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.


  1. I think its just fine- You can always advise would-be drinkers to shut their eyes!

    Last year I juiced loads of apples through my juicer, drinking in the healthgiving benefits with happy abandon...until I realised I was in danger of taking the enamel off my teeth I was drinking so much!!

  2. Dear Kathy, As you say, there is always a warm feeling of satisfaction in achieving something for yourself. However, it has to be said, that there is an even warmer feeling when the 'fruits' of one's labours look appetising too.

    Close your eyes, drink and think of England....I am sure that taste is good.......maybe!! Whatever, there are no 'E's so that has to be positive.

  3. Maybe not so appetizing looking, but, it's the taste that counts, and, it tastes all that much better because you made it yourself.

  4. As you say yourself you know what went in to it therefore you know there is nothing nasty in there so don't worry if it looks muddy or whatever. The shop stuff probably looks the way it does because it's had half the goodness taken out of it, so if I was you I would just keep pressing on with it.

  5. Mud should taste so good! Press on, I say!

  6. Now how do you turn that into cider? Yum yum. Diane

  7. If at first you don't succeed try, try again :-) My first elderflower champagne went horribly wrong but the second was really nice. Give it another go :-)

  8. Hey, you know, this is your first - it can only get better with practice! I never get totally on the mark the first time of anything! Add Splenda to take care of some of the sharpness?

  9. I admire you for trying all these wonderful things. And for letting us know the process in such detail. I agree it is the taste that counts, not the look.

  10. Thanks for all your encouraging comments, I particularly like Edith's idea of closing my eyes and thinking of England, always a good plan in extremis I've found.

  11. I can be your apple source! I have about 10 million apples on site at work, and they're faling by the hour! How about you drive down one day and we'll load the car up? Plus you could try one of the famous scoth eggs! Some of the apple varieties are really old and absolutely delicious. Plus there's some incredibly sweet ones (too sweet for me really) but they'll probably solve your too sharp flavour issue, x

  12. Having had fresh apple juice before, I'd say it looks lovely. Freezes well to.


  13. Nifty little gadget.

    We pressed some apples from the garden last year (in our juicer) they were a pinky mud colour (similar to yours) but tasted okay, rather sharp but fresh.

    I always wantd to come by and say Thanks to discovering your blog last year, this year I am a confident identifier of rosehip and am looking to harvest some in the next few weeks.

  14. kathy
    tastes lovely looks awful!

    when you sell your millionth carton..and made your fortune make sure the carton doesnt show the muddy liquid inside!!!!

  15. Hi,
    Your apple juice looks just like mine did! I tried a few things, like adding some lemon to try and get it clear. My final solution was to add blackberries for the colour rather than the taste. It disgusises the mud :)

  16. Thanks James, Looking forward to loading up the car on Friday

    Thanks for that Mangocheeks, nice to know you found it helpful, hope you enjoy the rose hip syrup

    I wish John, I wish

    Hi Mo and Steve, that's a great idea, I may have to give it a go with the next batch.



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