[NAFEX] Centennials / apple pressing

loneroc loneroc at mwt.net
Thu Oct 19 07:31:59 EDT 2006

Thanks Del,

Centennial must keep its crisp texture longer the less heat there is (duh, I
suppose).  Southerners on this list really like Centennial, but state that
it turns to moosh very quickly.  I have a two week window of crispness here
in SW WI, maybe a little more. With your August average highs of 40F up
there things must last a lot longer.

I too, took the cider press plunge this year.  I'd used an electric kitchen
juicer for several years, cutting and coring, before putting the slices down
the chute.  Fun for a bushel or two.  I went the absolutely extravagant
route of paying a grand for the Happy Valley press. I'm not really a
tinkerer type--who might fall in love with the internal intricacies of
garbage disposals.  Esthetically, I figured I'd get more satisfaction from
using a manual, quiet, old-timey contraption and the Happy Valley fit the
bill.  Now that the press is paid for, I can forget about the economic
calculation that I'll need to make several hundred gallons of Juice (Cider
is the fermented product) to recoup my "investment".

I'm satisfied overall with the HV's performance.  It did come with the
crappiest directions I've ever seen on a US-made product.  I can understand
why the instructions written by a Chinese widgetmaker might be nearly
unintelligible, but Kansan seems to be mutually intelligible with English so
far as I can tell. I managed to assemble the press after a couple phone
calls to the maker and an extra day or two of effort beyond the predicted
assembly time, but that nightmare has faded into the dim recesses of my
50-year-old memory.

Freezing the juice produces magnificent results.  Towards Spring there are
some very subtle changes in flavor and after a year or so you can notice a
slight "artificial apple flavor" tastes starting to become more noticeable.
Unless your electricity is either very expensive or absent altogether I'd
recommend freezing over any method except fermentation.  But ya can only
drink so much hooch!  Canning turns the juice into a product little better
than Del Monte or Mott's.

Contrary to the advice of almost every cidermaking information I've read I
use drops to make juice in addition to squeezing the 2nd's.  I remove all
the fallen fruit from beneath the trees all summer long to interrupt pest
lifecycles anyway.  I compost the bad stuff. I have no livestock to
contaminate fruit butt he drops that seem to be pretty good are washed in a
mild bleach solution and rinsed well anyway.  I then inspect each apple,
cutting out bruises, rot, and any other spot where the skin has been broken.
Can anyone see a down side to this process that I'm missing?

I like to allow the trees to drop a third of the actual main crop (not
counting June drop and other early falls) or more before I pick . The drops
are nearly all  fruit that have some sort of insect or disease damage and,
because of the ethylene produced by decay, those fruit fall first---the
remaining fruit tends to be the undamaged stuff.  I pick from the tree and
can, for the most part, just bag the fruit.  True 2nds go into the press.
Perfect fruit is separated into more-ripe, and less-ripe.  The riper stuff
is the first fruit pulled from storage and the greener fruit is left for
late season eating.  I don't wash prior to bagging because several months
have passed since my two scab/curculio sprays in May.  Fruit with bird turds
are not bagged but there are only a few of them

My small orchard produces more apples and product than I can possibly use
with out adding 200 pounds to the mid-section.  The rest goes to friends and


Steve Herje, SW WI

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Del Stubbs" <northernlights2n at yahoo.com>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 8:41 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Centennials / apple pressing

> Just checked my records, we ate the first centennials end of August, I
waited over a
> month till they were 1/3 honey core (but still firm) for squeezing. This
was our first
> year using an apple press ( with a disposal for a grinder). I am using the
> 'cheeses' method with a hydralic jack. After pressing the 3" high cheeses
come out like
> thin dry pizzas, wonderful.
> A great suprise has been how mediocre tasting (or somewhat over the
hill)apples, mixed
> with a few tart apples, makes fantastic sweet cider. Since so many of the
hardy apples
> are not keepers I am delighted to see how useful they are for sweet cider.
Mandan is an
> example, a large, sweet, not very flavorful apple - but made a marvelous
cider with a few
> prairie spys added.
> And three cheers for apple-crabs for squeezing - they dont have to be
halved to fit the
> disposal grinders' mouth - just toss 'em in as fast as it can chew.
> Del N Minnesota
> --- loneroc <loneroc at mwt.net> wrote:
> > Boy, Del,
> > My 'Centennial' bore 2 1/2 months ago.
> > If 'Centennial' is that late for you how do you get any at all to bear?
> > Steve H. (Same zone # as Del, but obviously a world away in climate)
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- 
> > From: "Del Stubbs" <northernlights2n at yahoo.com>
> > > Just finished our first cider pressing of the apple-crab Centennial,
> > delicious!
> > > Del
> Del Stubbs  http://www.pinewoodforge.com   zone 3   N. MN
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