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Cider presses have come in a number of different shapes and forms over the centuries. Listen to episode 78 with Oscar Busto and Mayador in Asturias. A Mayadar (usually a man) crushed apples with a long pole with a blunt end. It was hard laborious work.
The cider press itself might be huge and weigh a ton, such as the presses used at large cider mills where a pole the size of a tree would weigh done upon crushed apples that often would be held in a swath of straw.
Colonist in the New World used a flat stone that was grooved in a circle and fitted a basket. One end always had a spout for the apple juice to pour out.
The common way if you were lucky, was to have a basket press. Even today basket presses are used by both commercial and non commercial cidermakers.
Listen to episode 3 with Robert Colnes as he describes Building a Cider House and making a cloth and rack press.
Read about Worley Cider's blog on their new belt press and see their rack and cloth press. Their new belt press can process 1.5 tons of apples/hour versus the rack and cloth press the moved through 3 tons of apple per day. Yes presses do evolve.
The maker of the belt press now being used by Worley cider is from Kreuzmayr
Suffice to say, cider presses have evolved over the years, but a tried an true method even today is a basket press.
I have been wanting a press of my own for years now and this week's chat is on an auction and a bid that sent me home with an 1890's cider press from Clark Cutaway Harrow - aka Higganum Manufacturing Company in Connecticut.
But before I was tipped off of on this auction taking place I was looking at making my own. Take a look at the two videos that follow to see just some of the ingenuity that folks are using to make cider. I'm still thinking about using this video below and trying to make this "apple masher" and press.
I hope you enjoy this chat as much as I enjoyed recording it and that it inspires you to not only drink cider, but perhaps try your hand at making cider. And if not that, at least have a deeper appreciation of the inventors before our time who worked hard at building the perfect cider press. All the photos mentioned can be found via the shownotes for episode 86 on ciderchat.com
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