Apple Cider Press Is Just In Time For Fall

Do you like hacking? Do you like apple cider? Do you like ceiling fans? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then boy do we have the project for you! [Lou Wozniak] has an awesome tutorial for building an apple cider press using a ceiling fan motor and a handful of items available at your local hardware store.

The build is pretty simple in concept but complex in execution, and [Lou] does a fantastic job of covering every step in detail in his two project videos. The project has two main components: the grinder to decimate the apples and create a juicy, pulpy soup, and the press to extract the juice. The grinder is powered by the fan motor, while the press uses a screw-drive connected to a power drill, and then a ratchet to squeeze out every last drop.

Eager for more ceiling fan motor goodness? You’re in luck! Apparently [Lou] is a master of repurposing fan motors, and we featured a pottery wheel he made with one a while back.

35 thoughts on “Apple Cider Press Is Just In Time For Fall

  1. I think you mean shred the apples, not decimate (unless you are going to push one in ten of them off an aquaduct).
    Even the usual mis-use of this word (in place of devastate) does not fit.

    1. Actually, apples are about 80 to 84% water. So if he gets the majority of the water content plus some of each apple’s mass in pulp (give or take on both ends), the rest of the apple being discarded because it is “destroyed”, then decimate would be an absolutely fitting term for what he does.

    2. From:

      “Most people have a linguistic pet peeve or two, a useful complaint about language that they can sound off about to show other people that they know how to wield the English language. Most of these peeves tend to be rather irrational, a quality which should in no way diminish the enjoyment of the complainer. A classic example of this is the word decimate.”

  2. Decimate is an exact fit depending on your culture.

    Regardless, it’s a neat project and his “decimate” method beats my method of a board cut to fit a shallow pan and a hammer! Seriously, I put 4 apples in a pan, put the board on top, clobber the board with a 10 pound sledge, remove the board, dump and repeat. I loose some splatter but it’s pretty efficient.

    1. You just need pasteurization, not sterilization. Most of your pathogens die off after 140F. If you sterilize then you’re looking at a nutrient rich solution that will harbor life to anything that comes its way whereas pasteurization will leave a lot of good bacteria to “protect” your cider.

      1. if you sterilize, you also set the pectin in the fruit and the juice will be forever cloudy. Makes poor hard cider.

        I invert cane sugar using an acid like lemon juice, high temps, and time. I allow this to cool and add the apple juice, then re-bring it up to about 150 degF for pasteurization,

        Stick it in the fermenter with a $1 airlock and give it a few weeks, filter and force carb, then back sweeten just before consumption.

    1. The worm filter was me looking at the apples and cutting into suspicious ones :) Sorry, I never reveal my sources, but look around. People with apple trees usually have a ton of apples going to waste. We were literally raking apples off the trees!

    1. Indeed… those are basically the same components as a fruit juicer.. Why not build a stock part fruit juicer and avoid the Apple tax… That stuff is overpriced man… Wait, what? What do you mean not Apple inc.?

      1. Want a fruit juicer? Go get a never used under-sink garbage disposal. Clean it thoroughly with sanitizer and rinse well. Attach to suitable top plate (instead of sink). Attach a short stub of clear food grade hose to the output so you can aim the free end into a suitable collection vessel. Fruit wont stand a chance. Sanitize and rinse well after each use.

        Power the “juicer” through a variac for a bit of speed control.

        Now you’ve got your soupy pulp all ready for a press such as the one shown above. Oh, and do mind your fingers.

  3. Nice hack, but is the overall work worth of it? Dunno how in US, but in central Europe, there are plenty (commercial but public) places with proper pro-grade equipment. $0.25 per litre of your juice (=under $1 per gallon), 500-600 kg per hour (0.6 short ton), yeld ~ 70 weight % (depends on the fruit). Some of the places are even cheaper (community gardeners etc). Some of the places offer pasteurisation or packing your juice in bag-in-box…
    (Yeah, I was also thinking of making apple crusher based on rolling pins with stainless steel bolts and powered by electric drill, then fruit press using my car jack… But I rather spent $12 yesterday to get 60 L of juice and in the rest of time I will be hacking something different than a device which I’d use once in a year )

  4. That green plastic! It makes me think of a porta potty. I’m trying to get that out of my head but I just can’t look at it and see a cider mill. With my mind primed to go that direction due to the green plastic that really looks like what they make those out of I see a bed pan on the left with a giant bog roll above it.

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