This is my first ever time making cider and infact appart from a nettle beer experiment last year this will be my first ever brewing experience. All you need is apples and a press somebody told me. I did consider making one, after looking at others on the internet but due to the fact that It has taken me a year to build a pole lathe, I thought I would treat myself, but when I looked at the prices I was about to give it up. Fortunately though, a friend was also thinking of getting one so we went half’s, I made my half of the money by selling stuff on ebay, it’s amazing how much crap you have lying around. I bought them from http://www.winepress4u.co.uk/ who were one of the cheapest and it turned out very helpful, as when they turned up the crusher was badly dinted and the main frame had a crack in it. I phoned them expecting to have to wait another few weeks but they sent a new one the next morning and collected the old one aswell.
The crusher is a fantasticly simple piece of equipment, but works much better than I expected. You can fill the box full of apples and although it’s hard work at first it makes mince meat of them in no time, however this does depend on the ripeness of the apples. I did put some of the less ripe ones through twice so as to really break them down. My only problem with it is that like the press you need to make a custom built frame or table for it to sit on, unlike the photos it does not work just balanced over the bucket. Luckily I was just about to get rid of an old 50’s table frame which was almost made for it. I simply clamped it to the frame and it also had the added benifit of being at the right hight. Now thats permaculture.