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Cider from fresh apples equipment

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CBBaron

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Anybody here make cider from fresh apples?
What do you use to crush and press the apples?

My parents have an old full sized apple tree that produces an abundance of pretty good apples. In addition the property has dozens of wild crab apple trees. So I can get a pretty good supply of apples to make some traditional hard cider. The problem is how to process them?

Last year i tried to use a food processor to chop up the apples and a strain bag to press them. I got about 2 quarts of very cloudy juice with plenty of sediment before I gave up in frustration. It seems the cheap presses and crushers are nearly $300 each.
Are these decent equipment for the how user?

How much time would you expect to take to make 20-30 gal of juice on something like this?

Do you have a better suggestion? Spend more money on something that is easier to use and lasts longer or save your money on a cheaper alternative that works well enough for the home cider maker?

I just trying to plan for next fall and considering planting some additional trees this spring.

Thanks
Craig
 

david_42

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On the plus side, crushers and presses last for generations. So it would be worth your time to look for used equipment. Haven't done my own in 30 years, but an hour a bushel was typical with two people working.

If my neighbor was friendlier, I'd look into getting some gear. He has a couple huge winesap trees. The seven trees I planted four years ago gave me a couple pounds, total, last fall. It might be another decade before it would be worth buying anything.
 

dataz722

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Didn't someone on here use a sink garbage disposal just installed into plywood or something like that?
 

phred_02

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Last year I build an apple grinder and press. The apple grinder I built was inspired by this one Building an Apple Grinder

The press I made was something along the lines of the one that SegmentedMonkey posted, however it didn't look as nice.

The grinder worked great, I was really pleased with the performance. However the press was a little slow, I think I made it too small. Still, in the course of a day I managed to get about 23 gallons of cider.

For next year I think I will make a bigger press and maybe two of them to keep up with the grinder.

With something like this, you will be able to produce some of the best apple cider you have ever had.

FYI, I found that a five gallon bucket full of apples would produce about one gallon of cider, maybe a little more when ground and pressed.

Steve
 

phred_02

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As far as the comment about using a garbage disposal. It is possible to use one however in my research I found many problems with the idea. First of all, a garbage disposal is not designed to operate continuously so you can have issues with it over-heating. I personally don't really like the idea, because I can't figure out any good ways to clean / sanitize the disposal. Also most disposals can't accept a full apple, so you would have to cut them up, and even a moderate number of apples to process this would be a lot of work.

Steve
 
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