A fruit press is a device used to separate fruit solids - stems, skins, seeds, pulp, leaves, and detritus - from fruit juice.
A cider press is used to crush apples or pears. In North America, the unfiltered juice is referred to as cider, becoming known as apple juice once filtered; in Britain it is referred to as juice regardless of whether it is filtered or not. Other products include cider vinegar, (hard) cider, apple wine, apple brandy, and apple jack.
The traditional cider press is a ram press. Apples are ground up and placed in a cylinder, and a piston exerts pressure. The cylinder and/or piston is "leaky" and the juice is forced from the solids.
Cider presses often have attachments to grind the apples prior to pressing. Such combination devices are commonly referred to as cider mills.
In communities with many small orchards, it is common for one or more persons to have a large cider mill for community use. These community mills allow orchard owners to avoid the capital, space, and maintenance requirements for having their own mill. These larger mills are typically powered by electrical or gasoline engines. Mill operators also deal with the solids, which attract wasps or hornets. Cider mills typically give patrons a choice between paying by the gallon/litre or splitting the cider with the mill operator.
Larger orchardists may prefer to have their own presses because it saves on fees, or because it reduces cartage. Orchardists of any size may believe their own sanitation practices to be superior to that of community mills, as many patrons of community mills make cider from low quality (windfall apples, or apples with worms). Those making speciality ciders, such as pear cider, may want to have their own press.
A wine press is a device used to crush grapes during wine making.
DIY Fruit Press
Given the simpleness of the design, and high usability with some people (e.g. those owning an orchard), some people have started building their own do-it-yourself (DIY) fruit press and have uploaded detailed instructions on how to do so.
This article incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary (1897), a publication now in the public domain.
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