Pressing session 6 September 2015

We had a great team of volunteers this time (scroll down to see pictures). Although we had lots of apples to be pressed, it all went quite smoothly. Ken brought his shredder to try as an alternative to our juicer for scratting. And he brought his self-built press. Both devices were great additions to the workflow. Barry and Celia who donate a huge amount of apples this year also gave a helping hand, as well as new group members Nina, Charlene and Tim. Most of our small fermenting vessels are full, just from the season’s early apples. With the main crop yet to come, we will need to be picking well into October!

A few comments for the attention of all in the group:

The apples collected at the beginning of September included a lot of Bramleys, which are actually a late September variety. They benefit from being stored for later pressing, but a lot of them had been torn from trees, splitting the skin at the point where the stem protrudes and making them susceptible to infection. This made them not storable and rather than have them go to waste, a large number of unripe cookers were put in the mix, which in turn will impact on the dryness of the final product.

While the shredded & pressed apples were easier to work than the juiced & pressed apples and kept the pressing team well occupied throughout, a short examination of the remaining pulp deposited in the wood revealed that the pulp of the former was much more moist than the latter. It was quite easy to squeeze more juice out of the shredded & pressed pulp, whereas the juiced and pressed apples produced a very dry,  cardboard-like pulp.