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Are you wondering what to do with your apple glut?

Well you could take your crop to your nearest apple pressing event; there are several that happen around the county of Wiltshire during October and November.
Or
You could invest buying or hiring equipment and organise an event yourself.
What do you need?
• Apples – cookers and eaters
• People
• Some method of shredding/crushing the apples
• A press and straining bags
• Clean Bottles
• A way to pasteurise the juice for keeping
• Someone with pigs to take the pulp or for composting

You need to have sterilised the bottles before you fill them. This means 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

The steps:
1. Collect or pick your apples
2. Quarter and remove damaged bits
3. Put apples through a crusher/shredder
4. Place inside straining bags to give a clearer end product
5. Fill the press with crushed apples.
6. Fill the clean bottles
7. Pasteurise for storage
8. Compost the pulp by mixing it with straw or paper or feed it to pigs who will love it, preferably before it starts to ferment!

To preserve the juice, it either needs to be frozen or pasteurised. This can be done by placing the bottles into a water bath and heated until the contents reach 70ºC, then keeping at this temperature for a further 20 minutes, before removing, screwing the lids down firmly and leaving to cool. An automatic preserving cooker / pasteuriser takes care of this: you set the temperature and minutes and leave it to do its thing. Otherwise stand the bottles in large containers of water over a heat source at 70 to 77°. 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

If you do not pasteurise the juice it will begin to ferment in 2 or 3 days and become cider since the sugar in apples means it naturally ferments with no additives. Pasteurised juice can be stored for anything between 6 months and 2 years, depending on how it is stored. -See more at: http://www.vigopresses.co.uk/AdditionalDepartments/Header-Content/Make-apple-juice/Storing-apple-juice/How-to-preserve-apple-juice-2#sthash.zywafNCb.dpuf

Small presses and shredders are available from good kitchen shops or online stores such as Amazon or Ebay, but do shop around or get advice before buying.
It is also possible to extend the lifetime of the juice by freezing it. Anyway I hope you found this article useful. Don’t forget other fruits can be juiced as well. Happy Pressing!

Dawn


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