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How to make an apple juicer.

When you have more apples than you can eat... drink some of them!

I want to pass on a good apple juicer idea that I saw in Mother Earth News several years ago. I wish I had the original article, as the person that came up with this idea should get a big pat on the back, but here's how I built one with some modifications.

The apple juicer is made from a top loading clothes washer. Mine was built from a Sears washer but probably any that can be locked into a spin cycle would work. This apple juicer works well at the rate of about 10 gallons of juice per hour as long as the apples are already picked and rinsed. With a second person helping you could probably double the output. This juicer would probably work for other fruit as well as apples. I tried plums with good success.

To build the juicer:

1. Remove and discard the washer top (the part with the controls and lid).

2. Discard the agitator.

3. Lift out the washer basket and thoroughly clean the basket and tank. If yours is as bad as mine was this cleaning will take a couple of hours.

4. Remove the pump hose connection and install a tank hose drain through a conveniently bored hole as high as possible on the machine side. This will take a little creative ability to provide a good seal at the tank bottom. I used a 1 1/2 inch plastic sink drain elbow and silicone seal. The elbow drains to a 1 1/2 inch car radiator hose. The tank will shake during juicing so the drain hose should be flexible. The tank should be allowed to drain freely.

5. Plug all the holes in the tank except the drain with rubber stoppers. I removed the water level monitor to get rid of unneeded equipment on the tank.

6. Rewire the motor to an on-off switch. Be sure to ground the washer frame. Disconnect all other electrical equipment such as valves and solenoids. Once the motor is rewired, plug it in and turn on. Move the shift levers on the transmission to keep the machine in the spin cycle mode.

Improving the design

7. Cut a 3/4-inch plywood "donut" that will fit the bottom of the washer basket. The TMEN article said to put about 400 nails in this "donut" so they stick points up through the plywood by about one-half inch, but I used one-half inch polyethylene plastic and stainless steel screws instead. Screw the donut to the bottom of the washer basket with the nails (or screws) pointing up. Now place the basket back in the washer tank and tighten with the retainer nut on the center shaft.

8. Next I added to M.E.'s design with a 3/4 inch plywood tank cover cut round. to cover the tank. I routed a lip on the cover edge to allow it to sit down in the tank about 3/8 inch. Most likely you will have to cut a hole in the middle to allow the washer center shaft to protrude up through the cover. This will not interfere with the juicer's operation.

The important part

9. Now the important part. Cut another hole off-center in the plywood cover large enough to provide a snug fit for a piece of four-inch ID plastic sewer pipe. The sewer pipe is to be long enough to extend from the top of the cover to as close to the "donut" nails as possible (one-quarter to one-half inch is OK). Mounting the sewer pipe rigidly to the plywood cover will take some ingenuity. I used two strap iron supports screwed to the pipe about halfway down and back to the plywood lid. Two or three screws through the pipe into the plywood lid will keep it from moving up and down and the straps stop lateral motion as the apples are shredded by the rotating bed of nails. I also installed a 3/8 inch pin to the lid which sticks through a 3/8 inch hole on the tank near the sewer pipe hole to keep the lid firmly to the tank during the juicing operation. Without this pin one would have to hold the lid on firmly to get the best shredding of the fruit.

10. I also cut an old car tire in half to make a funnel to hold the apples on the lid while juicing. The tire is screwed to the plywood.

Place a five gallon pail under the drain to collect the juice, and your machine is ready for use. I put cheese cloth over the pail held in place with clothes pins to collect any pulp that is not caught by the washer basket while spinning. Plug it in and turn it on.

I rinse my apples by dumping them into a wheelbarrow half filled with water. I remove them from the rinse water with a plastic five gallon pail with several holes bored in the bottom. Scoop out a "colander pail" full of apples, let drain a few seconds and dump them on the washer lid. Push the apples down the sewer pipe.

To get enough room under the drain I have to put my juicer on a pallet. This works great to keep the juicer up high and dry.

Usually the juicer will get out of balance and require emptying the apple pulp after about every five gallons of apples. I watch the juice draining. As the rate slows, let the last apple go down the pipe and let the machine spin for one or two minutes more. Then turn it off, lift off the lid and clean out the dry apple pulp with your hands. Since I don't have any animals that could eat the pulp I put it in the compost pile.

I get about one gallon of juice per five gallon pail of apples. The juice is placed in the refrigerator for a day or two of settling. I then carefully pour off the near clear liquid into a kettle. The juice is heated to 170 [degrees] F, put into canning jars, sealed and pasteurized for 30 minutes at 170 [degrees] F in a water bath.

I usually also make 15 gallons of golden delicious apple wine each year. This year I had some friends staying at the house for a few months and the apple wine disappeared very quickly.

Build this apple juicer, show it to others, and they will all want one!
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Tarleton, Bill
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Previous Article:Designing and planting the wilderness garden.
Next Article:Now is the time to winterize your orchard.

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