Cast Iron Apple Grinder - Powder coat the parts ?

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Apfelmann

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Hello Group.
I need some advice from individuals who are familiar with using old, cast iron apple presses & grinders. I recently purchased an antique apple grinder, part of a 'Red Cross' cider press. After I clean off the rust, I considered painting the internal parts that come in contact with the apples/apple juices. I know that untreated cast iron does not play well with acidic apple juice, and can rust and/or leach into the cider. I know of no food grade paint that is totally acid resistant and will last for a long time. I am considering powder coating these parts, which is way more durable and should last for many years. Was wondering if anyone in the group has any experience with powder coating cast iron parts of old apple presses. From what I have researched, powder coating is food safe, and very durable. Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

- Scott
 

TheMadKing

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This is just my gut and I've never worked on one of those, but I consider myself very experienced and knowledgable with cast iron pans and I've used a cast iron sausage press for many years which is similar.

I would think that powder coating would just chip off over time and you'd end up with flakes of the coating in your juice. I think just oil or beeswax and care would be all that needs. You could also try to season it like a cast iron pan by heating it up (propane torch or a large fire pit?) and applying oil to form a polymerized coating.

Create an electrolysis bath to get all the rust off and make it look like new Cast Iron Cleaning With Electrolysis - The Cast Iron Collector: Information for The Vintage Cookware Enthusiast

Then spray the whole thing down in oil and heat it up to about 400F and let it fully cool. Then wash it with dish soap to remove any excess oil because you don't want that in your juice. It's complete nonsense that you can't wash cast iron with soap, it only removes the oil and doesn't remove the polymerized oil that is chemically bonded to the iron.
 

tracer bullet

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I'll just volunteer the idea to find out what the press looked like when new, how it was intended to be used, and stick with that. Odds are they knew what they were doing.

That said, there's a chance of course they were doofuses and the process needs improvement. But I'd start there at least.
 

gregbathurst

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I would recommend buying a proper SS apple mill and just using the cast iron one for decoration. You don't want dissolved iron in your cider.. The cider will turn black when exposed to air, I have seen it. Grease or wax won't help, but you could try powdercoating. Any paint that chips off should get caught in your press or settle in the lees.
 

An Ankoù

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Why not give it a run and see what happens. Could be wrong, but I don't think the juice is in contact with the metal for long enough to do much damage, and I don't think our ancestors drank black cider. Just don't let it stand with pulp on it. Hose it down after its been stopped for a while. On the other hand, are you sure it's really an apple scatter and not a cattle-cake crusher? Could you post a photo?
I don't think powder coating will work either.
I've just been looking at the corrosion characteristics of cast iron. This is very interesting.


 
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Rodent

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I have a Happy Valley (?) press from the 70s - cast iron grinder body, wooden grinder block, stainless 'teeth' in the rotating grinder block

in my decades of using it I've never had discolored cider, off flavors, or anything else not good from it. mine's to the point where I need to remake several of the wooden structural parts before using it again. it *might* make it thru another season or two without the wooden part repairs, but it'd be a shame to be midway thru a pressing session and have it fall apart.

the cast iron parts, wooden grinder block, and stainless teeth all look/function just as good as they did when I first got this from a friend who was cleaning out a storage space and wondered if I could make use of it. been packing it around on every local and cross-country move since
 

Kees

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Kelterlack is used in German speaking countries. This is food-safe. I haven't been able to find something similar on English websites.
 
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