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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had been asked about the system we use for making apple juice, since it’s not the pretty historic oak apple juicer. I finally got everything out and made 35 gallons of juice this weekend and took photos, so am posting this.

We built a platform of 2X 6’s to set a roasting pan on the pressure plate of a 12-ton hydraulic press from Harbor Freight. DS drilled a 1” hole in one corner of the roasting pan into which we press a surgical-tubing hose. The diameter doesn’t matter, but it should be pretty good-sized, as the juice flows quickly.

We use a small electric chipper-shredder to shred the washed apples. DS melted the throat and widened it so it is big enough to accept most apples. That was nice, because to begin with I had to cut each apple in half. The chipper-shredder does an excellent job.





The wrapping cloth is a sheer curtain cut to fit. About 2 ½ quarts of apple squish fits at a time.



The sides and the ends are folded over, then the 2X10 presser goes on top. I have a second 2X piece of wood spacer so I don’t have to pump the handle as far. Pump the hydraulic pressure foot down until it’s firm, wait a couple minutes for the juice to flow out, and release.





Dump the dry pommace into a bucket for the sheep & pigs, and set it up again.



We got 5 gallons of juice from every 12 gallons of whole apples. I made single-type juice and mixed juice, and got about the same percentage from both types, although the apples that had ripened earlier and were softer had more opaque juice. The fine floating bits didn’t precipitate out as rapidly before it was heated.

When the juice is canned, most of the bits precipitate out and the color lightens a lot. After several months, it’s completely clear. Before it clears, it still tastes the same and there isn’t any feel to the floaty bits, but it is prettier after clearing.

Anyway, have fun! We make apple wine, vinegar and canned apple juice.
Kit
 

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OK. Wow. Thanks for sharing! I love the chipper/shredder idea. The grinding has been my big stumbling block.
 

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I like the way you think I did 400lbs of apples one summer using a machette to chop them inside a tub and an old wine press. I then moved on to a 20ton pneumatic press, ordered some special matts to put the apples in there nylon and man it comes out great. The Cake you have left use it to make pectin...

Fresh press is the best, also dont drink to much when your doing it, omg I got the worse case of the you know what the first year...

Its alot of fun to... Spending an after noon smelling all the apples...

Kewl pics
 

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I so want to do this next year.

I could never figure out how to set up a press. DH says our hydraulic jacks won't work upside down, so he will figure out a way to put them below and push up.

We've got a heavy duty meat grinder. Will have to quarter the apples, but this way we can get a start and see if we like the end result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Aseries, wow, a machete? That sounds... dangerous! Can you tell us how to make pectin? That would be a good thing to know!

7thswan, yes, I read that a disposal would work, but a new disposal was a lot more expensive, and a used disposal just seemed too icky-dirty.

I tried squishing grape juice, but the skins seemed to get in the way of the juice escaping the cloth. Steaming then hanging in a bag works better for me.

Macybaby, the jack is right-side-up. I should take another photo that shows the jack. I don't know enough about the equipment to know that is could be unusual, but the jack is just upright. That piece that sticks down isn't part of the jack, it was on the frame-bar. Sorry, I'll try to add a photo tomorrow.

Kit
 

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more pictures would be great. DH likes the idea - but he's always happy to get a "honey-do" project that involves his welder. Though that could get spendy as I think he's been looking at new torch sets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Ahh, the joys of getting the picture-thingy to work. OK, here's a pic of the jack sitting in place. We didn't make any changes to this - it came this way.



When the jack is operated, it pushes the verticle pipe into the 2x12's you see sitting there, and that does the pressing. Then when the jack is released - a little knob that turns - the two big springs pull it back up into the closed position and it's ready to unload the dry pommace, then reload wet apple pommace into the pan under the 2x12's.
Kit
 

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I showed DH the picture, and he said "wow, that would work as a bearing press too" and then he mentioned several other mechanic related potential uses. He says he's never really needed something like this, but if I want one for apples, he'll make one so he can use it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yup, bearing press, pipe bender, glue-pieces-together press, and apple juice press! The all-in-one tool!
And with ours, the hydraulic jack comes off and works by itself to lift the boat trailer, etc. That's why I need a new jack next year - it's beginning to leak from being used as, well, a jack! Fortunately, they're not expensive and interchangable.
Kit
 
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