Does a belt press create more sediment than other pressing methods?
Patrick lives and works on acreage that he purchased in 2015 with an existing orchard. After a season of selling his apples at the local farmers market, he was looking for more ways to boost his income. The Gala apple variety that he grows is a good variety for being pressed. The juice comes straight from the orchard so Patrick doesn’t mind a bit of sediment in his juice as it is a naturally occurring byproduct.
Sediment goes hand in hand with fresh juice, we can’t eliminate it without without the added step of settling or filtration. To keep it to a minimum while keeping yields high, a continuous belt press has adjustments to belt tension, speed and mash thickness.
If you are working with deteriorated fruit that commonly creates more sediment, adjustments can be made. Reducing the pressure on the belt, and increasing the speed will result in less sediment.
Pressing with a belt press may have more sediment than other systems, because more fibers are pushed through the belt due to higher pressure placed on the mash. Read more about yields of a belt press
Getting more out of your apple
Sediment can be seen in the output from a Kreuzmayr press because the continuous belt press is using more of the fruit. Our presses are known for their high yields because the press can be manipulated to suit the quality of fruit that is being pressed. Adjusting the belt tension, speed and thickness allows you to get the most out of your fruit while adjusting it to keep the sediment to a desirable level.
What creates more sediment?
If the fiber of the mash is deteriorated, there will be more solids being pushed through.
How can I decrease the amount of sediment?
pressing apples that are fresh and not deteriorated
speeding up the press
reducing the pressure on the mash, and
increasing the thickness of the mash
Patrick chooses to press his apples straight from the tree without storing them. This keeps the yield high, the juice clear, and the product fresh.
Q: My press doesn’t use water: Why do your presses have continuous water usage as the press runs and why can I not recycle it?
Let’s start by talking about how much water our presses use:
Our Kreuzmayr KEB 400, KEB 500, KEB 750 and KEB 1000 Single Belt Presses use approximately 90 gallons/hour of potable water, our KEB 1250 and K2B 750 use approximately 180 gallons/hour, and our largest Double Belt Presses use 360 gallons/hour.
How is the water used?
Our presses spray high pressure water across the belt after the fruit mash has been scraped off to remove sediment and particulate. This stops the screen belt from plugging up and and keeps yields high.
Fresh potable water is used in a Kreuzmayr press, keeping the pathogen count down. Using recycled water accumulates pathogens which can’t be removed through a simple filtration process. If we used a simple filtration process the contaminated water would be sprayed onto the belt again and again, creating a pool of pathogens. Safety is of the utmost importance, that’s why our belt presses only use fresh potable water!
How important is it to you to keep your pathogen count down?
Quality control standards around food production may include a limited pathogen count. Pathogens are a food safety concern to processors of unpasteurized juices and ciders. According to The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA),
“The consumption of unpasteurized juices and ciders contaminated with pathogenic organisms, such as Escherichia, Salmonella and Cryptosporidium have been known to cause human illness. The young, the elderly and those in poor health are considered to be at higher risk.” Check out our selection of pasteurizers here.
If you are looking for more information on juicing and the quality control standards that government regulatory bodies have in place, we have included a list of website resources that are centered around food safety and food guidelines:
Health Canada – work with governments, industry and consumers to establish policies, regulations and standards related to the safety and nutritional quality of all food sold in Canada. Health Canada handles assessing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s activities related to food safety.
At Juicing.Systems we have been making juice for a long time. Over the years we have produced juice with a variety of systems, including a rack and cloth press. After many 14 hour days of juicing, we knew there had to be a better way to go about getting the juice out of our fruit. After looking around extensively, we wound up purchasing a Kreuzmayr belt press. Read the full story of Juicing.Systems.
We love using it so much that we want to share the ease of using the belt press with others who were looking to eliminate the batch process in favor of a continuous process. Ease of use, coupled with higher yields and decreased labor requirements made the belt press an attractive machine. This is how Juicing.Systems was born.
Why did we decide to go this route, when other options such as larger rack and cloth systems, bladder presses, squeeze boxes, and a host of other options for extracting our juice were available. This took some serious thought, and we wanted to share our experience with you. We have had many questions about the system, as we’re sure that you do.
Over the next few weeks we will be examining some of the questions we’ve had to ask ourselves, and questions we’ve heard from you while trying to decide which direction to take your process.
We will address questions, myths, and misconceptions in processing fruit with a belt press.
Are my yields higher using a Belt Press because water is added…. or is this a myth?
Our Kreuzmayr KEB 750 can press up to 500 litres of apple juice in approximately 15 minutes from two bins of apples.
In determining the answer to this question we measured the water coming out of the press while the belt washer was operating with no fruit being run through the press. Our testing found that 1 liter of water came out of the press while operating over the 15 minutes. This is a .2% addition of water to the 500 liter yield. Having said this, there is a small amount of residual water captured in the weave of the belt that may be squeezed through when operating with mash. It is hard to determine the exact amount. Even if we double the measured amount, it still amounts to only 0.5% of water added.
The simple answer is yes, we are adding water, but it’s pretty low in relation to the overall yield.
If it’s not water, why does the press have greater yields?
Depending on the product pressed, the Single Belt Press shows a 5-20% greater yield than other pressing systems.
Our three roller system starts with a large roller and works into smaller rollers. Because of this, the same amount of mash has to travel around the progressively smaller radius of the rollers. This increases the pressure exerted on the mash. In addition to this, we can manipulate the mash thickness, the belt speed and pressure of the single belt press. These three variable can easily be altered to adapt to the fruit we are processing.
The fruit pulp is dispensed across the main pressing roller and across the width of the belt to start the initial juice extraction. The pulp is progressively squeezed over the rollers to achieve an optimum juice yield of up to 75%.
When compared to other methods such as pressing with a rack and cloth or squeeze box style press, having a thinner and more uniform cake running through the rollers allows us to place higher pressure on more of the pomace. By running it through 3 different rollers, each roller smaller than the last, we increase the pressure placed on the cake with each consecutive roller, extracting all possible juice from the fruit.
Want to see more videos? Check out our YouTube channel here.
Embark Cider has been releasing it’s Dreamcicle series, a cider made with their farmhouse blend of apples and fermented with milk sugar, fresh peaches, apricots and raspberries.
When Embark is in full production, the machine is running non-stop. A halt to production would cause a serious setback.
When cider-maker Chris Gowan called to say the elevator was jammed, the service team (department) at Juicing.Systems knew it was time sensitive.
“I called him because our elevator had stopped. We were in mid run of pressing so if we had to wait for somebody to call back, we would have had to clean everything and stop what we were doing, and change production plans. It would have really screwed things up.”
When Chris called, he was directed to open the electrical panel. The Variable Frequency drive was between 20 and 25 Hz, so by process of elimination it was determined that it must be mechanical.
Running this equipment ourselves our service dept is able to diagnose the majority of common issues without ever being on-site
“It was really helpful process of elimination by having me check different things, when they were as they should be, we moved on to different things it could be”
He was then told to look at the top, around the bend, and a big apple was found!
“It ended up being an apple stuck in the top between the paddles. It’s something I would have never thought of, (if you don’t know to look for it), because I couldn’t see it.”
With the problem resolved, Chris went back to production, to continue creating the delicious ciders he’s been making.
We understand that when production stops, it’s costly. Our service team is available to help.
Andrew Hefele was featured in Cider Culture as part of the history of cider making and his experience with the latest technology. We thought we would get a more in-depth look at what that transition was like changing from a rack and cloth system to a Kreuzmayr Single Belt Press for Andrew Hefele of Knaebe’s Mmmunchie Crunchie Apple Farm and Twisted Roots Cider, (as you can tell by their name, they have a lot of fun on their farm.)
The Family Orchard
Andrew Hefele has accomplished a lot in 4 years since taking over the family orchard. He’s now running a successful cidery, Twisted Roots Cider, producing 36,000 litres a year, and has changed the family farm by growing new varieties of apples, attracting a younger crowd, and having a lot of fun with it.
When Andrew took over the family orchard he faced a dilemma. The orchard was small and they distributed their apples at the local farm market. Andrew was seeing that a third of the crop would just fall to the ground unpicked at the end of the year. “No market for them,” he said. “I realized that pruning, watering, spraying, mowing were substantial costs and I had to either find a market for the apples or yank out some trees.”
Deciding to go the hard cider route not only saved the orchard, it has transformed it in many ways.
“We now utilize our entire crop,” he says. “The hard cider also opens up our farm to an entirely different customer. Younger customers who tend to spend more.”
As many businesses discover, growth comes with its’ challenges. Solving the dilemma of fruit loss only created another concern. Andrew was using a rack and cloth press and finding five employees to work a long gruelling day pressing cider was starting to get difficult. When working with the rack and cloth press, the pressing had to take place during a small window when the apples were ripe.
Using a rack and cloth press is much like folding laundry. The cloth (called a cheese) is filled with pomace, a frame is set on top, and this is repeated until the stack is high enough to be squished between the press. If the fruit is over-ripe, the pomace will explode through the cloth. In addition to the intensive labour, when Andrew stepped away the whole process stopped.
Andrew went looking for a better solution, one that would transform his operation to be more efficient, less labour intensive and more flexible, widening the window where he could press his fruit.
A Better Solution
Moving from a Rack and cloth press to a Single Belt Press, Andrew found a way to address his labour woes. “On smaller press days I do it myself now. Or, if I have someone else helping I can step away and deal with other issues at the farm,” he says. “It takes about half the time now with the new press, and with two people vs. five. A 4,000 liter press takes us 6 hours with cleanup vs. almost 12 before.”
Finding the right equipment can revolutionize production for a cidery like Twisted Roots.
With the progression of technology, Kreuzmayr offers specialized equipment suited to hard cider makers like Andrew who want to modernize their production, to suit their budget, size requirements and production needs.
The Bin Tipper effortlessly places the apples into the elevator/washer/grinder, the belt press then moves the pulped fruit through a series of rollers, extracting the maximum amount of juice, quickly and reliably.
The excitement has changed for Andrew, from the days of anticipating apple explosions in the cold, to a more laid back, relaxed schedule of pressing.
“I primarily press in the fall, but I do a big hard cider press in February too. Which is crazy, because it was -30 C this last year when I pressed. I couldn’t do this with the rack n’ cloth. The cloths would clog up.”
A New Life to the Orchard
To produce the cider and get the crisp flavours he is looking for within the cider he’s changed the varieties of apples he grows.
“I have yanked traditional varieties (red delicious, gala, etc) for some hard cider varieties: Spitzenburg Esopus, Pippens, Michelin, Ellis Bitter, Brown Snout, Winesaps, Ashmeads Kernel, Dabinett, Gold Rush, Golden Russett, Bulmers Norman, Frequin Rouge, Nehou, Harrison, and Franklin Cider Apple.
Of the changes made to the orchard, and the change in focus, Andrew believes it has brought life back into an aging industry.
“We tend to market the hard cider more than the traditional u-pick orchard. The margins are bigger and it attracts a younger fun crowd.” Twisted Roots sponsor events such as the Twisted Roots 5k and have bands play occasionally on the weekends .
The name ‘Twisted Roots’ demonstrates how interwoven our lives can be. When we cross paths with someone new, we often find we have acquaintances in common, as we refer to the six degrees of separation. Twisted Roots mirrors this – as the family has it’s own interwoven history. Andrew’s wife, a relative of his stepmother, was two degrees away from him in the pathof meeting. The Entrance to Twisted Root displays a cedar root, demonstrating this connectedness.
And now, we all have yet another reason to connect, and that’s over a glass of hard cider at the Twisted Roots Cider tasting room.