We use the same cider press that’s been at the mill since 1927.
In the old days, people used a hand press to make cider. At the Clinton Cider mill, we use a hydraulic press from 1927. Although we’ve made some repairs over the years, the machine itself is the original one brought to Clinton by the Wentworth family.
Before we can make apple squeeze, we have to make sure everything is clean. The apples are washed in a custom washing machine and are trucked to the apple elevator.
They travel up the elevator to the grinder where the whole apple (skin, core, seeds and stem) are ground into applesauce.
Our pressers put a press rack down and cover it with a cloth. A layer of applesauce is released from the grinder onto the cloth and it is wrapped up into a tight package.
Approximately ten layers of racks are stacked one on top of the other. The combination of applesauce, pulp, cloth and racks is called a cheese. It’s important that the cheese is stacked evenly.
The cheese is rolled to the front of the press where it is compressed with 2,000 – 3,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.
Pure apple squeezes flows down the cheese and is caputred in the pipes below and pumped to the final strainer.
The strainer removes any fine particles of apples and sends the squeeze to the holding tank. It’s pumped over to our refrigerated tanks and is ready for our customers.
The dried apple parts that are left in the cloth after the squeeze is called pomace. The pomace is stored in a bin outside and is fed to sheep, who love to eat the sweet treat.