I had a bumper crop of apples this year in my small yard with four dwarf apple trees. I grow them organically, so they aren’t the prettiest apples and many birds, squirrels, chipmunks and worms thought they were delicious before I got around to picking them all. After bagging up all the nice/acceptable apples, I had three grocery bags of apples that were headed for our city compost pickup because they had bites or some rotten spots on them. But, I kept thinking about all the good parts that those apples still had in them and I couldn’t get apple cider out of my mind. Well, I live in a small house and certainly didn’t have an apple press tucked away in my .75-car garage, so I thought about the things I DID have in my kitchen and here’s what I came up with using my Kleynhuis Colander & Pouch.
My Small-Scale Cider Press Method
- Enjoy a sunny day outside and cut out any bad/wormy spots in your apples. Compost the discards and wash the good parts.
- Here are the things you will need: apples (of course), knife, Vita-Mix, Kleynhuis Colander fitted with a Kleynhuis Pouch, larger pot or bowl underneath, another bowl that is roughly the same size as the colander you are using.
- Since you will not be adding any water, put the cover on your Vita-Mix and turn your Vita-Mix on variable #4. Drop in apple quarters one-by-one into the hole at the top. Push down any apples that get stuck using the tamper.
- Note: If you fill your Vita-mix with apples and then start to grind them, you will not be successful since there isn’t any water to help blend the mixture. I know this from experience. 🙂
- When your colander is close to full, you are ready to press the juice out.
- Cinch shut the pouch. FYI, in apple-pressing lingo, they call this an apple “cheese.”
- Use another bowl to press the juice out of the apple cheese.
- I got creative and used my big pot of apples and balanced it on top to help press down.
- After this initial pressing, pour your cider into a pitcher or pourable bowl. Then fluff up your apple cheese to redistribute the apple mush.
- For my second pressing, I put my setup on the floor and found a large 5-gallon pail lid and kneeled on it. And then, why not…I tried sitting on it to get every last drop of juice I could! 🙂 I found out just how durable my Kleynhuis Colander is!
- One full colander of apple mush, gave me about four cups of apple cider.
- After processing my big pot of apples, instead of three bags of apples going to the compost bin, I was left with two bowls of pressed-out apple mush.
- And freshly pressed cider. Wow! It is delicious! That big pot of apples produced about two gallons of cider. I left some out for us to enjoy but the rest headed to my freezer, keeping in mind that fresh, unpasteurized cider only lasts about three days. Enjoy!
- Let me know if you have any of your own tips for small-scale DYI apple cider pressing!.