In our farmhouse, we have a small corner where time has stopped, and you can perceive the purest tradition of the manufacturing method of our elders. Our press mill has lasted through time and, active until just over a decade ago, preserves the essence of a time when olive oil was obtained in a different way than it is today, although always with the essence of a method mechanical and a cold extraction.
This mill, which you can visit (go to the oil tourism section), contains careful machinery that could be put into operation today.
The extraction of olive oil was produced by means of the pressure of the mass (today it is produced by centrifugation of the same). Different machines intervened in the process that needed an important human component for their operation.
The process, a centuries-old craft method, has been in use (with some technical variations) from Roman times to the present day.
A stone (or hammer mill) to crush the olive, a shake of the resulting mass and pressing until the liquid part was separated from the solid part (pomace) made up the first part of the extraction system.
Later, a settling process was produced in which the oil was separated from the vegetation water (alpechín). A process in which the oil was obtained by mechanical means only and in which the dough was not heated to more than 27º.
Our press mill had the capacity to grind 14,000 kg of olives per day (grinding 24 hours), while the current continuous system can grind around 70,000 kg/day.
– Empiedro: its function was to crush and break the olive, to later facilitate the extraction of the olive oil that it carries inside.
– Mixers: They beat the dough at a temperature of about 25-27º for about 90 minutes.
– Thermofilter: Here the best oil dripped by gravity, later it passed to a new blender for 25 min.
– Basket loader: it was used to load the baskets with dough. These were being introduced into carts with a vertical axis.
– Presses: they were used to press the baskets and extract the oil from the mass that was between one and the other. There were various intensities of pressure and according to these, the quality of the oil. The higher the pressure, the lower the quality of the oil.