We pressed some cider this past Saturday using the press I recently built. The cider was great! However, the press was less than optimal (more on that at the end of this post).
We used a mix of 1/2 unknown variety of sweet apples from my wife’s cousin Melton Cales orchard, 1/4 Grimes Golden apples from my Dad’s tree and 1/4 Keiffer pears from our orchard. The apples were quartered. Then I chopped up the apples and pears using a Universal No. 3 food chopper I snagged off Fleabay.

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When we had about 5 gallons of chopped apples and pears we put them in a pillow case inside the press tub.
My bro-in-law Jimmy took his turn at the press:

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The sweet-tart amber liquid flowed:

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From the 5 gallons of chopped fruit we pressed a little over 5 quarts of cider.
We pasteurized the cider just to be on the safe side and everyone agreed it was delicious!

Now for the down-side. Have you ever had a bottle or jar with a plastic lid that when you get it so tight the threads slip? Well that’s exactly what the press did…after we got it so tight you could feel the threads slip and suddenly it was loose again. I think the problem is the thread pitch on the press screw. It is 6 threads per inch. I believe this is much too fine for a press screw:

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So now I have a choice: replace the wooden screw with a metal one or (and this is my favorite solution) make another wooden screw with coarser threads, about 2-3 threads per inch. The tools to make this coarse thread are not available commercially so I will have to make the tap and die to make the screw. This should be fun!
Anyway, here’s the final product. Have you ever seen cider so dark?!

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