How to convert a spent oak barrel into a fruit press for cider or wine

What do you do when you’ve got fruit to press but no press to press it in? Fortunately, we had a spent oak barrel in the kitchen that needed a new lease on life. With the help of our custom-built cheese press and some new parts, we were pressing fruit in no time.

We repurposed our existing cheese press for this build, which was made from some lumber, threaded posts, and a screw press. For our drain, we used a 90-degree PVC elbow with a bored-out stopper fitted into a cake pan.

Our drill made quick work of the cake pan, and from there it was simply a matter of fitting the elbow in and making it leak-proof with an O-ring.

Check out our YouTube video on the build to see how it was done and how it works — and maybe you can breathe new life into an oak barrel in your brewing “junk pile.”

What do you think? Worth it? Or should we have just bought a fruit press at retail? Let us know in the comments!


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