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 Cider press? 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:54 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Beaverton
Post Cider press?
I have a tree out back that is heavy-laden with apples this year, which I would like to try turning into cider. Don't know what kind they are, or if they'll make good cider, but I figure I'll never know until I try!

My question is, does anyone know where I might buy/rent/borrow/come & use a cider press?

Thanks,
Lev


Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:57 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Lev, good question(s); I spent years looking for an apple press... Anything and everything used was nearly junk, and, I kept envisioning the presses I'd see at our HOS All About Fruit shows. They weren't cheap, but anymore, what is?

Finally, I gave up looking for anything used and began corresponding by mail with Bob Correll, the man showing the presses at the show. I wanted a big one, and settled on his second largest. He gave me a list of wood varieties in stock, and I requested 'some of each.' I'll never forget the wonderful trek to his home to pick up my finished press. He gave me the Grand Tour of his shop and described how his father had pioneered the designs he'd now perfected.

We laughed at an old hand-cranker he kept as a conversation piece inside his home, and he reminded me that one of his presses had set the OSU apple pressing 'record' (there's apparently such a thing!)... It's called an 'Heirloom' model, and it's become just that to us. I'll cleanly and efficiently press around 20 gallons at a time. We've just finished 18 gals. of Gravenstein (don't let anyone tell you Grav's aren't good for fresh juice!). Our main problem is finding enough jugs; enough refrigerator space (I don't homogenize); and giving it away fast enough to friends (considerate enough to return our jugs for more)...

Here is Bob's website, it's the first time I've checked for it / him online: http://www.applejournal.com/correll/

And here's Bob: "Welcome to the Correll Cider Press website. I have been refining my cider press design since 1973, and have hand-made over 3000 high-quality presses! These are the original Correll Cider Presses still manufactured by Bob Correll."

In fact, I think the photo of him with the press looks just like the one I took of him and my new press, with my old yellow truck in the background! I'll have to ask? We'd become pretty good friends with all our correspondence, and I'm sure I sent him that copy...

Anyway, I don't know where you could rent one? I'm not up to loaning mine ... it's our baby, and it's got a lot of work to do this season. But Bob makes an excellent product; you don't have to buy a big one like mine (my neighbor bought his smallest and it's all she ever needs), he makes several sizes. But unless he's got some in stock ... there may be a weighting list...? But I can guarantee, after about 10 years of use, they're not only works of art, they're designed and built to work - and last, and to us, worth every cent :D

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Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:54 pm
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:33 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Aurora, Oregon
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It has been a few years since I rented a cider press to make apple juice, but I got mine at a tool rental place in North East Salem. I believe it was on Silverton Road east of the fairgrounds. I don't remember the name of the place.
You might try calling some tool rental places to see if they have one or know of someone that has one.

Byron

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Byron


Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:30 am
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Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 7:49 am
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We were lucky to be given one from an ex-grape grower. Try the local do-it-yourself wine pressing places or supply houses. they may have a bulletin board you can post your request on. We bought our first, too small, one from a wine making supply place. It was pricey but the only option at the time.

regards,
Bruce

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Bruce Mitchell
Ottawa, Ontario
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Thu Oct 05, 2006 1:35 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:31 am
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Viron, I made friends with a lady who owns a coffee cart. She saves her half gallon cream jugs for me, and I take them home, wash, fill with boiling water, squirt dishwashing liquid in, leave sitting overnight, then run through the dishwasher next day. Put in boxes, box goes into a trash liner (plastic bag) and then we store them until it is time for cider.

We then freeze them (they have flat sides so fit well in the freezer)

I have also processed them in the canner when the freezer gets full, pretty easy to do, although the cider then tastes a little different.

We make a yearly event with the fall harvest, did that several weeks ago. get about 30-40 people attending this great event (started with 10-12, and people ask to be invited again next year and bring friends)

We usually pick the apples several weeks in advance, store them in the pump room in the barn. Picking in advance juices them up, although we do lose a few to rot.

People arrive between 11 and noon, and at noon we have a potluck lunch, then with a few women cleaning up the kitchen, the guys go out and get the press set up, chairs set in a circle under the Maple tree (or gazebo and garage if it is raining) and we begin working the apples. Since we grow organic, there is usually a good supply of worms, so apples are cut in quarters, rot and worms cut out, and the cut apples dropped in a 5 gallon bucket of water. The kids come around with smaller buckets to empty those bigger buckets, and load the press. One of the guys supervises the press, and the kids get to turn the handle on the grinder and operate the press end.

Juice is carried onto the back porch where Mom strains it through cheese cloth and into the jugs

Soon little cups of cider come out from the porch along with the fondu pot of melted caramel and apple slices to dip in it.

by late afternoon we can have anywhere between 30 and 60 gallons processed, and we begin the clean-up.

Everybody takes home cider, it is a great day in the country for the city dwellers, and a great time was had by all.

After 10 years we have found there is always a medical mishap, sliced finger, etc, so we keep a supply of bandaids on hand.

This year hubby was climbing a ladder to get the walnut dryers down from the attic in the shed, and the ladder went flying....

Hubby did not break anything in his 10 foot fall with ladder under him, but was pretty shocky after the fall, and bruised up, so he got to nap through the hard work. Missed "apple boy" who kept the slicers supplied with more apples. Easy enough to recruit someone else though.

AHahah.

Do think about the milk jugs though. Half gallon size works best. If you don't have a handy coffee cart lady to get them from, you can buy milk in half gallon jugs at winco...

Maggie


Sat Oct 28, 2006 6:32 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Maggie, thanks for the suggestions :D As far as freezing our juice, while using a propane heater (on low) to 'speed up' the defrosting process on our two freezers last winter, I melted the sealing edge of our oldest :oops: We'd been considering, due to electricity consumption, eliminating one of them; but this wasn't part of the plan... Down to one freezer, but two refrigerators, I haven't room to freeze any juice this year.

One problem I've had with freezing apple / pear juice is that the thawing process is so long; first the sugar laden syrup thaws, someone inevitably drinks it, complains that it's too sweet - while a 'water core' is still bobbing inside the jug. Once that water dissolves, up to a week later inside the refrigerator, the remaining juice is 'watered down.' I'm afraid to leave it at room temperature; unlike our gallons of fresh juice (right now), we try to make the frozen juice stuff 'last' a bit longer after thawing, I worry about it 'turning' after having gotten so warm as to completely thaw in hours - as opposed to days..? Plus, we're absolutely spoiled by fresh apple juice (never older than three weeks) for around three months! By that time, we're all ready to move on to whatever else.

As far as canning it, I've done that back home with my Dad. He would bike to a nearby recycling station then bring home gallon screw-cap glass jugs in his large bike basket. Yes, us kids were embarrassed as he'd ride through our neighborhood with all those empty green wine jugs... But guess what? I've got them now, and have reused them countless times - having bought modern ‘sealing’ lids. But we'd boil apple juice in our largest pots, skim off the foam, pour the near boiling juice into a clean jug, screw on a new cap, and store it for(ever) as long as necessary in our basement.

With the use of a high-production home-welded steel apple press of my Uncle's my dad, uncle, and grandpa once processed over 90 gallons of apple juice in a day! A wonderful memory of that process was my Grandfather having thrown the pulp onto his garden, where several seedling apple trees grew the following year; we 'save out' a half dozen that I grafted known verities onto the following spring. He gave them away to friends and neighbors but babied the last as if it were another child... Anyway, we never liked the 'cooked' juice over the fresh, and it wouldn't disappear as fast, but months after the fresh stuff was gone, it tasted better than milk!

I've never boiled, or 'canned' my juice; we just drink it hot or cold, and as fast as possible till it's gone. I have a Teacher at our grade school who saves her families Gatorade plastic gallon jugs for us. They’re rectangular, have a nice handle, always clean from her, and if I don't get them back - no loss. For my closet neighbors, I pass out my (Dad's) green glass jugs; if they don't come back - I hunt them down! And for 'School' and ourselves, I use the clear glass jugs to store the fresh apple juice; for just over three weeks, before it begins to 'turn.' The same Teacher who provides the jugs has a husband that won't drink the juice till it's begun to turn, or age... He caught me 'glugging out' a few aged gallons while he hunted the bear in our orchard and asked if he could have the rest (3 gallons)? He loves it! We've also done vinegar, using the air-tight water-lock caps as it ferments. It makes the best natural rich vinegar and everybody wants some, but it leaves scum crusted to the inside of my prized glass jugs that I can't get off... And I wouldn’t (couldn’t?) use plastic for that process(?).

I generally give our juice away fresh; my last batch was over 20 gallons. 'Still warm,' I haul it around to the neighbors ... problem is, if I leave anyone out - they're wondering why? "Just get my jars back" I tell them... I've helped out at my children’s grade school for years, instead of bringing in apples to their teachers, my kids have taken half gallon plastic jugs of fresh apple juice. Problem? As they've passed through the grades, each teacher feels slighted if not given their yearly allotment of juice. Solution? Keep a 'never-ending' supply of fresh juice in the teachers lounge. They love it! I'll list the 'base apple,' accompanying apples, bitter variety; and they all love when I include pears. Our favorite teachers and staff, including the Kindergarten Teacher get their own private jugs ... The kids pass notes telling each there's a jug for them in the second refg.

I've had events suggested, and have had 3 HOS Tours out here ... but I really haven't the amount of apples ripe at one time to make it worthwhile... I'd purposely planted (Halloween night will be our 25th year anniversary living 'out here') apple varieties ripening at a sustained, or progressive rate. I juice the Gravenstein's first, and work toward the Granny Smiths, and process 4 or 5 runs of around 20 gallons each. It's usually an 8 hour day, and my last, with no help (like the good ol days), was a real workout. Harvesting and cleanup take about equal time to the grinding & pressing. My last run was a bit nicer, I was finally able to open the garage doors - the Yellow Jackets had dwindled. But sure enough, one found me (apparently rock music doesn’t bother them!). Alone, I couldn’t hunt it down like my kids are expected to do. But where do you think I found it? In the post-strained stainless steel trough of fresh juice of course! I don't sell it, wouldn’t give away anything I wouldn't drink myself ... but if I ever found a dead Y-jacket floating in my glass, I would not be impressed!

My process? Pick from whatever tree's dropping the most fruit; never pick anything off the ground or that drops while I pick, or that the deer have be able to 'nose.' Fill the wheel borrow, then pack a dozen or so 5 gallon buckets into our drive-in garage / basement. Wipe down and plug in the press; set up a 5 gal. bucket of water for rinsing each apple; arange varieties near the electric grinder to place a blend of each into every grind. Pulp bucket full, set a clean cup above the screen to catch the first clear juice (that hasn't browned) for instant consumption and incentive for all concerned; move the full pulp bucket under hand-screw pressing block; continue to press as another batch of pulp is ground into the second wooden stave (bucket)... Have clean jugs at the ready, rinse capped jugs and refrigerate immediately... Cut out any rotten spots, and half any apples too big to make it to the grinder; never mind a 'small' worm holes, but discard anything too ugly. I load two pulp pressings into a 5 gal. bucket then spread them over a fallow garden spot - to feed / intoxicate the wasps. We've seen deer munching on these fresh cakes of pulp - I'd bet cows and horses would love it too! Clean-up's never as exciting as Start-up ... but after a bit of research, I found that Bob Correll's press shown online is mine! He'd done such a magnificent job on this press that I clean it to 'furniture status' after each workout - no problem.

You say: "This year hubby was climbing a ladder to get the walnut dryers down from the attic in the shed, and the ladder went flying.... " - A constant concern of mine ... and gravity's fast! I'm glad the climbing work comes first, while I’m still at full strength, it seems when I get hurt it’s when I'm tired; a good thing the water hose isn't dangerous! I use my aluminum three-legged orchard ladder to pick from; but if there's 'dew' on the gorse ... while maneuvering my loaded 'picking bag' within a crowded tree, it's tricky.

Hey - looks like I've written a chapter ... thanks for getting me going though :wink: nearly as motivational as having a daughter describe a Teacher, with her hands warming around a mug of microwaved fresh apple juice, "with a touch of cinnamon," tell her to, "Thank your Dad so much" ~ She's welcome - we can't drink it all!

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:01 am
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