One Amazing Apple Press

Brocard barn, smallAfter many years of wanting to visit Joe Brocard and his famous apple press, I finally made it to his annual public pressing last weekend. Joe and his wife, Catherine, brought the press to Oregon from the East Coast, where his father and grandfather had pressed apples for farmers from miles around, beginning in 1913. Now that Catherine is long gone and Joe has passed ninety years, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren do the work of pressing the apples and selling the juice and vinegar.

For more about Joe and his press, see this six-year-old article in the Sweet Home New Era.

Brocard apple press, small

The Brocard press

wheels and motor, small

The back end–the engine and the wheels that turn the belts

loading the apples, small

Loading with apples

filling first frame, small

The apples are crushed above, and the mash falls into a frame lined with a cloth.

spreading the mash, small

The mash is firmly packed to fill the frame, the cloth is neatly folded over, the frame is lifted off, another rack is placed on top, and the frame and another cloth are placed on top of the new rack.

rolling cheese to press, small

The finished “cheese” is rolled over the ram.

ram, small

The ram presses from below, with 35 tons of pressure.

pressing from below, small

The stack begins to shrink, as juice pours into a tray beneath the press.

filling jugs, small

A hose carries the juice out the side of the barn, where the jugs and barrels are filled.

filling and pressing, small

When the second cheese is almost ready for pressing, the first has shrunk as much as possible.

dumping the pomace, small

The very dry pomace is dumped into a waiting front-end loader.

Brocard sales area, small

The marketing team awaits the customers.

Brocard poster, small

This is how Joe’s granddad advertised his service.

About Linda Ziedrich

I grow, cook, preserve, and write about food in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
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