Frequently Asked Questions about Apple Pressing

apple pressing frequently asked questions

Whilst we spend most of the year sitting underneath apple trees in the orchard, sipping cider and lazing around (I wish!)… as you can imagine, during the apple pressing season we are incredibly busy.

We often work sixteen-hour days, seven-days-per-week in September and October to make sure your fruit gets pressed whilst it’s at its best.

We’re happy for you to call us with any questions, but here are some frequently asked questions that might save us precious time away from apple pressing:

How much does it cost?

A 750 ml bottle of pasteurized Apple juice is £2.00. This price includes the bottle and cap.

1 liter of RAW unpasteurized juice (suitable for making cider) is £1 per litre. You need to provide your own containers for this service. Note that it is not pasteurised, so you’ll need to consume within three days, freeze, preserve, pasteurise or turn into cider.

What is added to my apple juice?

Absolutely nothing is added.  It is 100% your juice.  The pasteurisation method preserves your apple juice.

Do you add other people’s apples to my apples?

No, only YOUR apples go into YOUR juice. We press every batch individually.

There are some pressing companies that will mix your apples with others to make the juice cheaper, but we never ever do that.

How do you pasteurise it?

We pasteurise your juice by submerging your individual bottles into tanks of water, gently heating them, and suspending the juice at a consistent temperature for a specific amount of time. The temperature is designed to kill off any bad bacteria, whilst preserving the nutriants.

How much juice will I get from my apples?

This is a tough one to answer. The number of apples doesn’t always correlate to how much juice you get.  It really depends on the variety of apple, how much rain we have had, time of year you pick them, etc.

However, a rough guide is that you get around a third of juice from the volume of apples you drop off.

So for example, a 40 litre builders tub full of apples might yield around 12 litres of juice. Once bottled, that might be around 15 bottles (after the sediment has been filtered out).

The volume can vary by as much as four bottles either way, depending on variety, juiciness, etc.

How do I know when to pick my apples?

I good indication is when you give the apples a little twist on the branch it should come off in your hand with a quarter turn (and without tugging). 

If you cut the apple in two, the pips will be brown and not white. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking your apples are ready just because they start falling from the tree. Often, a tree will shed a load of apples early in the season so that it can concentrate on growing the rest to full maturity.

If you pick your apples too early, you could end up with extremely sour juice.

Similarly, don’t let them over-mature. Soft and mushy apples are almost impossible for us to press.

Do I need to book a slot for apple pressing?

You don’t need to book, but please give us advance warning that you’re dropping your apples off. This will help us staff appropriately and ensure we are not leaving fruit sitting around on warm days.

If possible, do not pick your apples until you have spoken to us. Apples last much longer on the tree than in bags or boxes.

What shall I bring my apples in?

You can put your apples in any tubs, boxes or bags.

Something easy to lift is preferable (our staff do a lot of heavy lifting so you can ease the burden by not bringing huge containers). However, we’re not too fussy if that’s all you have.

Old compost bags are the worst, especially if they are not clean. The fruit can go bad in compost bags very quickly during the warmer months.

Do my apples need to be clean?

Yes please. Whilst we rinse apples before pressing, we do not individually scrub them. If you’re picking extremely muddy apples, the mud can end up in your press.

Similarly, if you are putting the apples in dirty containers, it can contaminate your juice.

Can I bring all my apples to you?

We will gladly press your healthy apples BUT PLEASE DO NOT bring apples that are rotten, overly bruised or damaged. 

They can affect the overall taste of your juice and we also don’t have the time to sift through hundreds of apples to find the good ones.

We are not an apple sorting business, so whilst we will do our best to remove any bad ones we see we will reject batches where there are a high proportion of rotten apples (yes, we’ve had customers literally dropping off their garden waste and asking us to sort through it and dispose of the rest!!!).

What size are the bottles?

Our standard size bottles are 750 ml.

How long will my juice last?

We suggest a shelf life of 12 months.  It is also recommended that you store your juice out of direct sunlight and somewhere cool.

We are still drinking our own juice that is two years old, but drinking the juice beyond a year will be left to your discretion (and the taste).

Can I juice cooking apples?

We suggest a mix of roughly 35% cookers to 65% sweet eating variety.  This combination normally produced the finest juice.

However, some customers do press 100% cooking apples, or a higher ratio of cooking apples. The best approach is to taste your apples. If your cookers are sweet, they will make good juice. If they are sour, then your juice will be sour.

Can I press pears?

Absolutely! A combination of apple and pear juice (Pepple Juice) is delicious.  Pears don’t tend to keep as long as apples so only pick them a day or so before you plan on pressing. 

Pears on their own are very sweet and syrupy and they don’t pasteurise very well. The pepple combination is a much better mix.

We recommend a mix of roughly 35% pears to 65% apples.

How will I know when my juice is ready?

We will either call or send you a text when your juice is ready for collection. If you would like to pick up the juice outside of normal business hours, let us know and we can leave it somewhere for you to collect.

Will I get my tubs back?

Yes. We keep your boxes and tubs with your order. You’ll get them back with your juice.

We deal with hundreds of loads per season, so if any of your crates are missing, let us know and we will do our best to track them down.

How long have you been apple pressing?

We are currently in our 10th year of apple pressing.

Will you make my Cider for me?

No. We can press your apples into juice. After that, it’s over to you. However, the cider making process is quite simple and we have instructions on how to make cider here.

When can I drink my cider? 

All good things come to those who wait.  Your cider can be consumed within 3 months, but we would recommend at least 6 months before consumption… even a year if you can wait that long.

What is the minimum amount of apples I can press?

We have a £20 (10 bottle) minimum charge. This is due to the cleaning time and because a certain amount of juice is lost in the process (within the press and due to the filtration process).

If you have any other questions regarding apple pressing, or you would like to get your apples presses, just give us a call!

Featured image by Franz W. from Pixabay 

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