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How to Build a Serious Apple/Grape/Fruit Crusher on the Cheap

08.19.09
As with the last post, I felt compelled to share the following so that others may have an easier time sorting this out than I. I was an hour or two away from purchasing an old fashioned apple crusher. $350. Once again Herrick bailed me out, putting me on to a variety of different ways to use a standard-issue garbage disposal as a fruit…well…destroyer. It doesn’t really crush the
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13 Responses

  1. [...] for desserts, and some out of hand. But the vast, vast majority are about to meet their fate in my crusher and press setup – soon to be fermenting away into what appears may be a lovely white wine. The [...]

  2. We bought a farm with over 100 grape vines in Missouri and the Nortons are almost ready and I was trying to figure out about the crushing problem as, like you, I prefer the cheap. Well I think your idea is awesome and this is what I am going to set up. Do you have any further info on its results?

  3. Absolutely fantastic information and detail and I CAN DO IT! Now…!
    :)

  4. keni says:

    what about the pits. would the garbage disposal crack the pits into small bits which would get into your juice?

  5. Kevin says:

    Others share your concern, I do not. Assuming you are concerned about the arsenic in apple seeds, that is. If you’re concerned, core your apples – pretty much that simple. The way I see it, the solids stay in the cheese when pressing, or at very worst settle into the sludge or lees throughout the process. So the amount of volatile arsenic in the finished product is likely ridiculously low. To add to this, consider whether or not you figure they core every apple that goes into commercial apple juice…

  6. Shauna says:

    We used this on our grapes, and it was fantastic. Smashed up a 5 gallon bucket faster than I could feed them in. Juice was great. Been several days and I’m still alive, so the arsenic must not be an issue.

  7. Roger says:

    I am an engineer.

    Problem One; the blades on a new disposal too sharp grind them down blunt to prevent the seeds in apple or grapes from busting.

    Problem two; the machine does not need to be on all the time us a foot switch. Will prevent overheating. Also may wind up with less of a puree.

    Problem three; Using a fan reostate that is designed for lights not a good idia. A reostate for a sewing machine might be the ticket. One it’s designed for a moter and if you can get your hands on a contemporary type they are solid state.

    Problem four; Having a water source directly in the shute or having the grapes go in with water combined will keep the unit cool. The wine process water is always a little desired for volume and PH adjustment. Will also facilite clean up.

  8. [...] sink, outfitted with a hopper and a power switch.  You can read about Kevin’s design here.  The press is a strong wooden frame with a carjack that drives a plunger onto the crushed [...]

  9. hton says:

    Great ideas, like the foot switch, dont see why you dont make a ply wood hopper in a funnel shape? As for arsenic in apple seeds, never ever heard of the problem, i think this is some sort of trans-Atlantic urban myth, even if there were how many apples would you have to crush and consume the juice from to get a fatal dose- or even a mild stomach ache, i think that my liver would pack up from the alcohol in the cider long before that

  10. I. BENNETT says:

    Congratulations! All you “McIver” (field-expedient, innovative, frugal, etc.) types! My Public Health career can tell you that
    the APPLE SEED issue is a MYTH. You have to eat approx. a TON at one sitting/meal for there to be any harm. In fact,
    apple seeds, like apricot seeds contain CANCER fighting compounds. These received a bad rap … from the big pharmacy
    manufactureres. The compound is called LAETRIL. Remember? As always, “follow the $$.” The big boys don’t want us to
    get/make our medicines FOR FREE!! Happy crushing!

  11. [...] sink, outfitted with a hopper and a power switch.  You can read about Kevin’s design here.  The press is a strong wooden frame with a carjack that drives a plunger onto the crushed [...]

  12. [...] the record, I stole all of this from Kevin, who built his first crusher years ago, posted about it here, and has generously lent it to friends many times since then.  I just got around to making my own, [...]

  13. Dennis says:

    Grate source of information. I believe the bitterness associated with the pits/seeds are a concern when using the fruit for cider or ???? Hence, the crusher crushes the fruit and leaves the seeds intact. The reason Roger advised to blunt the blades. Has anyone followed up with this post besides myself??

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