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Juice Press

Making your own juice press requires little more than a stand with a scissor jack to do the pressing for you.

Each year, we gather large quantities of fallen apples from a neighboring apple ranch. We dry a lot, freeze some, give a bunch to the pigs and rabbits, and the rest we make into apple juice and then cider. In order to make so much juice, we had to build a decent sized press.

Click here to see our how-to on the whole process of making cider, including how to decide which apples to use, how to make a grinder and a press, how to control the fermentation, and what is needed before and during bottling.

Materials & Tools
press-materials
Materials

20 ft 3″ rectangular tubing

8 ft 2″ square tubing

4 ft 1″ square tubing

6 x 6″ bolts, nuts and washers

Screws

1x 16″ square cutting board

4-6 x 9 ¾” diameter round cutting boards

Nylon

String

Scissor Jack

Tools

Welder

Tape Measure

Drill and bits

Metal saw

Clamps

 

Step 1: Cut metal
  1. Cut 2 pieces 3″ rectangular tubing, each 5 ft long.
  2. Cut 2 pieces 3″ rectangular tubing, each 26″ long.
  3. Cut 2 pieces 3″ rectangular tubing, each 16″ long.
  4. Cut 1 piece 3″ rectangular tubing, 9″ long.
  5. Cut 4 pieces 2″ square tubing, each 22″ long.
  6. Cut 2 pieces 1″ square tubing, each 22″ long.

 

Step 2: Welding
  1. Place one of the 5 ft pieces of rectangular tubing on its 3″ side on a raised flat surface, with 4″ of one end hanging off the edge.
  2. Clamp the center of one of the 26″ long pieces of rectangular tubing to the outside of the 5 ft piece’s end, running perpendicular to it. This is the foot of the stand.
  3. Weld the two together.
  4. Repeat for the other 5 ft and 26″ pieces.
  5. Place the two 16″ pieces of rectangular tubing on their 3″ side on a flat surface, 3″ apart.
  6. Bridge the 9″ piece of rectangular tubing across these two in their center. The 9″ piece wants to be standing up on its 1″ instead of the 3″ side. Weld them together. This will be what the cutting boards sit on.
  7. You should now paint all the pieces of metal if you wish.

 

Step 3: Drilling & bolting
  1. Drill a hole, large enough for your bolts to pass through, in both ends of the 4 pieces of 2″ square tubing and the 2 pieces of 1″ square tubing.
  2. Place the two stands that you welded on a flat surface with their feet over the edge.
  3. Bridge one piece of 2″ square tubing across the two legs of the stand at the top. Make a mark through their holes onto the stand, and then drill a hole on each leg.
  4. Bridge another piece of 2″ square tubing across the two legs of the stand at 45″ from the top. Make a mark through their holes onto the stand, and then drill a hole on each leg.
  5. Bridge a piece of 1″ square tubing across the two legs of the stand at 22″ from the top. Make a mark through their holes onto the stand, and then drill a hole on each leg.
  6. Put a piece of 26″ long 2″ square tubing under the legs of the stand at the top and at 45″ from the top, so that the holes line up. Then put the other two pieces of 2″ square tubing on top of the legs of the stand at the top and at 45″ from the top, so that the holes line up. Put a bolt, with washers, through each of the 4 holes and tighten the nut onto it.
  7. Put one of the 1″ square tubing under the legs of the stand at 22″ from the top, so that the holes line up. Then put the other piece of 1″ square tubing on top of the legs of the stand at 22″ from the top, so that the holes line up. Put a bolt, with washers, through each of the 2 holes and tighten the nut onto it.

 

Step 4: Jack
  1. Stand the press up.
  2. Take the scissor jack and center it on the underside of the top pieces of 2″ square tubing. Screw it in.
  3. Take the piece that you welded in Step 6 of Welding and put the 9″ part in between the pieces of 2″ square tubing that are 45″ down from the top. You may need to hammer it down.

 

Step 5: Cutting boards
  1. Cut 4 strips, 1/2″ wide and 15 1/2″ long, of cutting board.
  2. Drill 3 evenly spaced holes in each strip.
  3. Glue and screw the strips around the perimeter of the 16″ square cutting board.
  4. Drill a hole in the center of one side of the 16″ cutting board, on the inside of the strip. This is your drainage hole.
  5. Place this board on top of the pieces of 2″ square tubing that are 45″ down from the top.
  6. If you couldn’t find any round cutting boards that are 9 ¾” diameter, you will need to cut square ones to size. Mark your circle on the board, and then use a dremel tool or jigsaw to cut around the line.

 

Step 6: Bucket
  1. Turn a 5 gallon bucket upside down and cut out its bottom, just inside the rim.
  2. Drill several large holes all over the walls of the bucket (your juice will be squeezed out through these holes, so make sure there are lots of them).
  3. Place the bucket on top of the square cutting board that you just made, and center it.

 

Step 7: Usage
  1. Place a clean, empty bucket on the floor under the drainage hole of the 16” chopping board.
  2. Line a 8-10” square or round container (about 3” to 4” tall) with a piece of nylon that’s 30” x 30”.
  3. Fill the container with the ground up apple pulp that came out of the grinder and tie the nylon closed with a piece of string.
  4. Remove this apple patty and set it on top of the 16” cutting board, inside the bucket with holes in it.
  5. Place a 9 ¾” diameter chopping board inside the bucket, so that it sits on top of your nylon patty.
  6. Place another patty and board on top of the last until you run out of chopping boards or apple pulp.
  7. Place a piece of wood or metal in between the two 1” square tubing. Put a small piece of wood or metal on top and under this piece.
  8. Lower the scissor jack slowly to squeeze all the juice out of the patties. If juice starts to squirt too forcefully out of the holes in the bucket, you are going too fast.

 

There is nothing quite like fresh squeezed fruit juice, but it does not stay fresh for very long. You can store some in the freezer and the rest you can ferment to make cider. Enjoy.

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