Has anyone ever built their own press?

Discussion in 'General Wine Making Forum' started by skyfire322, Jan 19, 2020.

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  1. Jan 19, 2020 #1

    skyfire322

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    I'm thinking about moving from kits to fresh fruits (making wine, ciders, fruit wines) and building my own fruit press. There's a local business which lets you use their materials and tools for free, which easily keeps the cost down.

    Has anyone built their own press or have any schematics? I typically make 3-6 gallons of wine, but if I were to make cider, that's a different beast with the amount/size of apples.
     
  2. Jan 19, 2020 #2

    jgmann67

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    A lot of us have made our own bucket press.

    Three buckets, spigot and a beer bag... easy peasy.

    View attachment 58326
     
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  3. Jan 19, 2020 #3

    Rice_Guy

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    This press is basically threaded rod and a bar clamp. The basket is PVC pipe, circles and a nylon straining bag. Have wanted to try a pneumatic cylinder on it but haven’t gotten around to this.
    F1AA7FEB-2123-40EA-ACD1-949706DED2A9.jpeg

    The write up of this was in wine maker August 2017.
    Mom used to juice with a flour sack hanging from a cabinet, , :re, , too much work. I wouldn’t go through harvest without a press so I can get other things done. Yes I have done up to a 25 liter carboy, grape, apple, mulberry, rhurbarb, etc.
     
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  4. Jan 19, 2020 #4

    franc1969

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    Over in the current thread about making your own racks, there was mentioned the
    book “The Homebuilt Winery”. This has plans/directions for building a crusher and press. I just got this book via the library, not sure I need much other than the racking jig info, so like won't buy it. Most of the equipment is either something that I have or don't need. Almost all the larger projects assume you want a way to put your woodworking equipment to work.
     
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  5. Jan 19, 2020 #5

    jburtner

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    There are lots of very functional DIY approaches for small batch wine pressing. The bucket press is great and incorporating a hydraulic jack with some bracing can make it pretty easy to work with.

    This press is $100 and i’ve used it for a handful of seasons doing multiple pressings of batches up to six buckets of must.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0115542X4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_XBnjEbHHBPD7A
    F4EBC6E0-C923-4621-B6AA-326504F32F23.jpeg
     
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  6. Jan 19, 2020 #6

    mainshipfred

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    I had planned on making my own but got lucky and found a #25 on Craigslist for $75.00. The following season Craigslist had a #30 at a reasonable cost. After using the manufactured ones. I'm glad I didn't start making one.
     
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  7. Jan 20, 2020 #7

    berrycrush

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    How much force can the hand clamp generate? How many pounds of fruit can it process in one batch?
     
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  8. Jan 20, 2020 #8

    Ajmassa

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    Photo isn’t showing for some reason.
    DIY Bucket press great tho. Worked well until I got myself a proper press. Pressing apples tho, that’s a whole other ballgame! Would need to pack on a few lbs.

    Adjustments.JPG
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  9. Jan 20, 2020 #9

    jgmann67

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  10. Jan 20, 2020 #10

    Rice_Guy

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    * the clamp in the photo is rated at 250 lbs force. Smaller clamps have lower ratings so read the package when you buy one. This used a modern “reverse operation bar clamp” which is also used for clamping wood on occasion.
    * The 2017 write up used 6 inch pipe, volume calculated to about 2 gallons. In use the cake winds up as about 20% volume so by compressing and adding more I managed to collect 6 gallons of must from the 6 inch D 20 inch L tube. the photo has 8 inch pipe found at Habitat Restore. Calculated volume is 3.6
    gallons and I haven’t needed to find the maximum capacity with it.
    * All presses work against geometry, a thin tall 6 inch tube will press faster than this 8 inch tube which is faster than the 9.5 inch/squat traditional wood press. To increase press efficiency it helps to mix the cake. This reduces the distance juice travels. The thought with a pneumatic cylinder is I wouldn’t check the pressure every 15 minutes. It seems that pressure is an inverse log function, geometry is more important.
    * when I first put parts together I tried building a model of a horizontal plant style bladder press. Couldn’t get it to work so I repurposed to traditional horizontal.
    * Every year has new tweeks as rubber bands & clips to hold the nylon bag up or cutting a circle of mesh with spacers to allow the basket to stand above the liquid level. Yes it is in a 3 gallon peanut butter bucket with a 3/8 inch tube.

    Guess I sin, , I build toys. .:slp
     
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  11. Jan 22, 2020 #11

    Mead Maker

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    With a little imagination and some welding skills it’s easy to make your own wine press, and you can make it the right size for your operation.

    Wine Press 8.jpg

    I found a worm gear on some old farm equipment, gathered up some stainless scrap, and I was on my way. I attached a pipe “T” to the end of the worm gear so I could insert a broomstick to serve as my handle. My pressing bucket is a strip of 1/2 inch perforated steel formed into an open cylinder. It is sized to fit a large pressing bag I got from Lehman's non-electric Hardware Catalog.

    The lower end of the worm gear is attached to a 6-inch circle of 3/4 inch plate steel, which in turn presses a 13-inch circle of 2-inch thick umhw polyethylene block.

    I never measured how much the pressing bucket holds, but it’s about 30 pounds of crushed fruit.

    My catch pan and drain rest on the horizontal part of my A-frame, which takes most of the considerable downward pressure.

    It’s a fun project while we wait for the first fruits of Spring.
     
  12. Jan 22, 2020 #12

    Rice_Guy

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    Another place to find the thread assembly, this is similar to the leveling screws which are used on scaffolding/ available at the lumber yard.
     
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  13. Jan 22, 2020 #13

    skyfire322

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    Thanks for the advice! This is why I love WMT :) The buckets are a great idea and seem to be the most economical method, particularly with the small batches I make, but I'd just love to build something from scratch.

    The local business I mentioned has pretty much everything I'd need (minus the thread assembly). They've got wood and metal shops, have teachers (I don't think any of them have built presses though), and a lot of it has been donated. Even the wineries around here have donated old barrels which you can tear down for parts! Heck, maybe I could make my own barrels ;)
     
  14. Jan 23, 2020 #14

    JTS84

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    Made a cider press with a friend of mine last year. The screw was found on Amazon as a book press screw. We already had all the red oak laying around, so our total investment was about $40 for hardware and the steel bands. It actually worked well for pressing apples. A longer handle for leverage would have been nice.
    I would consider buying the $100 press off of Amazon if I were to do it again, as that would save me a lot of time. I do like woodworking, but I have at least 10 other projects I want to work on.

    If you are interested in learning to build barrels Tillers International puts on classes every year. You do need to take a straight stave coopering class first. I had plans to take the barrel class but life got in the way. Maybe next year.
     

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