[NAFEX] nafex Digest, Vol 71, Issue 22

Tim Inman Tim at historicinteriors.com
Tue Dec 9 11:50:24 EST 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org>
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 7:55 PM
Subject: nafex Digest, Vol 71, Issue 22

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> Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: Apple pressing (Claude Jolicoeur)
>   2. Re: Apple pressing (Mark Angermayer)
>   3. Re: Apple pressing (hwparker at verizon.net)
>   4. Re: Apple pressing-hydraulic jack (Mark Angermayer)
>   5. Provocative Tag Lines (K Q)
>   6. Re: OT carbon (K Q)
>   7. Re: OT carbon & charcoal (K Q)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
On the subject of apple pressing:  I'm a furniture guy, so engineering is 
beyond me, but I'm also a 'practical' Iowan and I've made lots of gallons of 
'home hobby' apple juice/cider over my years.  Here's my input on the 

Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Simple is good.  Low 
technology has produced millions of gallons of juice over the centuries.  To 
that end, I use 5-gallon painters filter/strainer bags to contain the pomace 
when I press.  They are available at any store that sells house paint and 
supplies to painters.  Lowe's, Menards, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc.  They 
are polypropylene or nylon, cheap, and just right for the job.  Plus, 
they're cheap.  (Painters use them to strain 5-gallon buckets of paint 
before running it through airless paint sprayers.)  They are priced to be 

As for hydraulic or screw:  Anything will do unless you're going for 
commercial output.  I have used 'antique' screw-type presses all my life.  I 
find that when the screw gets 'so' tight, the juice pretty much stops 
flowing regardless how much tighter you turn it.  I use a 3-ft long wooden 
lever as my screw handle.  Don't know the equation, but I get a lot of 
torque on the screw. When it gets tight, relax and take a breath.  Wash or 
grind some more apples.  (The reason you want a 2-tub system.)  Then go back 
and turn the screw a little more.  If you're like me, you'll find that you 
get a little more juice the second squeeze, but not much.  Driving a bull 
dozer over the bag would compress it more, but I don't think you'd get very 
much more juice from a given quantity of pomace.

Grind the pomace as fine as you can - but be practical.  My antique machines 
make a pretty fine mash, and we get a pretty good harvest from it.  To get 
more, we'd have to do a lot more work.  Since we do this for fun and hobby, 
we don't need to worry about squeezing the last nickel's worth of juice out 
of the mash.  We almost always have more apples than we know what to do 
with, so we try not to make things more work than needs be.

Finally, it seems to me that the sweetest, best tasting juice comes first, 
and the last bit is pretty much flavorless.  I know this because I watch the 
kids when we press.  They always stand at the ready with their cups when the 
first flow comes.  By the time we've pressed and squeezed, they go away and 
want no more - until another fresh batch is under the screw!  So, I'm not 
really interested in that last drop anyway.  What the innocence of the kids 
teaches me, I'm willing to live by.

Now don't get me wrong!  I love to build things and conjure up 'newer and 
better' ways of doing things.  So I'm all for a little good old American 
Injinuity.  But for those who might think making cider is difficult, it 
ain't.  Whatever you use, you'll have fun and a much superior 
cyder/cider/apple juice than you'll buy at the store.

Just for fun!

Tim Inman
Randolph, Iowa 

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