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Apple Juicing Open Days 2019

Our Apple Juicing Open days are very popular, these Frequently Asked Questions should ensure you arrive prepared. 

Please read them fully and carefully and if you have any questions that aren't answered here then get in touch .

What dates are there in 2019?

Open Days at Old Sleningford Farm:

Saturday 24th August

Saturday 21st September

Saturday 28th September (pressing only, no pasteurising available)

Saturday 5th October

Sunday 13th October (pressing only, no pasteurising available)

Saturday 19th October

Saturday 26th October

Saturday 9th November

Apple Pressing at other events - see separate details at the end of this page:

Masham Market – Saturday 31st August

Newby Hall Gardens - Sunday 29th September

Walled Garden, Ripon - Saturday 12th October

Information about juicing open days at Old Sleningford Farm .....

What time?

Arrive anytime after 10am, please don't turn up before as we usually have apples to press ourselves and being watched makes us grumpy and feel under pressure! Last entry at 2pm, which will enable us to be finished before it gets dark.

Do I need to book?
No, just turn up on any of the advertised dates between 10am and 2pm. No time slots are allocated, you just join in when the equipment becomes free and it's your turn. There may be a queue on busy days but the kettle is always on for teas and coffees (donation appreciated), bring a picnic if you think you could be here over lunchtime

What if I can't make any of the dates?
These are the only dates available so please don't ask if there are any more! 

There are a number of other projects that have apple juicing days that may be nearer to you – please don’t think you are taking away ‘business’ from us if you decide to go elsewhere, we will encourage you to! Here are a few of them:
Middlesborough - https://www.menvcity.org.uk/patchwork/ , Facebook @patchworkorchard and telephone number, 01642 579820 and ask for Dewi or Catherine.
Otley Chevin Orchard Project – facebook @otleychevinorchardproject.
Leeds Urban Harvest - http://www.leedsurbanharvest.org.uk/
https://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/ has a list of community juicing days

We also encourage people to buy their own equipment, especially if a village, town or group can get together and then organise their own juicing open days. Equipment is available from Vigo  or Winegrowersand a reasonably priced scratter from The Cider Workshop . Cheaper presses are available from various sellers, just do an internet search, but cheaper often means lower quality. This Ebay seller has equipment but we wouldn't like to say what the quality is like. If you are just making juice for own consumption, you can use a garden shredder (well cleaned of course!) and buy a small press, we wouldn't recommend a manual scratter as they are very inefficient at crushing the apples and the juice yield is much reduced.

How much is it?
We do the pressing days to encourage people to make use of food that may normally go to waste so we don’t charge but do ask for donations for use of the equipment (we suggest 25p a litre pressed).
The donations from previous years have gone towards trees in our forest garden and our juicing and pasteurising equipment. We have also helped other groups to set up open days like ours and are looking for other projects to support.

There is a cost for pasteurising and cider making, see details below, near the end. 

What type of apples can be juiced?
All apples will give you juice, even crab apples. We've found the best tasting juice is a mixture of eating and cooking apples - too many eaters and it can be too sweet and even insipid, too many cookers and it can be too sharp and acidic. However, bring what you have, it may be possible to blend with other peoples juice.

Can pears be juiced?
Yes, either on their own or mixed in with apples. Eating pears are a lot sweeter than apples, which makes a good blend especially with cooking apples. Some pears are very hard and don't taste very good, we've found these often make a really good tasting pear juice, so don't discard them! We think they'd also make a good pear cider, but haven't tried it ourselves.

How many apples can I bring?
As many as you've got. Our equipment can cope with large volumes of apples, one press can do 40kg at a time, the other 2 x 60kg at a time. If you have more apples than you need, we will gladly take them from you, please let us know. If you have a large amount, think about getting your own equipment (see 'What if I can't make any of the dates?' question above)

How can I tell how many apples I have?
As a general guide a carrier bag full will be around 4kg, a builders bucket around 10kg, an animal feed sack around 20kg, a dustbin full around 30kg.

How much juice will I get?
Roughly 2kg of apples will give you 1 litre of juice.

Will I get my own juice back?
If you are just making fresh juice to take home then yes, all the juice you make is from your apples. If you would like it pasteurising that depends – see details below near the end.

Can I use windfalls?
Yes, providing they don't have any mould on them. They will need to be washed carefully to make sure any soil or contamination from animals is removed.

Can I use bruised apples?
Yes, providing they haven't gone mouldy. And badly bruised bits can be cut out if you want.

Can I use apples with scab on the skin?
Yes. Apples that you wouldn't want to eat because of the look of the skin are perfect for juicing - you don't waste them!

What if I have more apples than I need?
We may have capacity to take them so please bring them along with you. You can have juice pasteurised or made in to cider if you have too much fresh juice – see details below near the end. Other places that accept excess apples are Thornborough Cider if you're close to Ripon or in the East Riding Colemans Cider. See their websites for details.

Do I need to wash the apples before I come?
No, but it will speed up the process once you get to us. All apples need to be washed before being juiced, we have some big sinks and drainers that can be used. The water will be cold, rubber gloves can help so bring some along, we cannot provide rubber gloves.

How many containers will I need?
Enough to put your juice in! 2kg of apples will give you 1 litre of juice. Containers need to be sealable to get you home without ending up with a car full of juice. We do not have any containers so please make sure you bring plenty.

What kind of containers do I need?
Depends what you want to do with the juice:
- Fresh juice will start to ferment after a week or so it's best to put it into non-glass containers just in case, glass will explode with the pressure of fermentation. Used pop bottles or tetrapacks (fruit juice cartons) are perfect, and they can be frozen if you want to keep the juice for longer. They need to be rinsed out, you can sterilise them with (Milton for example). Used plastic milk bottles can be used, but they do need to be sterilised to make sure a sour milk smell doesn't spoil the apple juice taste.
- If you want to have juice pasteurised or made in to cider, see details below near the end.

I've not got enough containers, have you any spare?
No, please make sure you bring enough with you. If you have more juice than containers, you can leave it for pasteurising or making in to cider, see details below near the end. 

How long will my juice last?
Fresh juice will start to ferment after about a week, even if kept in the fridge. If you want to keep it longer, it freezes well and you can take it out and drink as and when required (see above re containers).

Is there an alternative to freezing fresh juice?
Yes, it can be pasteurised or turned in to cider – see details below near the end.

Can children come?
Yes, any age is welcome. Parents are responsible for their offspring at all times, there is electricity in use and the equipment can cause injury if not used properly, so it's best if children behave themselves! We give full instruction on how to use the equipment safely but reserve the right to ask anyone, regardless of age, to leave if they are not behaving or following instructions.

Can I bring my dog?
We'd prefer not as we have animals at the farm, it can get very busy and we are dealing with food so try and be as hygienic as possible. However we understand you may have to bring your dog so if it's unavoidable please keep them on a lead and away from other people and the equipment. We can direct you to a public footpath near the farm if they need a walk.

Where do you get your equipment from?
Vigo  are the specialists is juicing equipment, you can find it cheaper elsewhere but you may not get the quality that Vigo equipment has. See question above 'What if I can't make any of the dates?' for more links to suppliers.

Can you come out to us and do a demonstration or for a group of us to juice our apples?
Afraid not, we are fully booked up for the season

Pasteurising is heat treating the juice to kill off yeast and bacteria which then means it can be kept at ambient temperature and will last for 2 years unopened. Perfect if you’ve not much freezer space and want juice to last all year, or give it as presents (with a handmade label on!)
You leave the juice with me, I bottle and pasteurise it and you collect it a few days later, before the next open day at the farm as I’ve no storage space.
I provide the bottles, which can be returned for re-use. You will need to bring boxes or bags to put the bottles in to to take them home.
If you have more than 60 litres of juice (around 120kg apples) it can be separated and you will receive your own juice back. Less than 60 litres it will be added to a larger container with other peoples and you will receive the appropriate number of bottles back for the amount of juice you had. So some of the juice in the bottle will be yours.
Pasteurised in litre bottles.
Cost is £1.75 per bottle, which includes the donation for use of equipment.
Returned bottles must be spotlessly clean, dry and the tamper evident strip removed from the neck. I give 10p for every bottle returned in this state. Any others I cannot accept as I don’t have time to clean as well as sterilise them before reusing. It also helps me greatly if they can be returned before 1st September so I can get them sterilised before the main pressing days start.

Cider Making
You can take home you fresh juice and put it in an air locked container and make your own cider, there is some information on the cider making pages on this website.
NEW FOR 2019 – I can make cider for you!
You leave your juice, I put in an air locked container with some yeast
It ferments, I rack it off and leave to mature over summer
When ready for bottling I will sweeten, bottle and pasteurise it (to stop if fermenting again in the bottle)
You collect it at the following years apple pressing, or other date if that’s not convenient
Minimum of 25 litres, in combinations of 25 litres (fermenting vessels have 25 litre capacity)
You will get at least 20 litres back (some is lost when racking off)
50cl bottles with a crown cork, minimum of 40 bottles.
£1.25 per bottle. £20 deposit to be left with the juice, balance to be paid on collection of the bottles.

 If you are interested in having some cider made, please get in touch as I will need to order sufficient fermenting vessels.

Information about juicing at other events ....

We will be at the following events demonstrating apple pressing and the venues are happy for the public to bring their apples to be juiced. Details vary for each event, and are different to the open days at the farm.

For all these events:

Apples must be washed before bringing them, there are no facilities to wash them on site. Dirty apples will not be pressed. (See details above for what types of apple etc can be used).

You must bring suitable containers to take your juice home (see details above for how much juice you can expect / what type of containers etc)

There will be members of the public at these events who may want to sample your juice. We will try to limit the amount of juice given away but please be prepared to share some of it with others.

I will not be able to pasteurise any juice from these pressings, all of it will need to be taken away fresh.

Donations for use of the equipment will be appreciated and we suggest 25p per litre pressed. Donations from Masham Market and Newby Hall will go towards Old Sleningford Farm and from the Walled Garden will be given to them.

Masham Market, High Summer Food and Drink Fair: Saturday 31st August. 10am to 4pm (last pressing 3pm). In the market square with easy parking near to the pressing.

Newby Hall Gardens Apple Day and Season close: Sunday 29th September. 11am to 4pm (last pressing 3pm). Normal admission applies. I will be pressing near the restaurant, which is a fair walk from the entrance. If you have a large amount of apples, come and find me first and I will direct you to a car drop off point near to the pressing.

The Walled Garden, Ripon, Apple Day and Plant Sale: Saturday 12th October. 10am to 4pm (last pressing 3pm). The Walled Garden is a horticultural project for adults with learning difficulties in Ripon. Free entry, donations appreciated. Volunteers with trolleys will be on hand to bring your apples to the pressing area, just ask for help.

And if this hasn't answered your question, please get in touch !

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