PeterC is a fan of Apple Cider, soft or hard, and has been looking for a cider press for the last couple of years. We had looked at buying new but the $800.00 price tag and the shipping costs made it a luxury we could not afford. By chance we found this home made one at the local Habitat For Humanity Restore for a song and a dance and snapped it up. All the mechanicals were clean and well taken care of and everything turned smoothly.
We made a trip to the local orchard and bought a bushel of apples to press. I'm sure they must think we are crazy considering we have bought several bushels from them over the last couple of years but I digress. PeterC got up early yesterday and proceeded to make a mess. Yep, cider pressing is a messy job especially if your press plate gets turned cock-eyed and the apple sauce, the only way to described the schmooshed apples, splurts out onto the floor.
Apple cider is also a bit of a time consuming job. You have to shred the apples using the apple shredder at the top. The shredded apples fall into the slotted bucket that was lined with a nylon screen to keep the apple bits from falling into your juice. Once the bucket is full you have to spin the press handle and slowly squeeze the juice from the apple sauce. This takes several hours as you press until the juice flows then you let it sit and drip for a half hour or so then press again.
By the end of it all PeterC had only a gallon of juice to try to ferment to make cider. Now we are trying to decide whether to see how this batch goes or go buy a couple more bushels of apples to add the new juice with the old. Definitely a learning experience but if it works PeterC will be a very happy fellow.