Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Glass Of Mud Anyone?

What could be nicer than a glass  of freshly pressed apple juice. Juice from my own apples, pressed by me, grown by me, no chemicals, no additives, no airmiles, no packaging, truly organic, sounds great doesn't it. Well it is great of course, but this being my first foray into the ancient art of apple pressing, the results have been a bit, er, mixed.  As you can see from this picture, the juice looks a bit like muddy water. Not very appetising.

First of all, the press I bought online from Selections, is really too big for the amount of apples I have. I wanted the 12 litre size but they had sold out, but I have loads of apples, I thought, so I might as well get the bigger one.  Not loads enough it seems. Before you can press your apples you have to reduce them to a pulp and this reduces their volume dramatically. So a few bucketfuls of windfalls only half fill the press by the time you've pulped them.Lesson one. It's recommended that you use a Pulpmaster, a tool that you use in conjuction with an electric drill. But I found it quite a faff, and I'm sure I could have done a better and quicker job with the Magimix, despite what I've read about this not being the case. Most of what you can read on the internet about apple pressing and cider making is written by men, and I don't wish to sound sexist or anything chaps, but I can easily pulp apples in my Magimix without reducing them to puree. But then I use a Magimix all the time.

Then you tip your apple pulp into the press and away you go. The press itself works well, although I think I could either do with a smaller one, or a lot more apples. I'm hoping to have access to quite a few more as the season goes on, both from my own garden and elsewhere. Lots of people have apples that go to waste in the autumn so I should be able to find a source.

Now to the results. The apples juice looks like a mixture of mud and water. It's not very apple-y looking at all. I taste. A bit sharp, but fruity and fresh. And nicer than it looks. I need a second opinion. I take a glass of the liquid over to the office for David, a man who has even been known to give an honest answer to the question "Do you like my new hairdo?" so I know he'd say if it was really bad. He tastes and pronouces that it's a bit sharp but after a few sips you get used to it and it's quite nice.

Conclusion. It's a lot of trouble to go to for a few pints of apple juice, but this is my first effort, and now I feel I have an understanding of the process, I'm looking forward to having another bash. I only used a couple of bucketfuls of windfalls of asssorted variety, so next time, with any luck we should get better results. If anyone else offered my a glass of muddy looking liquid to drink I'd probably pass, but like anything else you've produced yourself I'm rather proud of it. If I never make another posting you'll know it's been fatal, but for now, cheers.

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