2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Good Press Makes Great Cider
“One man brought a pickup load of apples 2 days in a row, and we made 300 gal. of cider,” recalls Good. “With the help of a couple of teenagers, we can make about 15 gal. of cider an hour.”
There is no telling how many gallons of cider Good has made since he first built the press in 1974.
“The baskets that catch the pulp and hold it for pressing are original, as is the crusher,” says Good. “I did have to rebuild the press disc. I started with 2 plywood layers each 1/2 in. thick, and it lasted a year. Then I used 3 pieces, and it lasted 3 years. I went to 4 pieces, and it has lasted ever since.”
Good didn’t have any plans to work from beyond a book on crushing grapes for wine. “I used all salvaged parts other than about $5 worth of screws,” says Good.
He designed a frame 28 by 29 in. in size with a height of about 30 in. It has an apple hopper to the left and a press on the right. A slanted tray with 2-in. rails mounted about 10 to 12 in. off the ground holds the pulp baskets. It has room for one being filled and a second one being pressed. A pipe in the lower end drains pressed cider into containers.
“I have 2 sieves that fit on top of gallon milk jugs to filter out the pulp,” says Good.
To pulp the apples, Good decided to use a wooden shaft studded with screws. As the apples fall to the bottom of the hopper, the screw heads tear them apart.
He had a motor, complete with a driveshaft and sheave, salvaged from an old clothes dryer for power. For the press itself, Good used a 1 1/2-in. dia., 2 1/2-ft. long threaded rod with a plate at one end. Good mounted it through a threaded crosspiece that seats in a recess in the underside of the upper crosspiece in the frame. The 4-layer plywood press disk attaches to the bottom end.
To fabricate the pulp baskets, Good calculated the diameter needed to match the press plate. He started with steel bands for hoops and 3/4-in. square mahogany and fir strips. “I didn’t need bottoms, as the baskets filled with pulp just slide back and forth on the shelf.”
Good indicates he would be willing to draw up more detailed plans should a FARM SHOW reader want to build his own press.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leonard Good, P.O. Box 131, Langley, Wash. 98260 (ph 360 221-6439).
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