Skookum Cider Press: FAQ

Skookum’s cider press

Cider Press Frequently Asked Questions

Download the three-page ‘Skookum Cider Press Rules’ (including the needed waiver) as a  printable Adobe Acrobat file here.

And please take a moment to review some basic safety tips here.

Q: How do I reserve? Who can use the press?
A: Reservations are taken from members of SFPC only. Members must reserve the use of the press at least 36 hours ahead of time by calling [TBA for 2020 – press may not be available due to COVID-19]. We will arrange a time location of pickup or use at our location, depending on your needs and availability of the press/coordinators. A signed waiver must be attached to your $50 damage deposit before you can use the press.

Q: What are the cider press rental costs /how much time can I use it for? Can I cancel?
A: While we would like to rent the press by the hour, we do not have the staffing to make this feasible. Therefore, a flat $20 rental fee will apply for each 24-hour period. The press must be returned by 11:00 AM on a given day or we reserve the right to charge for another day of use. If you are moving the press to another location, there is also a $50 damage deposit that will be returned to you upon safe return of the press. We accept payment by cash and cheques ($25 will be charged for NSF cheques). Make cheques payable to SFPC.

Q: Is it safe to use?
A: Yes, but you do have to keep your fingers out of the grinder!

Q: How do I clean it?
A: 1. Hose off the obvious residue and brush a solution of chlorine and hot water (or other preferred sanitizer (see #3 under “Guidelines) over the press racks. Leave it for 2-5 minutes then hose it down thoroughly. Dab it dry. Do not use soaps!
2. Hose off the pressing bags or rinse them in a tub of water, then immerse them in a second tub of chlorine and water solution and let them soak 2-5 minutes.  Remove. Hose them down again and let them air-dry. If you are pressing at our location, it is recommended that you wash and prepare your apples before the pressing, and you must be sure to clean the premises and take any apple residue with you!

Q: What happens to the seeds, stems, skins during pressing?
A: The seeds and stems of most fruits are small enough to pass through the grinder without being crushed, so they cannot alter the flavor of the juice. The cheesecloth or nylon pressing bag during the pressing process traps all particles.

Q: Is the “Apple Eater” grinder hard to use?
A: Not at all! The grinder, with its stainless steel blades and the 18-lb. cast iron flywheel, does the work.

Q: How fast can I make apple cider?
A: Our grinder will grind a whole box of apples (40 lbs.) into a slurry in less than 5 minutes! It takes less than 10 minutes more to press the slurry into cider. One box of apples makes 2 to 3 gallons of cider. You can reasonably expect to make 25 to 30 gallons per hour because you can grind and press at the same time.

Q: Is the press portable?
A: Yes. Although our presses weigh quite a bit, two adults can easily move them. They can be easily moved by one person with our wheel attachment.

Q: How many apples does your tub hold?
A: The tub will hold approximately a box (40 lbs) of pulped apples.

Q: I think my apples have  Apple Scab– should I be concerned?
A: Apple scab is a disease of apple trees caused by the ascomycete fungus Venturia inaequalis and manifests as dull black or grey-brown lesions on the surface of tree leaves, buds or fruits. ATTENTION: There is no problem pressing fruit with scab for cider. Do NOT press fruit with active rot and lesions or any sign of blue mold.

Excellent online resource on fruit cider here: