Where is your equipment made?
Most of our equipment is made in Europe by small engineering firms, mainly in Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic. All these countries have a long tradition of producing excellent wine and juice-making equipment.
What do I do if I have a problem?
Pressfruit.co.uk is available on our landline, mobile or email. We are happy to answer questions on the equipment we sell and help with problems. All our equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty of one or two years.
Can I come and see the equipment?
Yes. Pressfruit.co.uk has a small shop in Winkleigh, Devon at Ten Acres Vineyard and Camping. If you would like to come and handle/view equipment before committing to buying, come and visit us. See Ten Acres Vineyard Camping website for opening hours – www.tenacresvineyardcamping.co.uk
What size press do I need?
If you’d like to press apples, a rule of thumb is that a kilogram of ripe apples can produce a pint of juice. So, if you’d like to make 5 gallons (40 pints, 23 litres) of juice/cider, you would need to crush and press around 40 kilograms of apples (around 8 bucketfuls.)
Roughly one kilogram of crushed apples takes up one litre of space. So, to press 40 kilograms of apples in one go, you need a 40 litre basket. If you have a 10 litre basket press, then you will need to do 4 pressings.
If you still not sure, or you’re buying a present for someone else, we normally recommend a 20 litre press, as it is suitable for most circumstances.
Also please bear in mind how you are going to crush/mill/scrat your fruit. If you are mashing/milling apples manually, then stay 30 litres or under.
How do I prepare apples before pressing?
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’.
Which manual apple mill / crusher should I have?
We recommend a manual apple mill / crusher for our smaller presses.
The cheapest option is our apple scratter. This is really like a rotating grater. Simply place whole apples of any size in the hopper, place a food-safe plastic tub in front of the shoot and turn the handle. We have two types of this apple scratter. The stainless steel version is more suitable for use just with apples as it is more resistant to fruit acidity.
Our Czech manual mill or crusher is made of a higher grade of steel and is sturdier. Like the apple crusher, this is put on top of a press, bucket or tub. You then put the apples in the hopper and turn the handle. Unlike most apple crushers available elsewhere, it can cope with whole apples. A fast, tough machine.
We would recommend electric apple mills for anyone who would like to use one of our larger presses. One of our mills is for use with your drill motor, whilst our largest mill simply runs from an electrical socket. This machine is simple to operate and suitable for commercial use.
How do I prepare grapes for pressing?
Grapes are traditionally trodden in a tub before pressing, to break the skins and so extract more juice. This is an effective way to process the grapes as long as your feet are clean! However, early grapes are often plagued by wasps and late grapes are surprisingly cold! So here at Pressfruit.co.uk, we stock a grape crusher which is able to effectively crush larger quantities much more quickly. Suspend between two chairs above a bucket, tub or press, fill the hopper and turn the handle. Simple but very effective.
How do the presses work?
Fasten the press legs to the work surface. Place a food-safe tub under the outlet. Oil the thread of the screw with a food-safe oil such rapeseed cooking oil. Then fill the press basket/cage with fruit pulp as high as you can. For the cross-beam presses, simply place the circular press plate on top of the pulp and screw down.
For the traditional screw presses put the two semi-circular wooden pieces on top of the pulp. Then two by two stack the wooden blocks on top of these and each other. Next put the circular metal press plate on top of the blocks, and finally thread on the nut and tighten with the spanner arm. For extra pressing add more suitable wooden blocks.
If you want to get the most juice out, don’t hurry the pressing. You will find a slower pressing produces more. When the spanner arm or handle becomes difficult to turn take a break for a few minutes, and it will then be easier to turn.
Apples can be pressed dry in one pressing, but grapes are taken out, the pulp is broken up, and is then returned for a second pressing.
How do I look after my fruit press / apple mill / apple crusher / scratter?
Fruit juice is acidic, and hygiene is extremely important in juice, cider and wine production. For these reasons all Pressfruit.co.uk equipment should be thoroughly washed after use. After drying, all exposed metal and moving parts should be oiled again, with a foodsafe oil, such as rapeseed cooking oil. Then the equipment should be stored in a dry place.
Do I need a press bag?
A pressbag is a nylon cloth placed inside the basket/cage and filled with the fruit pulp. It gives a slightly faster pressing and keeps the basket/cage cleaner.