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I like to make ginger beer, but I was feel like there's a lot of juice that doesn't get extracted out of the root after I grind it up and boil it. I have a French press, which I barely ever use because I tend to wind up doing instant coffee. Would it make sense for me to put the crushed ginger root in the press and then push down to extract more of the juice to pour out?

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    Are you sure you are not extracting all the juice? I think you could make an experiment. After boiling it and letting it rest for a while try to press manually the pulp in a sieve. Then leave the pressed pulp in hot water for some time and see if there was something left or not.
    – FluidCode
    Sep 23, 2023 at 9:31
  • Aren't french presses typically made of glass? I certainly wouldn't want to be pushing down hard on that! Sep 23, 2023 at 9:46
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    Put the ginger in a blender and filter the slush. Sep 23, 2023 at 17:14
  • @Peter-ReinstateMonica: I have been doing that, but the slush always seems full of the ginger flavor. So far, I've just been using the filtered mush as a side snack. Sep 23, 2023 at 20:46
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    @Stef: I think I was just confused. I have purchased a juicer. Sep 25, 2023 at 14:44

6 Answers 6

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While pressing the ginger root the extract more juice is a good idea, I doubt your French press will allow you to exert enough force to help you. If this is something you do regularly, you might consider investing in a juicer.

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    Given that I snapped the handle on a garlic press trying to do something similar on a smaller scale, there's no way it would work
    – Chris H
    Sep 23, 2023 at 9:17
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    I find the term “press” always a bit misleading considering the fragility of a French press.
    – Stephie
    Sep 23, 2023 at 11:18
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    @ChrisH I regularly use a garlic press for ginger, and never had problems. I even push the whole thing to shred it, not just for the juice. But I use a model with a cylinder and a solid handle, not one of those whose receptacle looks like a wide, rounded wedge, they are more fragile.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 23, 2023 at 11:27
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    @rumtscho this wasn't as good as the oxo I replaced it with, but neither was it very cheap. But it did have small holes with big gaps in between which might not have helped. And I'd roughly chopped the ginger first. But it's good to know I wasn't being stupid trying it
    – Chris H
    Sep 23, 2023 at 11:37
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    @ChrisH I have a cheap piece from Ikea, and it works great for ginger, if you don't load it with huge pieces. The size of a medium or small garlic clove goes through, you might have to spend some time with a toothpick cleaning afterwards.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 23, 2023 at 12:07
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I don't think a french press will help a lot here. I'm sieving the ginger through a cheese cloth and then wring that out with my hands to get as much as possible out of it.

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A French press will not allow you to exert enough force to extract more juice from the ginger. However, there are some other common tools that would:

  • a garlic press
  • a citrus squeezer
  • a ricer
  • a mortar & pestle
  • a bowl or pot and a potato masher

The last two options will also require you to strain the results.

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    I'd remind readers that relatively robust devices like fruit presses often require that apples etc. be boiled first. You'd do better investigating whether the essence could be extracted using a suitable solvent, i.e. alcohol, olive oil and so on. Sep 24, 2023 at 12:03
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    An Aeropress might be a good tool for this -- but I would probably just use cheesecloth. Sep 25, 2023 at 20:16
  • oooh, yeah, didn't think Aeropress. That might work. Might ruin it for making espresso though.
    – FuzzyChef
    Sep 25, 2023 at 20:34
  • @ScottSeidman: I find it hard to believe that an Aeropress will be significantly more effective than just putting your hand directly on the root and pressing on it (e.g. in a bowl or something). The Aeropress does not provide any mechanical advantage, nor will it create a positive pressure environment as it does in normal operation (you won't have filled it with water, so you won't have an airtight seal).
    – Kevin
    Sep 26, 2023 at 5:24
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The Screen in a french press will (very likely) not withstand the pressure when applied to ginger. It may partially work if the ginger is run through a processor or blender before pressing. I would suggest trying a potato ricer. I have successfully used one for extracting extra juice out of macerated citrus peels.

P.S.: Don't go cheap! Cheap ones will have a bent handle even used on potatoes.

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a French Press is not a really a press, it will break, don't do it.

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A French Press is not designed to squeeze liquid out of the coffee grounds, only to separate the free flowing liquid from the floating bits of bean. If you look at your French Press you will see that the sieve plate does not go all the way to the base of the container, see example image, so there is an absolute limit on how much compression you could achieve (assuming you have a steel or plastic press that would stand a chance of withstanding the outward pressure - I’ve been in the splash zone of an over enthusiastically depressed cafetière, it isn’t a great place to be). I’ve no idea of the quantities of ginger you are processing at a time, but it is possible that a small amount in a large cafetière, you would get no significant compression at all. enter image description here To squeeze more juice out of your pulp, I suggest wrapping it in muslin and placing it on a shallow metal baking tray, then place a metal saucepan on top and bear down on that with all your weight.

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