Your own cider mill
When the greenhouse is emptied out you can start squeezing apples.
Photo: Grøn Kommunikation
If you have an apple juicer you have a cider mill, which you can use for booth vine, tomatoes and even honey if you have bees in your garden. The method is quite simple. You put the apples in the juicer and turn the handle which will press a piston against the apples. The juice will stream into a tub or bucket and then you have juice.
A hand-press can hold 11 litres and is around 170 – 300 pounds, depending on the quality and where you buy it.
You can also buy a grinder. A grinder cuts the apples in smaller pieces, so you get more juice. As an alternative, you can cut the apples yourself in quarters or smaller pieces with a knife. Of course, it prolongs the working time, but if the kids are helping it will be a nice family activity.
Further, you can put all the apples in a plastic tub and use a rammer to stamp the apples. You can make one yourself from a trunk with a diameter of 4 – 6 inches. If you have a square post, you can use that as well. Remember it should be clean. Make a handle so you can hold the trunk while stamping the apples.
Half ripe apples, acidic apples or a mix between cooking apples and dessert apples gives more taste to the juice. But don’t worry if you can’t find sour apples. Homemade juice tastes like heaven no matter what.
Keep it cool
Freshly squeezed juice can’t last for long. When the apples are squeezed the juice should be poured in bottles that have been scalded boiling water. The juice can be kept in the fridge for approximately 14 days. If you freeze the juice it can last for at least a year, but it should be used quickly when thawed. For this reason, it is a good idea to put the juice in smaller plastic bags.
Another option is to heat the juice up to a temperature between 75 and 80 degrees and then pour it on bottles that have been heated in the oven or been in boiling water. Remember to heat up the cork. The heat treatment is to store the juice even longer, maybe up to a year. On the other hand, some of the vitamins will be destroyed when the juice is heated up. You can also buy a canning machine.
Om Lars Lund
Danish horticulturist and journalist
Lars Lund has for many years engaged in the garden and greenhouse. Lars has published many books about greenhouses, and he has participated in many Danish horticultural TV shows. He is a walking garden encyclopaedia, and he has answers for most basic cultivation questions – also the more ambitious ones.