Did you know we have an Apple/Grape Scratter and an Apple Press available to borrow? Here is a simple step by step guide to making your own apple juice. You can also use a Blender/Food Processor for the first part of the process, instead of the Scratter. Feeling lazy and want apple juice quickly? Why not borrow one of our Juicers instead? But for all those wanting the old school, rustic technique, here it is:
An optional first step is to wash your apples using water and small bit of vinegar, if you are worried about dirt or other nasties. Then, you will need to chop your apples up into smaller pieces. This is not so necessary for our Apple Scratter, but it can be a good idea to make sure any rotten or wormy parts are cut away! You can keep the cores and bruised areas (this makes the juice sweeter!). If you are using a blender, it is a necessary step to chop into smaller pieces, to make processing easier.
Next, use our Apple Scratter to crush your apples! Make sure the Scratter is clean by running hot water through the cogs beforehand. Put the Scratter on top of a clean bucket before pressing. You may need several clean buckets ready to fill. Then simply turn the handle! You may need another person to feed in the apples while you turn with both hands! Alternatively, you can use our blender to crush your apples!
Next get our Apple Press ready by cleaning with hot water. Then put a straining bag or muslin into the apple press to furthur strain your juice. Make sure you put a clean bucket underneath the Apple press, ready to catch the juice trickling out. Then start turning! Crank it down as far as it will go.
For a helpful visual of this process, this is a great video!
When you are done straining the apples, make sure to compost your pulp. To allow the pulp to compost well, mix it with newspaper, cardboard, straw or crop wastes.
Next, sterilise your bottles by washing them out thoroughly, then filling them with warm water containing a little sodium metabisulphite. Screw the lids on firmly and lay the bottles on their sides. Leave the solution in the bottles for at least half an hour, turning them once or twice to ensure that every part of the inner surface has been disinfected. Immediately before filling them with juice, rinse the bottles out with warm water.
Next fill your sterilised bottles with your freshly squeezed juice. You can pastuerise your apple juice by leaving the caps off and putting them in the pans of hot water. You should keep them as close as possible to 77C for half an hour. You might need to add some cold water to the pans from time to time to keep the temperature steady. Don’t overheat the juice or it will oxidise, spoiling the flavour. Before the pasteurised juice cools down, screw the tops back on the bottles. Then lie them on their sides, so that the warm juice sterilises the lids, which might have picked up some germs while the bottles were cooking. And you’re done!
Make sure to clean the Apple Scratter by running warm water through it when you are finished. If you find the cogs are getting a bit stiff, you can use a bit of food grade AC-90 lubricant, provided with the Scratter, or you can use rapeseed oil. Simply spray or pour a small amount into the cogs after washing.
Need help in the process? If you are struggling and need a question answered, this is a great page!
We got a mention this week in the latest Frome Food Network newsletter. Check it out for more info on harvesting apples and why not sign up to get all the latest Frome Food news yourself.
This post was inspired by this Guardian article
A Library of Things.
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