After 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.
The Brocard press
The back end–the engine and the wheels that turn the belts
Loading with apples
The apples are crushed above, and the mash falls into a frame lined with a cloth.
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.
The finished “cheese” is rolled over the ram.
The ram presses from below, with 35 tons of pressure.
The stack begins to shrink, as juice pours into a tray beneath the press.
A hose carries the juice out the side of the barn, where the jugs and barrels are filled.
When the second cheese is almost ready for pressing, the first has shrunk as much as possible.
The very dry pomace is dumped into a waiting front-end loader.
The marketing team awaits the customers.
This is how Joe’s granddad advertised his service.