First time pressing apples

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Gregg Vickers

New Member
Oct 29, 2018
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I've made cider several times from either juice or concentrate with varying levels of success. Decided to purchase a cheap press online and see how that process would work out. I yielded roughly 1.5 gallons from 30 lbs of apples (granny smith, honeycrisp, and gala at 10 lbs each). Cored the apples then ran them through a blender to crush them before pressing them. Is this about the same yield everyone else is getting or am I missing a step that's costing me precious juice? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
That is a little light, but not bad. I average about 1 gallon for 15 pounds of apples. I do not core them, i just grind them with an apple scatter. I do use a Lancman water press, and OEACO grinder.
Sorry, I have to work in metric for this... it is easier.

That sounds like around 50%yield, which is O.K. (30lbs is about 14kg and 1.5 gal is about 7 litres @ 4.5 litres per gal, so it sounds like you have 7kg of juice from 14kg of apples).

The finer the pulp, the more juice you will get. Jolicoeur recommends a slightly sloppy pulp of about 1/8" (3mm) chunks as the optimal, and expects to get around 60% from this. He also quotes that with a good hydraulic press (more efficient) this can get as high as 70% or 80%.

My grinder produces fairly coarse apple chunks which give me 40%+ on a good day using a small basket press unless I go to extra effort to mash them smaller. So, I could live with 50%. Well done!
So I have a small hand press and just bought a small hand scratter. I wanna try some single varietal one gal. batches. Are there any common apple varieties that aren’t expensive you can recommend?
No need to core them. I don't even cut off brown bruises or blemishes. I only remove gray moldy bits.

As for yields..... EDIT.... My records show that the best apples gave me about 10 ounces of juice per pound. Overall average is closer to 6 ounces/pound.

I've gotten some of the best yields from Zestar and good old Honeycrisp. Also from random crabapples, believe it or not. You can get these real cheap if you look around or pick your own.
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This just blows my mind. I can get fresh pressed cider for $4-8/gal. But apples are more than a $1 a pound which will yield 6-10 oz.
This just blows my mind. I can get fresh pressed cider for $4-8/gal. But apples are more than a $1 a pound which will yield 6-10 oz.

Oh yeah. It makes little or no sense to buy apples to juice your own. It only makes sense if they were going to waste anyway, or if you can get the apples for free. I don't make juice anymore. I buy it for $6/gallon. The extra apples I have laying around all go into pies and sauce.
Thanks for all of the responses. I think next batch I will buy the fresh pressed cider and use my press for any fruits that are harder to find cider for.

Here is the press I got a couple years ago.

And here is the scratter I got yesterday.

Now I need to find some apples. My plan is to do 1 gal. batches of single varietals.
This just blows my mind. I can get fresh pressed cider for $4-8/gal. But apples are more than a $1 a pound which will yield 6-10 oz.
It helps if you buy seconds from the orchard. I've also got a cheap basket press got ~5 oz/ lb, but then I took the excess pressed pulp and cooked it down for sauce. I talk with the local orchard and make my own blends. It helps he has some lesser grown, non-'grocery' varieties that are good for cooking. This last year was 60% golden delicious, 20% rome beauty, 20% stayman winesap. I'm still waiting on it to finish primary to give it a taste, the sauce is amazing though.

A few friends get together and we do this as an all day event. Cook out, bonfire, and apple pressing.
Love the press... I want one too!

Your scratter is the same as mine (off ebay). It works well but produces quite large chunks (1/4"-1/2") so my yield from a small basket press is only about 40% ( i.e. by weight I get 40% juice and 60% pressed pulp). Let us know what sort of yield you get. I might be able to convince SWMBO that I need a better press.