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ibwahooka
12-28-2009, 07:37 PM
What do you all use to get the juice out of any fruit you use in your melomels? I wanted to see if there was something handheld out there that would allow me to press just a small amount of fruit without having to spend around $200 for a small press.

Any thoughts?
-Shawn

AToE
12-28-2009, 07:53 PM
I'd kill for a 1 or 2 gallon press for doing small batches, I haven't been able to find anything.

I've tried all kinds of things, putting the fruit in a bag and squeezing, using just my bare hands to press it bit by bit... and some even weirder things. Nothing has worked well at all so far.

Medsen Fey
12-28-2009, 08:03 PM
I sometimes use a small fruit press, but it was pricey. I've found that I get about as much by just using large nylon fruit pressing bags. I double bag the fruit and I can twist and squeeze it to get just about everything out. If you do a search for Chinois with Oskaar as author, you can see another good alternative.

ibwahooka
12-28-2009, 09:06 PM
I sometimes use a small fruit press, but it was pricey. I've found that I get about as much by just using large nylon fruit pressing bags. I double bag the fruit and I can twist and squeeze it to get just about everything out. If you do a search for Chinois with Oskaar as author, you can see another good alternative.

I'll do that.
Thanks Medsen!!

fatbloke
12-29-2009, 05:56 AM
Or if you're handy at "DIY" projects, you can always get some lengths of hardwood and make a square(ish) frame that will stand vertically. Then make a base tray with a pipe outlet. Then all you need is a pressing cloth, some pieces of ply wood and a hydraulic car jack.

The fruit is strained and wrapped in the cloth, the "pack" is then placed in the tray, a piece of plywood about the same size as the base tray on top of that (pressing board), smaller pieces of wood to use as shims between the jack (in the fully down position) the the plywood pressing board.


then just put a container under the base tray outlet and operate the jack!

bingo! pressed fruit.

Oh and for hygiene etc just make sure that the board/tray areas that are likely to come into contact with the fruit/juice have been varnished with a "food grade" finish - what the hell, varnish the whole damn contraption. Then it'll look pretty as well as being practical

Just my 2 cents worth (as for the 200$ area mentioned earlier, you can also get a small engineers press that just needs a catch/drain tray and pressing board - and the press with supply something like 12 tonnes of pressure)....

regards

fatbloke

JamesP
12-29-2009, 08:53 AM
For some fruit, freezing the fruit releases the juice. For some, pulping the fruit works well.

I made my own grape press (like fatbloke suggested) except it is about the limit of what I can lift physically and uses a car jack as the press mechanism. It also takes up too much space in the tool shed :rolleyes:
Since I had a spare car jack, it only cost me the timber and bolts and screws (probably around AU$100)

I haven't used the grape press for other fruits, but I assume I could.

fatbloke
12-29-2009, 09:50 AM
For some fruit, freezing the fruit releases the juice. For some, pulping the fruit works well.

I made my own grape press (like fatbloke suggested) except it is about the limit of what I can lift physically and uses a car jack as the press mechanism. It also takes up too much space in the tool shed :rolleyes:
Since I had a spare car jack, it only cost me the timber and bolts and screws (probably around AU$100)

I haven't used the grape press for other fruits, but I assume I could.
I freeze my fruit where possible, but where it isn't then it get pulped (apples) and then sits for a couple of days to sulphite it and then for the pectolase to do it's thing before it's pressed.

Pulped fruit is fine in a pressing cloth as long as you don't try and press too much at once.

Also, if you use a homebrewed press of bolted wood etc, then it's not hardship to dismantle it to take up less room.

When ever I think about fruit presses, I always picture either a spindle or beam press with the metal hooped wooden slatted basket. Are "proper" grape presses any different ?

regards

fatbloke

JamesP
12-29-2009, 05:44 PM
When ever I think about fruit presses, I always picture either a spindle or beam press with the metal hooped wooden slatted basket. Are "proper" grape presses any different ?


No, that sounds like the standard sort of winepress. But there is more than one way to make a press.

DaleP
12-29-2009, 06:13 PM
Ever consider a juicer? Not as picturesque as a press, but they do a decent job for small batches.

fatbloke
12-29-2009, 08:13 PM
Ever consider a juicer? Not as picturesque as a press, but they do a decent job for small batches.
maybe that should be "very" small batches!

only because the motors aren't usually designed for sustained heavy use, so if you're "juicing" apples you'd have to be careful not to burn it out after a gallons worth of apples.....

Apart from that, a juicer will still "juice" most fruit by pulping some of the flesh, so you tend to have to strain off the cleared juice and then still press the last of the fine pulp.....

Otherwise, buy or make a fruit press........;)

dr9
12-30-2009, 07:49 PM
What do you all use to get the juice out of any fruit you use in your melomels? I wanted to see if there was something handheld out there that would allow me to press just a small amount of fruit without having to spend around $200 for a small press.

Any thoughts?
-Shawn


Cuisineart and a pillowcase. Blenders don't work well without adding additional liquid which waters down the product. It will take you about an hour in small batches to get a gallon for something like apples, but easier with berries.

I like this idea of making a small press. However, my apple people sell their fresh press for $5 a gallon in the fall, and $18 for a 1/2 bushel of apples, so it seems like I'm getting a deal to have it already pressed. But... for the offseason, I'd like to build something like this. I've seen plans online before, but no matter how "simple" the plans are, they always require some level of specialty/craftsmanship. I need something I can throw a naughty beagle into also, for fresh beagle juice. When I find the perfect press, I'll be sure to check back in and share.

ibwahooka
12-30-2009, 09:01 PM
Cuisineart and a pillowcase. Blenders don't work well without adding additional liquid which waters down the product. It will take you about an hour in small batches to get a gallon for something like apples, but easier with berries.



Well, my thought is trying to do a watermelon melomel and perfect it, so a blender might work since it's a watermelon that I'm going to try. I was also thinking a potato masher might work in a pinch, but a fruit press is definitely on the wishlist.

JamesP
12-30-2009, 09:58 PM
[slight change of topic direction]

Watermelon goes off VERY quickly - juicing it isn't the hard bit.

Either you want a very active starter, or start the fermentation without the watermelon, then add the watermelon a couple of days into the active fermentation (minimize if you can the gushing from CO2 being released - do it in a bucket).

DaleP
12-31-2009, 06:21 AM
Fatbloke- Not sure what kind of juicers you have tried, but my Jack Lannes (bought on eBay for around $50) juiced out 8 gallons of pear juice after work one afternoon in an hour or so. They work great, a bit noisy and totally lacking the glamour of a real press, but most of us can't go that route.

Medsen Fey
12-31-2009, 09:58 AM
Cuisineart and a pillowcase. Blenders don't work well without adding additional liquid which waters down the product.

Cuisinearts and blenders tend to crack seeds and leave a lot of bitterness/astringency in the final product (that even my unrefined palate can pick up :( ).

The mini-press pictured below actually works fairly well for smaller batches and it doesn't take up much space. However, they cost about $225 which means it is no great bargain.
http://www.brew-winemaking.com/productimages/4627.jpg (http://www.midwestsupplies.com/products/ProdByID.aspx?ProdID=4627)