[NAFEX] cider press using garbage disposal

Erdman, James ErdmanJ at uwstout.edu
Wed Sep 6 22:15:28 EDT 2006

We got our new home-built cider press far enough along to try it out.  It uses a long hand-pumped hydraulic jack to provide the pressing force, and the fruit goes in a stainless steel basket sitting in a stainless pan to collect the juice and direct it to a bucket.  I had an older slighty used disposal, so I took a piece of old formica countertop (a sink cutout, actually) and some 2x4s and made a table to mount the disposal in.  The little hammer tings in the disposal were rusted enough that they wouldn't swing freely and push apples to the grinding edge, so it didn't do a very good job.  So, we went out and bought a new 3/4 hp disposal with stainless steel innards, for about $135 (boy the cost is mounting!)  It does a much better job, but the motor still overheats by the time we run a bushel or less of apples through it, so that was kind of disappointing, especially after spending the money on a new unit.  I would say that I probably have $500 total in the press and grinder, having bought all new steel for the frame, a new jack, and had a metal fabricator make the basket and pan out of stainless.  The basket is 12" dia and 16" tall, and has 1/16" holes--it was the kind of perforated stainless steel that the fabricator had on hand, so that is what we used, rather than ordering something else (I had been considering 1/8" holes).

So, any suggestions on getting the disposal/grinder to work longer without overheating?  We took off some of the soundproofing and fancy outer covering on the disposal, and set up a computer fan to blow air at it while operating, but it still will overheat and trip out sooner than I like.

Jim. in Menomonie, WI

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