Second Pressing Day

Second Pressing Day – 20th October 2014

The motto for the day has to be “team work!”

apple pressing day

Katharine & Kate stirring juice & pulp through net curtains into the barrel

It had been decided at last Wednesday’s meeting, to continue the pressing work ourselves, locally, using our own equipment, and so seven of us met again at the Tee Barn, at 10 am on a sunny but cold Monday morning.

And I think we’d all agree, after 5 plus hours of hard work, that it was a steep learning curve. Steep but worthwhile! Some things you can learn only by doing and problem solving.

Chris and Dave juicing non-stop

Chris and Dave juicing non-stop

An alien? No! It's Pam pressure cleaning the 45 gal barrel

An alien? No! It’s Pam pressure cleaning the 45 gal barrel

 

An alien? No! It's Pam pressure cleaning the 45 gal barrel

Issues around procedures such as filtering the juice and disposing of the pulp became clearly identified, and our little team ( Dave, Chris, Susanne, Kate, Catherine, Val and Pam) found ways round, through, over and above all of it.

 

 

 

 

Clamps, a pressure washer, net curtains (yes you read that right!), a balloon whisk, knives and chopping board were located and put to good use.

 

Val presenting our patent net curtain solution

Val presenting our patent net curtain solution

 

 

Val & Chris adding to the barrel

Val & Chris pouring juice into the barrel

The day remained sunny and dry, till a little after 2pm, when rain forced us into the barn which reduced the workspace somewhat. Still, we’re a good natured crew and, even armed with knives, plungers and a pressure hose, nobody got hurt!

 

 

 

Katharine sorting apples

Katharine sorting apples

 

Filtering proved, yet again, to be messy and hugely labour intensive ( or as Susanne expressed it, b$**^%  hard work!). But the team pressed on (pressed on —- get it??) and by the end of the afternoon the new fermenting bin, borrowed from Mark at Wells, was over ¾ full –its capacity is 45 gallons.

Katharine becoming apple experts

apple experts Katherine & Kate

 

Chris spoke with Mark when he got home and it seems we can add the already fermenting juice to the new batch at any time, which is great news as it’ll  add sweetness.

 

 

the miniature press didn't prove very efficient

the muscle building miniature press didn’t prove very efficient to extract juice from the pulp

The Specific Gravity  on the new batch, which Chris also measured  today was 48. This should give us an alcohol level of about 6.2 which would be pretty good.

pulp with lots of juice

pulp still containing lots of juice to be pressed out – we’ll have to find a more efficient solution!

All in all a successful day, with lots of ideas on refining and improving the process for next time. But for sure we’re a creative, multi-talented and resourceful bunch.

Thinking of calling ourselves, “the Press Gang” !