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?
If you would like to come and handle/view equipment before committing to buying, come and visit us. Between 1st. May and the end of September, we are open everyday, except Wednesday, between 10am and 8pm. Outside the summer season, please email/ring before visiting. In fact even in the summer season, it’s best to email/ring before coming, so the right person can be here to answer any questions.
DIRECTIONS IN A CAR: From the A3124 turn towards Winkleigh village at the crossroads next to ‘Uncle & Ozzy’s’ Cafe. Immediately indicate right. Then turn at the sign to Ten Acres Vineyard. Continue along this track for half a mile. After the vineyard on your right, turn to the right and you’re here. For SatNav/GPS please use postcode EX19 8EY.
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?
The Pulpmaster is suitable for the 3 or 5L presses, if you have a mains lead drill. However, this will struggle with larger amounts.
For presses upto 30L the cheapest manual option is our apple scratter or grater. 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 Vigo apple crushers, this can be 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, 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. These machines are 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 legs of the fruit press to the work surface, if your press has screw holes in the feet. This will make the final stages of pressing easier. Place a food-safe tub under the outlet. Oil the thread of the screw of the fruit press with a food-safe oil (for example vaseline or rapeseed.) Some crossbeam presses also need the bearing on the head of the pressing screw oiled.
Place a press sack inside the basket. This is not so necessary, but will make the process less messy. Then fill the press basket/cage with fruit pulp as high as you can, push down on it, and then fill again. Repeat until basket packed. Fold the ends of the press sack over the top of the pulp.
Each of the fruit presses has a slightly different type of circular wooden or metal pressing block (or two semi-circular blocks in some models), which you then put on top of the fruit pulp. This block (and metal plate for some models) is then screwed down from above by a nut on the central thread. Crossbeam presses are without this nut, simply screw down.
Don’t hurry the pressing. You will extract much more juice with a slower pressing. When the handle or spanner arm becomes difficult to turn, take a break, and when you return it will be easier. Don’t lengthen the arm with a lever, as this may bend the arm.
Screw presses only: When you press down far enough for the handle /arm to touch the top of the basket, you will need to use the wooden block(s) to press further. Release the nut and place the wooden block(s) provided on top of the wooden pressing plate(s) but under the metal press plate (or washer on very small presses) and screw down again. On traditional presses use the blocks two by two. It will be necessary to build up a two by two crisscross stack of blocks to finish the pressing.
Traditionally grapes are twice pressed, with the pulp broken up in between, to extract all the juice, whilst apples are normally only pressed once. After pressing, some presses have pins on the side of the basket, so you can split the basket and remove the pressings easily. If your press doesn’t have these, take the basket off the press and use a long-handled tool to push the pulp out of the basket, or if stuck, strike the pulp with a mallet.
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 to avoid rust, with a foodsafe oil, such as rapeseed cooking oil or Vaseline.
If the pressing plate and basket is wooden, dry thoroughly after use to avoid the expansion of the wood making pressing more difficult next time. Keep in a dry place to keep the wood from mould and deteriorating. If this is not possible treat the wood with a wood oil or varnish. Nearly all modern wood oil and varnish sold in the UK is foodsafe but only once it has totally dried.
If the paintwork strats to crack and chip after repeated use, it will be necessary to repaint occasionally. All standard paint sold in the UK is foodsafe, but only after it has thoroughly dried.
Do I need a press bag?
Straining bags work very well in fruit presses to produce a clearer liquid as they catch the pips and pulp. Using the straining bag when pressing is optional but recommended with seeded fruits like grapes and apples if you would like to enjoy clearer fruit juice.