If you have access to a lot of free apples, you can easily make cider from them. Any apples will do, but they should be as ripe as possible. This instructable shows you a simple method that does not require any special equipment.
Step 1: Collecting your apples
The first thing is to get some apples. You will need quite a lot of large containers, because you need to collect about 4 to 5 times the volume of apples compared to the volume of juice you want to make into cider. The container shown here is a 5 gallon (22 litre) fermentation bin.
A sheet or blanket is also handy. Put your sheet under the tree, climb up the tree and shake it. Lots fall off. The advantage of this method is that generally the ripest apples tend to fall off, and seriously under-ripe apples stay on. When you put them into the bucket, pick the apples up by hand, so you don't get all the twigs, leaves, earwigs etc.
Step 2: Containers for apples
You need a lot of apples. Here are about 20-22 gallons of apples, which made about 4 and half gallons of juice.
Step 3: Pulping the apples
To release the juice, you have to smash up the apples, then press them. A long piece of timber is good for this (untreated with any sort of preservative!)
Step 4: Building a simple press
Here, a press was made from 4" x 3" (12cm x 9cm) timber bolted together. This forms a strong frame in which a tub can be placed.
Step 5: Preparing the apple pulp
The mashed apple pulp is put inside a nylon mesh, and put into a plastic box, with a single small hole drilled into it (to let out the juice). The cheapest available was this red mesh, an offcut from the fabric section in a shop.
Step 6: Pressing using a car jack
A board was placed on top of the mesh containing the apple pulp, and a car jack placed between the board and the frame to apply pressure.