Apple Pressing

Apple Pressing Service

Update Autumn 2023: We have started pressing apples! We will now be pressing apples once or twice a week all the way through to the end of November. 

Here are some of the questions we are asked:

1. How much does it cost?

There are several options, now including a discount for customers pressing larger amounts of apples.

a. Pressing and pasteurising with new green bottles and new caps – £1.98 per 75cl bottle for 12-48 bottles, and £1.88 per 75cl bottle for 49+ bottles.

b. Pressing and pasteurising re-using your cleaned and sterilised bottles, and using new caps – £1.40 per 75cl bottle for 12-48 bottles, and £1.30 per 75cl bottle for 49+ bottles.

c. Pressing for cider – using your own fermentation bins and cider-making equipment – £0.90 per litre for less than 40 litres or £0.80 per litre for over 40 litres. You can also freeze your apple juice if you decant into smaller plastic bottles once home.

d. Pressing and pasteurising with new 25cl bottles and new caps – £0.80 per 25cl bottle for any quantity.

2. Do I have enough apples?

The minimum amount is 2 full ‘bags for life’ (which is enough for about 10 – 12 bottles). We also do contract pressing for other businesses and, so far, no amount is too large for us! We also sometimes have surplus apples so it may be possible to blend your apples with some of ours to make up the right quantity. Please ask us for more information and availability.

3. How much juice will my apples turn into?

It really depends on the apples, some are naturally juicier than others, and our rack and cloth press is very efficient. One full trug of apples (roughly equivalent to a 20kg feed sack) could provide enough apple juice to fill about 14 75cl bottles. Let us know if you need to put a cap on the number of bottles you want produced.

4. What sort of apples?

Desert, cooking or cider – your choice. Although you wouldn’t want to eat a cooking apple they often provide a nice crisp palatable juice, whereas a desert apple will make sweeter juice. Lots of people will blend whatever apples they have, so even a few cider apples in the mix shouldn’t hurt.

5. What sort of condition should the apples be in?

Basic rule of thumb: bring apples that look good enough to eat. Heavily bruised, muddy or ‘slugged’ apples will not produce nice juice and we may reject a delivery of apples if we think they aren’t good enough. Apples will still ripen off the tree so you can pick your apples when you notice them starting to fall and perhaps wait a week or two to further ripen. Windfalls are fine if they have only just fallen and there are no livestock in your orchards.

6. I’ve got enough apples to try making cider. What should I do?

We can certainly press the apples for you but we are not experts at making cider and would strongly recommend going on a course or reading up on it. Orchards Live run very affordable introductory courses every autumn, and Andrew Lea’s website and books are good and accessible.

7. So. I’m ready to go. What is the process?

You ring us when your apples are nearly ready, tell us how many (roughly) you have and we arrange a suitable time for you to come and drop them off along with empty boxes for the bottles to be returned to you in (supermarkets are great for old wine boxes). When you deliver the apples (our directions are on the Contact Us page) we will say when we expect to press them and will contact you when they are all pressed, pasteurised and boxed up ready for collection!

8. How do I pay?

Invoices are issued with the bottles and prompt payment is always appreciated. Bacs is preferred but card, cash and cheques are all fine. Full details are on the invoice.

9. I have bottles from last year. I’d like to re-use them. What should I do?

Bottles can be re-used if, once empty, they are rinsed and washed in warm soapy water. Wine bottles are not acceptable. The metal ring from the cap should also be cut off (use wire-cutters). Leave to dry and loosely cap to stop spiders from making homes! Then store. Just before the next harvest, sterilise bottles in something like Milton’s, just follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We then give the bottles a quick rinse with water before filling with fresh juice.