Tonight, I learned how to press cider on a very McGyver style chopper and press. My roommate Elise’s friend Mark had built this handy little contraption to assist in wine making. However, I think I am just going to make cider jelly/cider syrup with it (honestly, the cookbook says that if it doesn’t turn into jelly, then you’ve got yummy syrup for your pancakes. Win-win in my book!).
This was the grinder/chopper part. Inside the box there was a drum with the heads of a bunch of screws sticking out of it. The apples got thrown into it and mashed down with the little mallet thing and came out the bottom and into the bucket.
This is what the inside looked like.
Then we put the chopped/mashed up apple bits into the press.
Here is a slightly closer look. The zip ties I think are to give the bucket a little more support.
The part that was “pressing” was an old brake cylinder with a couple of plastic bags wrapped around it. There were some blocks of wood on top of that and then a little car jack. Below the bucket was some creative tinfoiling and a simple cutting board funneling the cider in the pitcher.
In all, we pressed about 3 gallons of cider to be turned into jelly/syrup. Keep tuned to see how it turns out!