Carrots, celery, apples, etc.

    Now I have one of these: http://www.backtobasicsproducts.com/...products_id=49

    I got it for much less than the price shown, it's fantastic for tomato juice, blackberries and raspberries(seedless jam), grapes have to be picked off first which is a pain. I've never run apples through it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159
    Quote Originally Posted by dcross View Post
    Now I have one of these: http://www.backtobasicsproducts.com/...products_id=49

    I got it for much less than the price shown, it's fantastic for tomato juice, blackberries and raspberries(seedless jam), grapes have to be picked off first which is a pain. I've never run apples through it.

    I'll second that! I bought one back in the early 80's when they were called Squeezo, they can not be beat for sauces and jams. If you are going to put apples through it I think you would have to cook them first.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Rockville, In
    Posts
    256

    Default

    We have one of these, http://www.shopping.com/xPO-Hamilton...-Big-Mouth-Pro
    It really works great and has a large pulp bin. We have juiced grapes, raspberries ( the only way to make seedless blackraspberry and blackberry jams) and blackberries. So I guess it would work for cider. I might just try it and let you all know.
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Paw Paw, IL
    Posts
    76

    Default

    One of my friends had a champion juicer. It was so strong that it would juice pine needles. We went out and picked a bunch and made pine lemonade with a spoonful of juice to a glass of water and some sugar. It was quite tasty. He let me have the rest and I made pine wine which was suprisingly good. I'd say get one of them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    I tried a juicer to get some pear and apple juice for some cyser.

    It is really good if you drink the juice right away. When first tasted, the pear juice tasted like really fresh good sweet apple cider. Works good on apples, carrots, peppers, etc. Bit messy, and still a bunch of work. This one was cheap and very noisy.

    However...

    The spinning process introduces LOTS of air into the juice. This promotes rapid oxidation, an enemy to anything fresh. In short, I ended up with a lot of juice that tasted like earwigs. Yes, earwigs, and all my kids seconded that. No, no earwigs were juiced. No, I've never ate an earwig, but they do have a unique smell.

    I used it for a batch of mead anyway. It still tastes like earwigs, and it isn't too pleasant. I'm going to give it time, but don't have hope.

    Maybe it was just for the pears, but I wouldn't recommend using a juicer unless using it for fresh (drink right away).

    Rick

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Rockville, In
    Posts
    256

    Smile

    Just used that hamilton Beech to make some cider. It worked really well. Out of a 7.4 oz apple I got 5.2 oz. of juice. There was a lot of foam so it does meed to be filtered through some filter cloth . Tasted just lick apple gider.
    Steve<br /><br /><a href=\"http://www.cozynestfarm.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.cozynestfarm.com</a><br /><br />All that\'s golden must be honey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
    Posts
    342

    Default

    We use a $99 sausage stuffing press from Fleet Farm (farm supply store) for cider, wine, wax/honey, and making hard cheese. For apples, it works best if you bash them up first with a mallet. We use the mesh bags we use for honey filtering for containing the fruit pulp while it's pressed. This was a lot cheaper than buying a typical cider press ($200 and up). It's smaller, so you run more batches, but much easier to clean and store.

    Mabe
    Buy locally, buy only humanely raised animals, eat in season, keep bees!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,675

    Default

    In deciding on getting "juiced", it depends on your intended use. If you are looking for quality extracted juice, it would be best to get a press. Oxidation is your enemy when you press fruit, especially in terms of juice which you will ferment. I've operated small oak slat, screw presses costing hundreds of dollars, and hydraulic grape presses costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the principle is the same - maximum extraction using the technology at-hand, with minimal oxidation.

    In terms of grape presses, you will also have to avoid crushing seeds, which often impart bitterness to the juice. Apples and pears will have to be ground before extraction, another piece of necessary equipment -- which can be easily built if you're handy.

    I bought a used twenty ton apple press and grinder just this fall, as I have a three acre apple orchard which is just starting to produce. The apple press works similar to the design of a shop press, you make pomace "cheeses" within heavy muslin bundles, stacked vertically within slats for juice runoff. I was able to only get about 100 gallons of cider this year (you get about 3.5 - 4 gallons of cider from a bushel of apples), but next year should be much higher yields, as one-half of my orchard will be four years old. As with much farm/orchard equipment, the press and grinder will be stored in a corner for a majority of the year, but it has a lot of use for 1 1/2 months of the year.

    If you are looking for just a few gallons of output, you can use the smash and mash approach. If you are looking for larger quantities (who isn't!) the smash and mash approach in my view is not worth the effort. A quality oak/ash slat screw press and grinder setup is worth the cost for home winemakers, and holds its value surprisingly well in case you want to sell it in the future.

    MM

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