I've been very dilatory about updating what's been going on. I will make this a little general overarching post which I will add to subsequently.
The campaign this year wasn't very long. Apples became ripe much earlier than in the last two years (which were late harvest years), and we had so many offered that, sadly, we weren't able to use anywhere near all that we could have done. Very disappointing! I don't like to see waste. Trees like the ones below at Bruton School for Girls did get harvested but others were not. For harvesting these trees I had the assistance of some members of staff and a lot of the students!
Once harvested we take everything back to our base where all the juicing is done. The space available is a little cramped, but we make it work. Crates are unloaded, apples washed, the pulping mill started up (it's very sharp bladed and fast) and the process begins. Once we have the pulp, everything goes into the hydropress. This takes six large buckets of juice per press. The central bladder is expanded by water pressure squeezing the juice through the outer neoprene and aluminium exterior which are both sieves. The juice then is pumped either into an overhead tank when we are doing apple juice, or directly into fermentation tanks for cider.
Apples in the holding water tank being washed, and below, Oliver pouring apples into the juicer. The buckets of pulp will be next into the press (with the orange lid).
Patrick, above, minding the pasteurisation process where every bottle is taken to over 73C. Then they are washed and dried, caps applied (as Harry is doing below) and labelled.