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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Apple Presses

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  • Tim Bray
    The History and Virtues of Cyder by R. K. French has a pretty good discussion of the history and development of cider presses, and the equally important
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 5 7:54 AM
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      "The History and Virtues of Cyder" by R. K. French has a pretty good discussion of the history and development of cider presses, and the equally important mills.

      Cheers,
      Colin


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    • julian wilson
      Tim Bray wrote: The History and Virtues of Cyder by R. K. French has a pretty good discussion of the history and development of cider
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 5 8:31 AM
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        Tim Bray <tbray@...> wrote:
        "The History and Virtues of Cyder" by R. K. French has a pretty good discussion of the history and development of cider presses, and the equally important mills.
        COMMENT
        Good Gentles all,
        In the 19th Century, the island of "olde" jersey used to produce thousands of gallons of cider every year, and a number of the granite crushing troughs are still extant in front gardens, converted into ponds and flower beds.
        However the Museum of ancient Jersey Farming Life at the 17th C. preserved Farm of "Hamptonne", operated as a living Museum  by the Jersey Heritage Trust [the "JHT"] - has preserved a working granite crushing-trough intact, and also a working wooden cider press.
        The farm also has a "Historic Orchard" preserving the ancient varieties of apple-trees which were used to create the local cider.  And at the end of every Season, the apple crop is harvested from the orchard, and the Farm runs a "cider-making weekend", open to the Public.  So if anyone wants pictures of the equipment, I have a number already in my photo files from previous years' "Cider Making Weekends".
        Following immediately upon that weekend, "The National Trust For Jersey" - in co-operation with the JHT - then runs a weekend Event at it's own HQ - [another preserved 18th C. Jersey Farm complex] - demonstrating the making of "black butter" -  from the apple-pulp remaining after the cider-making..- in the traditional fashion of these Islands.
         
        Yours in Service,
        Julian Wilson,
        in "olde" Jersey.


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      • Tim Bray
        Philip was asking about Medieval presses... The circular wheel-in-trough type of crusher does go back to Antiquity. The Greeks developed a similar system for
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 5 10:07 AM
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          Philip was asking about Medieval presses... 

          The circular wheel-in-trough type of crusher does go back to Antiquity.  The Greeks developed a similar system for crushing olives to obtain oil, and the Romans of course turned it into a major industry.  French shows how this method was adapted for apples, and suggests that it came to Northern Europe through Spain, where apple culture flourished in the early Middle Ages.  This may have happened as early as the 11th century in France.  The Normans gained an appreciation for cider, and by the 13th century cider-making was an important industry in parts of England.

          The machinery and processes for cider making were borrowed from those for oil and wine production.  Apples give up their juice less readily than grapes, requiring more crushing and more squeezing.  In order to make cider efficiently in large quantities, heavy and expensive equipment was needed.  (You can't just get peasants to stomp apples in a tub!)   This in turn requires a certain kind of economic and social situation, absent from most of Europe until about the 11th -12th century. 

          French doesn't show any medieval examples of cider presses, but by analogy to wine presses, we can infer that they were most likely lever-presses.  Roman examples applied pressure through the lever by means of weights, screws, capstans, or block-and-tackle.  All of these would have been available to the 13th c. builders as well.  The Roman lever-and-screw presses are pretty nearly identical to the 18th century examples scattered all over the wine-producing regions of France.

          Cheers,
          Colin


          Albion Works
          Furniture and Accessories
          For the Medievalist!
        • Terafan Greydragon
          Greetings all from Terafan, Julian mentioned that the island of Jersey has a 17th century farm. Since I was in Jersey over Memorial Day weekend and went to
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 6 2:43 PM
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            Greetings all from Terafan,
             
                Julian mentioned that the island of Jersey has a 17th century farm.    Since I was in Jersey over Memorial Day weekend and went to Hamptonne, I have done a quick job of putting up a few of the pictures I took at Hamptonne, especially the cider press.
             
             
            respectfully,
                Terafan

            Master Rhys Terafan Greydragon     terafan@...
            Brewer, tent and furniture maker, and other things I can't remember...
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com [mailto:medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of julian wilson
            Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2005 4:31 PM
            To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Apple Presses

            However the Museum of ancient Jersey Farming Life at the 17th C. preserved Farm of "Hamptonne", operated as a living Museum  by the Jersey Heritage Trust [the "JHT"] - has preserved a working granite crushing-trough intact, and also a working wooden cider press.
             
            <snip>
             
            Yours in Service,
            Julian Wilson,
            in "olde" Jersey.


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