Need something to press a lot of almonds with.
January 6, 2011 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Food Manufacturing equipment - need a device for a specific purpose.

I run a small business where I make a couple products for cocktail bars. It is slowly growing, and I do all the production myself, so I am looking for ways to improve my process without having to use a copacker. One of the things I make is orgeat, and right now I hand-squeeze the almonds, but I would like to use some kind of a press, as hand-squeezing 9 pounds of almonds for an hour and a half is a good workout, but not so fun. The best solution I have come across so far is a manual citrus press, but it is shaped for fruit. I need something with more of a screen-bottomed basin. Any suggestions welcome, doesn't have to be a machine necessarily for food manufacturing.
posted by keame to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
Hmm first thing that comes to mind is a hobby olive oil press, but those are about a 1000 bucks new. Do you have a kitchen aid? What about using the food mill attachment that has an impeller that pushes the food to be crushed agains a metal screen. Are you using whole or sliced almonds? I think it would work with sliced, but whole probably not.

You can repay me with a bottle of orgeat. OK thanks.
posted by JPD at 11:48 AM on January 6, 2011

like this
posted by JPD at 11:49 AM on January 6, 2011

I'm not sure if I understand what you mean by squeezing the almonds, but I thought of a Foley Food Mill.

I've only used it for applesauce - you put cooked apples in there and turn it around and it comes out applesauce. Maybe that's too squishy for your almonds?
posted by CathyG at 1:08 PM on January 6, 2011

You aren't trying to pulverize the almonds you are trying to squeeze the liquid out of them
posted by JPD at 1:10 PM on January 6, 2011

Ok, I looked at some recipes, and now I am suggesting an apple cider press.
posted by CathyG at 1:16 PM on January 6, 2011

What JPD suggests, or Kitchenaid makes grain mill attachments, or even a meat grinder will work. You can probably find the later used, on Craigslist, or ebay.
From what I saw illustrated is an infusion, not an actual oil extraction. Ground/pulped almonds are boiled with mineral water, orange/rose water, sugar, bitter almond extract. etc; strained. If that's the case, a food processor will work.
posted by JABof72 at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you for the ideas, I'll have to test these out to see if they will work or not. The key to good orgeat is getting as much of the almond oil out as you can, so I need something that can apply a lot of pressure. As JPD said, the problem isn't grinding up the almonds, it's squeezing the oil out of them after they have been soaking in water. Right now I'm hand squeezing with cheesecloth, if that helps illustrate.
posted by keame at 2:30 PM on January 7, 2011

What about a tortilla pres plus cheesecloth?
posted by rosa at 11:08 AM on January 8, 2011

Er. Press. Tortilla press.
posted by rosa at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011

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