First, the apples must be sorted and washed thoroughly, especially when they are already fallen down from a tree and picked from the ground. Dirty apples or apples with rotten bits are not suitable for juice making as the juice can quickly ferment even after pasteurization. Even a small amount of moldy or rotten apples can spoil the taste of the juice and affect the expiration of the whole patch. You’ll get extra aromatic and delicious juice by mixing different kinds of apples. It is important that the apples are mature enough, but not too ripe or too raw. Raw apples give very little juice and also the juice will be very sour. The overripe apples, however, become too try and fall apart very easily. It is hard to press them and also the juice will be cloudy and full of pulp. That’s why it’s best to use late-autumn and winter apples for juice-making as they are juicier and denser than soft summer apples.
The next step is to crush the apples with a special apple shredder. It's easy to squeeze the juice out of a shredded pulp and also in that way you’ll get higher juice yield. Unfortunately, just cutting the apples with a knife does not fulfill the same purpose as it does not break the cell structure of apples which ultimately gives you more juice. To increase the juice outcome, you can let the shredded pulp rest for a few hours before pressing. The juice will already start coming out from the pulp during resting time.
Pressing apple juice
Shredded pulp is placed into juice press basket and it will be pressed. It is recommended to use a filter bag inside of the press so that the juice will be clear and free from pulp. Depending on the apples and the fineness of shredding, the juice yield is usually between 40% to 70% of the total weight of the apples. During the pressing it is recommended to increase the pressure gradually so that there is time for juice to flow out from the pulp. One cycle, which includes filling the basket, pressing, emptying the basket, takes about 15 minutes. The juice yield depends mostly on preparation as well as proper technique of pressing.
Apple juice stays fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days on average. To preserve the juice over the winter, it needs to be pasteurized or heated and filled into bottles or Bag-in-Box juice storage bags. Pasteurized apple juice will stay fresh for at least 12 months.