How to make homemade apple juice -
some useful advice
For the best juice the apples should be properly ripe. Normally this is checked by cutting open an apple. Dark brown/black pips are ripe, not white, green or light brown. Some judge by if the tree is dropping the apples, but be careful, as sometimes the trees will shed a load in summer so it can concentrate on the others. These "June Drop" apples are not suitable for pressing. Also if the fruit is going rotten or mouldy, it's not good for juice. But you needn't be too fussy; a bit of windfall bruising, or some skin damage is fine, although I recommend washing windfalls.
The best juice is made with a balance of sugars and acidity. In practice, this means a mix of cookers and eaters. Personally, I prefer a tilt of the balance towards cookers (so a bit sharper, not oversweet.) But if you have a sweeter tooth, or youngsters, then 50/50 is great. If you find the juice of your trees too sweet (or too sharp), then its easy to fix by adding some from the other end of the spectrum.
Freezing is the easiest, if you have the space. Simply fill clean plastic bottles (eg. milk containers) to about 2 or 3" from the top (the juice will expand as it freezes) and put upright in the freezer.
Or you can pasteurise to kill the yeast and any bacteria. If you have an Aga/range, then you can do it on top, or we sell a small electric portable pasteuriser. Whichever way you do this, it must be done carefully to avoid the danger of exploding glass bottles. The normal hobby style of pasteurising is 'in-bottle', but you can also pour into sterlised bottles at temperature. If you choose to pasteurise, I'd recommend reading up on it first. If you have any queries, you can always ring us here at Pressfruit to ask.
Whether you freeze or pasteurise your juice should then last easily until the next season. Cheers!