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1-(844) 243-3719

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Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, but you do have to keep your fingers out of the grinder!

Just hose it off with water and dab dry after use. Do not use soaps. All wood parts should be sealed to resist moisture. Please see our page on EZ-DO which will do the wood. A light coating of vegetable oil on the cast iron grinder will help to resist rust.

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.

Not at all! The “Apple Eater” grinder with stainless steel blades and the 18-lb. cast iron flywheel does the work. The special design of our cast iron “Apple Eater’ grinder requires far less labor than any other grinder on the market.

The 4 & 3 Part Grinders are basically the same with one difference.

The 3 Part Grinder is pre-mounted to a wooden back board which is the back of the grinder housing. It is only mountable to a vertical surface. 

The 4 Part Grinder has a cast iron back and can be mounted either on a vertical surface (with two “L” brackets sold separately) or a horizontal surface such as 2x4s or plywood with a hole cut in it.

Both units have the same cast iron sides and front and the same grinder drum. 

Difference between the red & black 3 part grinders is the red grinder comes with a 12 lb. flywheel and the black has an 18 lb.

Pressing whole fruit is hard on the operator and hard on the press. Juices are retained within the cells of fruit, so the fruit must be ground into a pulp to release these juices. No hand press is powerful enough to crush whole fruit to a pulp. Without this, you would have to chop the fruit by hand.

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 12 gallons of cider per hour using the Homesteader and to make 25 to 30 gallons per hour using the American Harvester, because you can grind and press at the same time.

The laminated maple hardwood, which we use, will never twist or crack with age. Besides, it makes for a much stronger machine. Laminating with the proper glue makes the finished wood 50% stronger than a plain piece of wood.

If you are only pressing soft fruit (not apples) or grapes in small quantities, you can do nicely with our tabletop soft fruit press, The Yakima.

If you are making apple juice or wine for your family for winter storage, then you should probably buy the single tub unit, The Homesteader or Pioneer.

If you have a roadside stand, a large family, or make cider for friends and neighbors, then you should probably really get with the program and buy the double tub machine, The American Harvester.

Made of Hard MapleMade of Fir Wood
Acme Screw is 1-1/2” thickAcme Screw is 1” thick
Has cast iron Cross Arm to hold Acme ScrewHas wooden Cross Arm to hold Acme Screw
Grinder is fully cast ironGrinder is fully cast iron
Has a heavier 18lb FlywheelHas lighter 12lb Flywheel

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 Kits.

This is no problem. Depending upon the crush you want on your grapes, you can reverse the rotation of the grinder by simply cranking the other way. Our grinder does an excellent job of crushing grapes, so you don’t need costly wine making equipment to produce delicious table wines. We have added a Cider Book to our catalog for those of you who desire more knowledge about the art of cider pressing and recipes for using cider in your cooking.

The tub will hold approximately a box (40 lbs) of pulped apples.

Depending on the size of the grapes, The Large tub will hold approximately three gallons of non-crushed fruit. The small tub (Yakima) will hold approximately one gallon of non-crushed fruit.

Since HAPPY VALLEY RANCH cider mills and presses are a handmade product, production is limited and it is wise to order early before the apple season begins. However we build these presses all year long and try to keep a supply on hand so we can ship without delay. Shipping time is about 5 to 7 days to anywhere in the country.

You bet! From mid-summer on, berries, grapes and other vegetables are ready for pressing. You can use your Happy Valley Ranch system for pressing cheese and stored fruit any time of the year.

Almost. To abide by U.P.S. size and weight requirements we have packed the press in several large pieces and it requires only a few bolts to complete assembly.

Definition: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Apple scab is a disease of apple trees (genus Malus) caused by the ascomycete fungus Venturia inaequalis. The disease manifests as dull black or grey-brown lesions on the surface of tree leaves, buds or fruits. Lesions may also appear less frequently on the woody tissues of the tree. Fruits and the undersides of leaves are especially susceptible. The disease rarely kills its host, but can significantly reduce fruit yields and fruit quality. Affected fruits are less marketable due to the presence of the black fungal lesions.


There is no problem pressing fruit with scab for cider. Do not press fruit with active rot lesions or any sign of blue mold.

Alan Biggs, Professor of Plant Pathology, West Virginia University

It is much better on the muscadines if you do run them trough the grinder first. You might try running the grinder backwards as the space between the back plate and the drum is much smaller. It should split the grape enough to allow for better pressing.

1. Eventho the ratchet type does appear to be easier with regards to the moving of the pressing disk you will also notice that there are many more components to accomplish the same result.

2. The first draw-back is that the screw must extend from the bottom of the press. This makes it somewhat difficult to use a Pressing Bag without making a hole in the middle of the bottom of the bag which allows for pulp to filter down into your juice.

3. Secondly the Pressing Disk must be in two parts to accommodate the screw. This allows for pulp to rise up through the crack. This can produce uneven pressure.

4. Thirdly to allow the Pressing Disk to reach full downward movement you have to keep stopping and adding more blocks. These blocks do not allow for even pressure and can produce less juice.

5. And lastly, you can easily apply too much pressure using the ratchet and break the lower cross-arm without significantly more yielding.

We understand that the open top of our screw does require a little more effort, but we suggest not being in a hurry. Half to one full turn and then let the juice flow will make for a better yield.  If you see form starting to form, then the pressure is too great.

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