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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Found an old Press, not sure if I should use it as is...
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
Nivek
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Default Found an old Press, not sure if I should use it as is...

Like the title says, I found a small fruit press on craigslist last week. The only problem is it seems to have a lot of mildew on the wood. I've tried scrubbing the top press portion of the wood without making much of a dent in the mildew stain.

Do you guys think it might be suitable for use if I sterilize\sanitize the wood with some soap, boiling water and some elbow grease? I could just build new wood components for it, but I figure if I go that far I might just as well build a whole new larger press sometime this summer...unless I happen to find another deal again.

If all else fails, this little press would add to the decor of my house nicely.





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Old 05-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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I would sulfite the crap out of the wood. Then make sure you sulfite your must after pressing. You should be fine. People have been pressing fruit for thousands of years. Hard to believe the early times wouldn't have a speck of mould on their equipment.

You might use a food safe mineral oil on the basket to seal it up for future use too


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Old 05-08-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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You could give it a light sanding, might make you feel a bit better. Treat with a food safe product. I getthis orange oil stuff From lee valley with a guy riding a trike on the tin. Tastes orangey but keeps my cutting board nice. In a few gallons of code you wouldnt notice any taste.I would:
1) sand with 120 grit or so, then 220
2) sulfite/sanitize. I'd just use starsan. Rinse it and let dry.
3) protect it.

You probably don't need to do anymore. You'll likely campden the cider anyway unless you go au naturel. Even then, like the last poster said youll be fine.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:59 AM   #4
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Hit it with a pressure washer. Start a foot away and work closer so you don't damage the wood grain. Then definatly seal it so it keeps well. Nice find!
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Pressure washer is a good idea. With some bleach in the water/soap dispenser.
Do not use soap of any kind. It will soak into the wood-grain and your cider will taste like soap.
You could use some butcher block oil on the wood if you wanted to. But you don't need anything. I have seen hundred+ year old presses in action that don't have anything on the wood, just a nice dark patina from years of aging
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Nice, those are some good ideas. I did use a little soap on the top part of the press and noticed the suds kept appearing. I'll work on that. I should probably try the pressure washer first, maybe sand any part that's stubborn after washing. It sounds like protecting it should be the most important part to make sure the cleaning lasts.

Thanks guys, now it's time to try making a lower abv blueberry cider.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:25 PM   #7
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Theres supposedly a food grade paint you can use.... Maybe look into painting it to seal it? Not sure where to find... i ran across reading something about it in a random thread, try googling it
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:32 AM   #8
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I would not suggest using any type of hardened film such as paint or varnish on the wood. It would just be something to flake off into the must after it ages. Your best bet would be to dry the press thoroughly after use and store it in a dry area. I agree with jkoegel, about not needing anything but if I used anything, it would be food grade mineral oil (butcher block oil).
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:54 AM   #9
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Try using a TSP and bleach mix. I understand that is what boat people use to clean mildew on boats. A 10:1 water:bleach solution alone will kill mildew too. Just scrub with a nylon scrub brush.


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