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Re: [MedievalSawdust] Apple Presses

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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 1 of 8 , Jul 5, 2005
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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


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    • 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 2 of 8 , Jul 6, 2005
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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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