Apple harvest has begun in my backyard, and that’s got me thinking about wine. I’ve made a lot of apple wine, and processed apples a lot of different ways. Blenders and juicers both work, but you have to chop all the apples and process them in batches. I can’t find the notes, but I remember using sugar extraction for one batch. The trouble with all of these methods is the chopping; it’s tedious and doesn’t scale well. What I’d really like is a way to process apples that’s quick, cheap, and easy.
So I’ve been on the lookout for other ideas, and that’s how I came across Luc Volders apple a day post. What I like about Mr Volders is that he doesn’t just take ideas at face value; he puts them to the test. In this post he rigorously compares several methods of juicing apples.
To me, freezing the whole apple offers a big payoff in convenience over the other methods and I think I’ll give that a try this year. He reported a 68% juice yield, which is slightly less than some of the other methods (70 – 74%). If I don’t have to chop all those apples, it’s a price well worth paying. I’ll probably modify his approach and freeze the apples without coring them, add pectic enzyme and sulfite as they are thawing and allow them to thaw without separating the free run juice. This way, the enzyme and sulfite can work on all the juice.
I’m excited about the new process, and I’ll write about how it works out. Right now, it’s time to pop the cork on one of last year’s bottles and hit the send button …
Update 9/14/2010 – A partial success
I got a 34-36% juice yield from 8 lb of apples, which is pretty low. This method is basically a way to crush apples without a crusher. They still need to be pressed to get a good yield and that’s where I need to do better. Building or buying a small press? Using more fruit so I can use my 3-bucket press? Maybe. Using a sanitized spatula again? Definitely not!
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