Fruit crushers / Apple mills
Apples must be pulped before going into the press. You can do this with a wooden pole in a tub, if you have the stamina! However, more convenient and faster for larger quantities, are our wide range of apple crushers, mills or ‘scratters’.
Our cheapest manual option (and suitable for presses of up to 30L) is the Stainless Steel Apple Scratter or Grater. Unlike most other mills on the market, it can cope with whole apples. It is really like a rotating grater. Simply place apples of any size in the hopper, place a food-safe plastic tub or bucket in front of the shoot and turn the handle. This efficient little machine can shred about a bucketful (5kg) of apples in about three and a half minutes. The non-stainless steel version is fine for vegetables, but is not so suitable for acidic fruit.
Our Czech Manual Apple Mill (also available in stainless steel version) can cope with whole apples too, and can be put on top of a cross-beam press, or suspended (eg. between two chairs) above a bucket or tub. Then put the apples in the hopper and turn the handle. It is equally as fast as the apple grater/scratter (one bucketful or 5kg in 3 and a half minutes.) You can also change the rollers on this mill, and use it for grapes.
Vigo Presses is an established British firm, based in Devon, and has two effective crushers. Firstly the Vigo Hobby Apple Crusher, which is a budget alternative to the Czech Manual Apple Mill. They have very similar sharp-toothed rollers, although the Vigo mill rollers are shorter, so millling will take longer, but be easier.
The Vigo Classic Apple Crusher has been on the market in Britain for a long time. It has remained popular because the heavy cast iron hand wheel means that, once you have momentum, crushing is much easier. Apples must be halved or quartered before being put in the hopper.
If you are in Devon ever, you don’t need to take my judgement. You are welcome to bring some apples, and try out all of the manual machines for yourself, and make a judgement on which suits you.
For bigger presses (30L or over,) unless you have a team of workers to help you, it is probably more sensible to use electric mills/crushers.