Press or juicer?

Discussions of interest about making wine, cider and other fermented beverages

Press or juicer?

Postby MrBoy » Sat Aug 26, 2017 21:37

Last year a mate juiced a load of apples with a juicer and I brewed with him. This year there are more of us keen to collaborate but I've no idea how much work goes in getting from apples->juice and at what point a press becomes sensible.

I've seen some quite cheap ones but they don't look very big. We got 15L of juice last year, roughly how many apples does it take per litre, how long does it take, and what is the process specifically in terms of preparing and processing my collected fruit?

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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby HLA91 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 22:52

It all depends on the juicer. The one I have which I think is called the Jack La'lane will fly through 6lb of apples in 10 minutes or so. As for how much you get per apple, can't really help on that I'm afraid.


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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby tonyhibbett » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:53

I use a whole fruit juicer and a Boots 5 litre press to extract juice from the ejected pulp. This gives me about 750 ml of clear juice per kilo of whole apples. I usually stop after 5 litres.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby jkp » Sun Aug 27, 2017 13:30

The extract efficency will depend on the apples, sweets tend to have more while crabapples less, but as a rule you can expect 60-75%. That's L of juice per kg of apples. So I'd assume 1.5kg apples giving 1L of juice.

The point at which you need a press rather than a juicer is difficult to say. 20L with a good juicer is ok, but if you're looking at 200L then you'd want a press.

What I find is that juicers tend to leave in a lot of pulp along with the juice, which means increased loss due to lees, while a rack and cloth press will give clean juice.

Making a press from a wooden frame and a car Jack is actually very cheap and easy.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby MrBoy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:51

jkp wrote:The extract efficency will depend on the apples, sweets tend to have more while crabapples less, but as a rule you can expect 60-75%. That's L of juice per kg of apples. So I'd assume 1.5kg apples giving 1L of juice.

The point at which you need a press rather than a juicer is difficult to say. 20L with a good juicer is ok, but if you're looking at 200L then you'd want a press.

What I find is that juicers tend to leave in a lot of pulp along with the juice, which means increased loss due to lees, while a rack and cloth press will give clean juice.

Making a press from a wooden frame and a car Jack is actually very cheap and easy.
Has anyone posted on here a how to to make a press? Struggling to search through the app on my phone...!

Thanks for the replies, maybe a juicer isn't such a bad move. Any recommendations on models, how much to spend?

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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby Rolfster » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:57

This was the first link I came across with a quick Google search..... it does look like it's from the USA though.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:09

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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby jkp » Tue Aug 29, 2017 14:22

HTH1975 wrote:http://www.jamieoliver.com/jimmyciderpress/cpf.pdf


I roughly followed these plans when making my press. If you do follow them you'll notice that part F is far too short at 240mm and should be at least 670mm in order to hold the juice tray.

For my setup I decided to get a SS juice tray, so it was important to get that part first and build the frame to the correct dimensions. I can get about 20-25L of juice per pressing, with two pressings per hour. In hindsight the frame could even be a little taller to allow a larger capacity.

Cloths are not very expensive to get, but proper wooden cider racks certainly are. The racks cost me more than the rest of the kit combined. They work fine, but I do regret buying them. A cheaper option would be cut-out bottoms of bread trays or similar food grade plastic sheets. You'll need about 4-5 of them.

Other than the press you obviously also need a way to grind the apples into a rough pulp. A bucket and a bit of timber really doesn't work effectively. There are pieces of kit designed for the purpose, but the better ones are very expensive. Then there are DIY scratters if you have the tools and skills to build one (plenty of youtube vids on those). Some use SS waste disposal units or garden wood chippers. The option I found was a SS vegetable mincer, which is just a set of spinning knives inside a SS drum. It can handle 100kg of apples in about an hour and the results are very good.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby BarnsleyBrewer » Tue Aug 29, 2017 15:42

Supermarket apple juice is just as good. Once did the juicer route, never again.... Sold it on.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 20:36

BarnsleyBrewer wrote:Supermarket apple juice is just as good. Once did the juicer route, never again.... Sold it on.


I did a few demijohns of cider last autumn. One with Tescos apple juice (cloudy stuff not from concentrate).

I also juiced various apples for the other batches - got higher OG too. The taste of freshly-pressed apples was far superior.

Will be interesting to see if that translates into the finished cider (still bulk aging).
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Wed Aug 30, 2017 15:07

HTH1975 wrote:http://www.jamieoliver.com/jimmyciderpress/cpf.pdf


Of course they meant coarse that's why they are rich. Because they can cook and talk but didn't study English grammar. :clap:
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Aug 30, 2017 19:54

I did a costing of a diy press and found it uneconomic and anyway, I couldn't get the right kind of oak or beech for the staves. In the end I got an incomplete second hand all metal 20 litre one from ebay, which in the end cost about £45, which I used mainly for grapes.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby jkp » Thu Aug 31, 2017 17:28

Here is a shot of my press in action last year. It's been upgraded a few times since then, but it's essentially the same frame. I'd like to get a little name plate for it, or burn one into the wood..... always things to add to it.

press.jpg
press.jpg (128.42 KiB) Viewed 274 times


Here is the vegetable mincer/apple scratter. This too has been upgraded recently with a hopper added to the top so that there is no splatter from the mincing apple inside. I think this model is about 1hp.

grinder.jpg
grinder.jpg (113.22 KiB) Viewed 274 times


and this is the resulting apple pulp. For me the result is ideal, not too thin and it gets through the apples pretty quickly.

pulp.jpg
pulp.jpg (96.57 KiB) Viewed 274 times


I'm starting to build a new press at the moment working along the lines of the Harbor Freight press that are so popular in the states. I'll try to take photos as I work on it and put them into a post at some point. :cheers1:
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby MrBoy » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:24

Going back to the juicer route... What am I looking for in features and price to get something that won't be frustratingly slow? Most of what I see on Amazon is targeted at healthy eating not production of several litres

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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby tonyhibbett » Wed Sep 06, 2017 13:00

Look for a 'whole fruit' model. These take apples up to 75 mm in diameter and have more powerful motors.
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Re: Press or juicer?

Postby MrBoy » Sun Sep 17, 2017 14:49

What's the difference between power and slow/masticating juicers? Which are better for bulk apple juicing?

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