After several years of fundraising and searching for a used apple press, we’re happy to have this beauty to help us and our neighbors turn extra apples into amazing fresh juice!
What is nice about this press is that the grinder portion is automated. Thus, the only people-powered portion of the press is the crank to press the apple pulp. We’ve already been told that we could use a larger press for our operation capacity, so any fairy god parent who would like to help make that happen, please get in touch!
Please note, we will not be selling apple juice at this time due to lack of capacity to undertake the appropriate certifications.
Sharing our Resources!
We’re learning a lot about the process and are grateful for our mentors from Slow Food Russian River for sharing their best practices and lessons learned. Once the season slows down a bit, we will update our website to make it easier for people to sign up for apple press shifts. In the mean time, the press is available for use on Thursdays from 3 to 6pm or by appointment. The press is available for use either if you purchase apples from us OR you can bring your own apples to press. We will ask for a donation to cover the cost of the press and maintenance. If you plan to use our apple press, please click on this link and bring a signed copy of the unavoidable liability release.
For those interested in the process, see below!
Making Juice at the Bounty
For apples destined for juice, we choose imperfect looking apples that are in prime condition. Since our orchard is beyond organic, a certain portion of the fruit will have damage from coddling moths and other pests. These fruits are nutritious and safe, they just need to be sliced before being consumed. It’s important to note that we do not use grounder apples or those with animal damage as our cleaning process may not kill all harmful microbiology that could have been introduced.
In our orchard, we have 28 varieties of apples that come mature throughout the summer and fall. That means we have a wide array of varieties and flavors to choose from! For more information on the Bounty Community Farm orchard, click here. At this point, we’re still getting to know which varieties complement each other for the best juice flavors.
We start by rinsing and cleaning all apples and equipment. At our farm, we fill up a tub with water and add a few cap fulls of bleach. Cooperative Extension has extensive information on food safety and cleaning and we recommend you read the resources below.
Second, we remove any rotten or damaged apples and start cutting the rest in half. Sometimes, an apple looks beautiful from the outside and has significant damage in the core.
Then, we go over safety instructions with all people present-which parts move and why! We pour the cut apples into the hopper and they pass through the mechanical grinder. The grinded apple bits fall out the bottom of the grinder into a slatted bucket. Once the bucket is full, it is transferred to the press.
The press takes some muscle to turn as it smushes the apple chunks. The juice flows out of the mesh lining and through the tray into the final bucket on the ground. Ideally, people bring their own containers to fill and take their juice home to pasteurize, refrigerate, and enjoy!
Fresh apple juice provides a bouquet of flavors, especially when using a variety of apple varieties! The sugar content is so high that even people with major sweet tooths can’t drink much before getting a sugar rush or upset stomach. Everything in moderation, including apple juice!
Resources for additional reading:
“Food Safety Facts: Safe Home Made Cider.” University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 2011.
“Preserving Fruit Juice and Apple Cider” Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, 2013.