looking for ideas on a fruit press

bigeasyjock(z8Ms)June 19, 2005

I'm looking to make a fruit press. I've done the google thing with no so great results. Any one have an ideas?

Oh and I'm talking about one of those hand cranked deals that squeezes the juice out of the fruit.

Thanks Mike

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Vernonia(z7b OR)

It depends on what you want more... function, or something reminiscent of days gone by :)

this one is remeniscent, but most likely will cost more:

This one is easier to make from things on hand, but it uses metric, so be careful there:

and lastly this one.... short on pictures, but answers some good questions :)

When searching, try "homemade cider press" or whatever fruit you are pressing. And sometimes winemaking sites are good too... same process :)

DH is from south MS ;) have fun with it, and take it easy in the heat :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 2:40PM
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Thanks Vernonia :o)
I had found the first two in a search. The first one is way too complacated for my needs, and I'd need expensive gear works, while the second one wouldn't work since what I need a press for are blueberries. Maybe I can work with the general idea and add some sort of side screening to contain the small berries. I'm thinking a square shape must bind up easy since all that I see for sale, old or new, are round.
Now that last one I have not seen before. I'll read up on it.
I did mash a good many berries the other day with a flat potato masher and it did work well. Just a lot of effort and I could only work with small batches at a time.
Thanks again for your efforts :o)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:48PM
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Vernonia(z7b OR)

hmmm... what about running them through a blender, or food processor to break the berries, then pouring the juice off into a clean cotton T-shirt, and then pressing the juice out of the Tshirt? (ala cheese in cheese cloth! or mint in whiskey for juleps!) Or you could use some muslin from a fabric store for a larger load. Then secure the bag closed... maybe wifey could rig up a velcro or a zipper closure, or just knot it at the top, and then mash the tar out of it with the car-jack set-up. :) mashing berries is a hard part though. I don't know if you could squeeze them enough in the T-shirt alone to get them to break. But there is always the food processor. Some people do not use theirs much, so you might try yard sales, or asking relatives if they have one gathering dust. you can always trade/rent it for berry juice :) hope this helps :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 7:57PM
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I have read of that cheese cloth/heavy weight like a stack of bricks to squeeze out the excess moisture when making cheese (another future project once I get a couple goats ;o). Might just work but it would be slow slow.

Oh and blue berries 'break' easy so thats not a big deal. Like I said I had mashed 'em with a flat potato masher then ran the results through a large round strainer like used to strain off the water from noodles. I had good results.

I had read somewhere that blenders don't work well for juice. You get a slurry or some such rather than a juice. I do not have a food processor but will see if I can find a cheap one second hand or beg and borrow for a try.

I really do want something kind of like the old fashioned fruit presses. Seems that the general design is a good one since it has not changed in well over a hundred years. I hate to think of spending the money but I may just break down and buy one. For now I'm simply freezing the fruit whole like I always have in the past. I have put away 10 gallon bags so far with about the same picked and being worked. God only knows how many gallons are in the field ... 100s for sure. I have a good half an acre in bushes that I planted out some 15 years back. Thats why I feel the need for a fruit press. Ha I could fill the entire freezer with fruit if moved to do so ;o) I guess really the $150 or so for a fruit press would be well worth the cash its just I'm a 'build it yourself' kind of guy by nature.

Thanks all.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 11:13AM
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I have looked at most of the plans out there and while the screw method is the simplest it is often hard to find the proper hardware. The solution is a trailer tongue crank wheel. Available at most places that sell boating sporting goods and Harbor Freight. Can be on sale for around $20. This simplifies the handle, mounting, and pressure plate attachment. I can't wait to start making one. One of the designs I have found uses a water heater drip plan for the juice pan. So after a trip to the Lowes or Home Depot I'll start measuring for the basket size. Now, the design that was mentioned that uses the hydraulic jack is easy on the arms, I have an aversion to possibly contaminating the entire press and its contents with a blown seal. I am funny like that.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 1:13AM
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Mike, are you sure you want to make one? They can be purchased for maybe less than you'd spend on materials. I'm sending you two links. I'm not connected to this person that has the blog but she has some good pictures that explain how she uses her sieve. I have actually a sieve like this one and I have the Squeezo Strainer that is pictured in the second link, as well. The cone sieve can be purchased at most hardware stores and other places that sell canning equipment. The price is about $30 I think. I bought my Squeezo, complete with three different sized screens, at a garage sale for $20, quite a few years ago. I much prefer it for large batches, but the cone sieve in the first link works great for small batches. Sometimes you can get these on eBay for less, or find them at flea markets. If you just flat-out want to make one, I'd think a cone sieve would be fairly easy to duplicate if you could find metal with holes in it.

I also have an oak grape press and it's AWFUL. It sits on my shelf being 'decorative' because I have only tried to use it once. You have to put the grapes in a cheesecloth bag and then wind the presser down on top. It's messy, inefficient, wastes a lot of the juice, and is hard to clean.



Hope this helps. --Ilene

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:44PM
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Hmmmm -

How about placing the berries in a gallon ziploc bag. "Crushing" them with a rolling pin and then straining the result through a strainer? Cooking first may speed things up too....

Just a thought...Let us know what works!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:04PM
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Whatever you use will leave a lot of pulp, and the seeds of course. Blueberries don't have a lot of juice compared to some fruit. Will you eat the pulp in some other way or discard it to the mulch pile? Just curious. It would be great dried or in granola bars, etc.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 4:22PM
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