My brother came to visit last weekend. We used the guise of harvesting my crab apples to get to see each other. Last year he bought an apple press, and made the sweetest apple juice ever. It was wonderful, but could have used something to balance the sweetness. This is where my crab apple tree comes in.
My brother is a man of few words, so we’re going to have to tell this story mostly with pictures.
Start with the pretty red fruit he took to Nevada. It’s ready today, but many apples won’t be available until later this Fall. He plans on freezing the juice and holding it for later.
It may not seem like much, but if you filled these same buckets with full sized apples, you wouldn’t have as much fruit. The smaller size of these lets each bucket hold more, and the giveaway is the weight. Bigger fruit has more air between the apples.
This is his apple juicer. He bought it last year and it looks to be a quality craftsman’s product. It has much more soul than some stainless steel, motor driven product. The fruit goes into a hopper at the top of the red piece.
Here is a better view of the hopper. Load her up, turn the wheel, and make apple juice. I’m sure you could use it to juice anything you wanted, but it might flavor the equipment. This one is just for apples. (I could probably make some good catfish bait with this. A few crawdads, some crickets, just saying.)
Juice comes out the bottom and drains into a bucket.
I am surprised that the juice is red. It’s actually pretty cool that it is. It will give a charming color to any juice he adds this fall. Just imagine the awesome jelly I could make with pure undiluted juice.
He told me the flavor is tart, but very complex. That is the whole point of using it. The juice from last year was like honey. I’d really like to try a bottle of hard cider after he gets his Fall apples juiced. This juice is destined for the freezer for now.
He reported the recovery is about 10%. That isn’t horrible, but I was hoping for about 20%. The residue will go on his compost pile.
I have hunch the compost won’t stay there very long. He said a herd of mule deer invaded his yard the minute he started his apple mill. The scent must have drawn them in. They’re kind of cagey, but he managed this poor photo of a young buck as proof.
I hope the formatting works out in this post. There are more pictures than text.
My family has always been into preserving lost skills. Regular readers know about my sourdough starter, pickling crock, and canning jars. My brother even has a fully functional blacksmith’s shop.
What skills are you preserving? Do you make bent willow furniture, mud ovens, pottery? I think it’s important to save these skills for future generations.