fruit/grape press

Little or nothing to do with distillation.

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revdjtonyc
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fruit/grape press

Post by revdjtonyc » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:14 pm

Last year my mother deeded a 5 acre plot of land to me. Approx. 3 acres tillable, and 2 acres wooded. Last spring I planted 7 fruit trees (3 apple, 2 cherry, 1 plum, and 1 pear. Unfortunately the plum tree died (record amounts of rain fall) and a couple other trees are showing signs of not doing to good (for same reason). This spring, I plan on doing 5 to 10 more fruit trees, and running 2 to 4 varieties of grapes. It should take 3 to 5 years for anything to produce, so I have lots of time to prepare. Looking for recommendations on what would be the best type of fruit/grape press (non electric) that can deal with different types of fruit. This land is also a 2 hour drive from my current location, so something fast would be recommended. The land is in growing zone 4b, so also looking for recommendations on what else to grow. I found 2 types of peach tree will grow here, and was thinking of raspberries and blackberries.

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Yummyrum
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by Yummyrum » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:05 pm

Can’t comment on Grape press ... but just watch out planting those berries . If you’re not careful , you could end up with 5acres of prickles . :thumbdown: .... those roots have a nasty habit of spreading fast in all directions and once they’re established , darn near impossible to eradicate .

BTW , that sounds like an awesome plot of land you got given . :thumbup:

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GreenEnvy22
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by GreenEnvy22 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:36 am

A traditional grape press, like wood slats with a crank, can't handle hard fruits like apples. You need to crush them first, or freeze them for a few days, then add pectic enzyme to break them down.
A grape crusher also won't work for crushing apples/pears, the small teeth just carve a path through the apples, they don't actually get sucked through.

So you need a crusher designed for apples, then any type of press should work. A bladder press would great if you can afford one.

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cranky
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by cranky » Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:30 am

I agree with Yummy on the blackberries, don't plant blackberries unless they are thornless and even then I would hesitate. Where I live the blackberries pretty much cover up the place and it's a constant battle to keep them under control.

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GreenEnvy22
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by GreenEnvy22 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:07 am

cranky wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 5:30 am
I agree with Yummy on the blackberries, don't plant blackberries unless they are thornless and even then I would hesitate. Where I live the blackberries pretty much cover up the place and it's a constant battle to keep them under control.
We have 3-4 blackberry bushes, thornless. We have no problems with them trying to expand beyond their zone. They are in a 30ft x 2ft strip at the back of our property with raspberries mixed in. We mostly have those and the raspberries just for picking at, we don't have enough to make jam or booze with. The kids love picking them all summer.

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NZChris
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by NZChris » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:02 am

For apples, Google this.

Cider press in use at St Mabyn Cornwall UK

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cranky
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by cranky » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:43 pm

There are several members who have made scatters and presses
A lot depends on your budgets and or skills. I don't think there are any really good non electric ways to process apples but a small generator or even possibly a car battery can run a scatter or chopper.

Here is a link to Jimbo's thread
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=32309

Bushman uses a Harbor freight chipper and press
viewtopic.php?f=83&t=51537

and my own processing stuff is crazy
viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62167
some think it may even border on dangerous. My chopper is faster than a lot of commercial equipment
[utube][/utube]
My press is made out of 4x4s, some oak slats, a stainless steel drip pan and uses a cheap hydraulic jack to do the pressing. I used to use a 3 gallon wine type press but it was too small and as a result too slow. Even today with the 600 to 1800 pounds of apples I process each year my press is too small and slow. The chopper can process 3,000 LBS per hour but the press can only handle about 300 LBS per pressing.

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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by Farside » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:50 pm

Sounds like you need to lift the root zone of the trees. Google swales. They are a type of ditch that is designed to let water soak into the ground. The soil you excavate is piled on the downhill side and the trees are planted into that.

Zone 4 will grow cherries, mulberry, apricots, seabuckthorn, blueberries, serviceberry, blackcurrant, elderberry, hardy kiwi, gooseberry, jostaberry, not to mention a whole lot of nut trees.

revdjtonyc
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by revdjtonyc » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:00 pm

Farside wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:50 pm
Sounds like you need to lift the root zone of the trees. Google swales. They are a type of ditch that is designed to let water soak into the ground. The soil you excavate is piled on the downhill side and the trees are planted into that.

Zone 4 will grow cherries, mulberry, apricots, seabuckthorn, blueberries, serviceberry, blackcurrant, elderberry, hardy kiwi, gooseberry, jostaberry, not to mention a whole lot of nut trees.
I don't think that is my problem. Just a freak year with rainfall. I think established trees would of been okay.

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NZChris
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by NZChris » Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:21 pm

Have a look at this thread.
viewtopic.php?t=73368#p7551133
Traditional slats and burlap cider presses are extremely efficient for the likes of apples and berries for reasons given in the thread.

Justinthunder
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by Justinthunder » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:46 pm

Can you press cherries? I have a ton of chokecherries and they are way too small to pit. I was wondering how a guy could extract all the juices from the cherries? I just bought a big press for apples but I have no clue what to do with the cherries

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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by stillanoob » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:49 am

Rev, most of your press questions have been answered. I have a Happy Valley press.

Just a few comments on fruit trees. Your plum may have died from the wet year but there is a good chance that root stock was not the best for your soil type and water levels. Root stock makes a big difference and selecting the right cultivar on the right root stock is often the difference between a tree that struggles and one that cranks out year after year. Mariana 2624 is a good choice around here for root stock.

Cross pollinating, While some plums do self-pollinate most do better with another plum of another type. Two years ago I put in a Frontier to try to increase the yield of my Santa Rosa plums. It should hopefully be on line this coming spring. I think I am going to plant a couple more plums this year and am researching what varieties I want as my goal is brandy and wine, which it wasn't when I planted the others.

Chill hours. Most fruit trees have chill hour requirements. Depending on where you live that can be something to be mindful of when selecting cultivars. It is for me as I don't get enough chill hours to grow many varieties. This can also be the difference between a productive tree and one that grows great but never fruits well.

Farside may well be on to something. How you plant trees is important too. Don't be so quick to decide it was the wet year. And if it was, planting techniques and root stock may well have made the difference. While an established tree might have survived that doesn't mean it would have prospered. And there will be other wet years and a tree that has done fine for years may sicken and die.

Since it takes years for trees to start producing you don't want to waste time on trees that just won't do well in your area and soil type. I have seen many cases where folks just grab some trees from their local nursery and stuff them in the ground and it doesn't work out. You would think that the nursery folks would know but more often then not they are clueless.

Since you only have one year invested in these trees I would take a good hard look at the varieties and root stock types. Take chill hours into account if need be. I wouldn't hesitate to pull out any that aren't ideal. Seek out other fruit growers in your area and similar micro-climate and talk to them about what works. Research pruning and disease control for your area. Don't wait till you see symptoms to start a disease control regime.

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cranky
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Re: fruit/grape press

Post by cranky » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:42 am

Justinthunder wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:46 pm
Can you press cherries? I have a ton of chokecherries and they are way too small to pit. I was wondering how a guy could extract all the juices from the cherries? I just bought a big press for apples but I have no clue what to do with the cherries
I'd probably just do them like a kirsch, squish them with your hand, ferment with pits, strain and press after fermenting, let clear a few days and run.

Here is a short discussion about Kirsch but there are other threads on it.

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