Having your own fruit press can potentially be a very fun and worthwhile investment, especially if you have access to your own apples or indeed other fruit. It’s a great way of using up large quantities of fruit and there’s nothing quite like homemade cider, wine or fruit juice!
Deciding on which press to go for, however, will be your first hurdle to jump. As you've probably already noticed, you're not exactly limited on choice, so with that in mind, here we'll take a look at some of the basic things to consider:
The Type of Fruit You'll be Pressing:
The type of fruit you intend on pressing will largely be what determines which press you should go for. If you only plan on pressing soft fruit and in small quantities, then obviously a little press will be perfectly adequate (something like the Yakima). For producing larger quantities of wine, however, you may want to opt for a press with a larger tub simply so you can press more grapes at a time (see the Jaffrey 8400 or Homesteader Wine Press as suitable options.)
If you’re planning on producing cider and thus pressing apples, you’ll obviously want a bigger tub, but you may also consider getting a press with an apple grinder attached, as with any of our apple cider presses. The advantage to using one of these presses is that they can be used for both apples and other fruit.
Obviously it’s important to choose the right press initially as some presses won’t be suitable for certain fruit but with that in mind, the easiest option is to go for a apple press or large fruit press, as they will be strong enough to press apples as well as softer fruit if you choose to. A grinder is a good extra to have for apples, but isn't necessary (you'll just have to crush the apples into a pulp by hand) and can always be purchased separately at a later date. Please see our individual apple ginders.
The Tub Size of the Press:
Following on from above, the type of fruit you intend on pressing and the quantity you intend on producing will be the main determining factors of what size tub you get. As you can imagine, if you have a lot of apples to use then it would be worth getting a press with a bigger tub (may be even a double-tub press like the American Harvester) and on the flip side, if you only intend on producing a small amount of juice from soft fruit, a small table-top press would be perfectly adequate.
Bigger presses are ideal for those with access to lots of fruit, may be even their own orchard, whereas smaller presses are obviously designed for the more modest hobbiest.
The Brand / Manufacturer:
As with any product, some brands are better than others. The main thing to consider here is that obviously going for a trusted brand with a good reputation will likely serve you well. Here at Simply Cider Presses, we only carry presses from trusted, high quality manufacturers so you can rest assured then any press you buy from us is designed well and built to last. Our brands include Happy Valley Ranch, Jaffrey, Weston and The Yakima Press Company.
It also plays true for the most part with fruit presses that you get what you pay for. Of course, you may wish to build your own press if you’re that way inclined and wish to save money, but following a good press design and using high quality components will be just as important as going for a good brand. You can see our cider press build-your-own kits including plans here: single-tub kit and double-tub kit. We also offer the occasional Happy Valley Ranch coupon as well as other special promotions, giving you the chance to save some money on a high quality, pre-constructed traditional press.
As you can see, deciding on the right fruit press to go for largely comes down to common sense, but it’s certainly worthwhile to give it some thought and not just go for the first press that catches your eye. As mentioned previously, a good option for a lot of people is to go for a sturdy press than can be used for both apples and soft fruit, as that’s not the case with all presses. That way you’re not just limited to soft fruit. Any of our apple presses meet this requirement, but also our larger wine presses.
Opting for a cider press would simply mean you get an apple grinder attached but you can always purchase a grinder separately at a later date, should you decide you want to add one to a wine press, or even want one at all. Either way, it’s nice to be able to experiment with pressing both apples, grapes and other kinds of fruit, or at least have the option of doing so.
Hopefully this guide has given you a bit of guidance and perhaps pushed you in the direction of certain presses that would be most suitable for your personal situation. Your best bet would be to browse our entire range and see what stands out, and of course, just get in touch if you need a helping hand!