NOTHING SAYS AUTUMN LIKE SOME FRESH PRESSED APPLE CIDER IN THE ORCHARD. APPLE PRESSES COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AND CAN GET VERY EXPENSIVE AND COMPLEX. HERE IS ONE DESIGN THAT YOU CAN BUILD ON A DIME AND REQUIRES SOME BASIC ITEMS ONE CAN FIND AROUND THE YARD AND HOUSE. ANY WORK YOU PUT INTO THIS WILL BE WELL REWARDED WITH A JUG OF HOMEMADE CIDER. DRINK IT FRESH, CHILL IT, OR HEAT IT UP WITH SOME BROWN LIQUOR AND CINNAMON AND ENJOY BY THE FIRE.
what you’ll need
• Sturdy boards. 2X8 work.
• Car Jack
• 5-gallon bucket
• Circular shaped wood disk. Same circumference as bucket base (used as the press)
• Drill with bolt gauge long wood bit.
• 4x Long bolts. 4x nuts. 8x washers
• Stump or something to put your press on
• Cheese cloth
• Jig saw or band saw
• Big clamps
• Old metal baking tray (will be destroyed)
• Cider collection vessel (jug with a funnel)
NOTE: A lot of this press depends on what materials you are going to use. Each one of these steps should be taken as a general guide.
Your base should be the width of your baking tray with bucket on top and the width of two of your vertical beams. This will allow the tray and bucket to sit in-between the two vertical sides of your press.
Your frame should be the height of your bucket plus the car jack you hope to use plus a little extra. If you build the frame too short the jack will end up too far into the bucket and you won’t be able to “jack it up” and therefore not be able to press. Put it together and play with the dimensions to find out what works for your situation.
Make the cuts
Using the images as a guide, interlock the three base boards and four vertical then slide the top horizontal board into place. Make sure all the joints are flush and clamp the whole thing.
Drill four holes (roughly the size of your bolts) into the center of each joint so that they pass through all boards in each joint.
Drop in bolt with washer into each hole and complete with another washer and a corresponding nut. Tighten down with wrenches.
Cut out a 2” thick circular wood press that is slightly smaller than the circumference of the base of the 5 gallon bucket. affix a wooden dowel centered to the top for a smaller Jack to make up the distance to the apples.
Drill lots of holes into the base of the bucket this is where the juice will flow.
Pierce baking tray where it will overhang on the base. The tray will collect the juice from the bucket and direct it down this hole to the waiting cider jug.
Collect apples, wash and chop into pulp.
combine and press
Place frame and base on stump to elevate it up from the collection jug
Place baking tray on base with pierced hole hanging over cider collection jug.
Cover cider collection tray with cheese cloth to filter out apple chunks. (you can also put the cheese cloth over the opening of a funnel if you are using that)
Place 5-gallon bucket with holes on the baking tray centered in the frame
Fill with apple pulp midway up the bucket.
Place wooden press top on wood pulp and Jack on top so that the jack will press down on the press and up against the top of the frame when pumped.
Pump up the jack and press out the good stuff. Clean and repeat.