Fruit Pressing

Information for making fruit juice

NB If you live in Brettenham and have fruit you would like to make into juice or donate but cannot pick yourself, we can arrange people to pick it for you.  Please contact Lyn and Fred Rufus at 01449 258055/

Use of the presses

  • You must pre-book by contacting Lyn and Fred Rufus at 01449 258055/
  • Bookings every 30 minutes 12 noon – 3.30pm. 
  • Use of the press is free.
  • We’ll be using a Vigo 40lt Hydro Press which takes approx 40kg of fruit and produces approx 20lts of juice.

Preparing to bring your fruit – what fruit, how much and what condition?

  • Apples and pears make excellent juice.
  • You will need to tell us the approx weight of the fruit you are bringing.  You can bring any amount from just a carrier bag full to a maximum limit of 20kg pp.  20kg should produce approx 10lts of juice. 
  • The fruit must be clean and in good condition.  If you wouldn't eat it it's not good enough for juice.  New bruising however is acceptable.  If you chop your fruit before bringing it we have found this increases the yield of juice as the fruit is softer.
  • Save your bottles and containers for the juice.  See below for information on what’s suitable. 

At Brettenham Village Hall the process of turning apples into juice

  • Prior to pressing, the fruit will be quartered if not already done so.
  • Once quartered, they will be placed in a crusher where they are mashed up.
  • The fruit pulp is then transferred to the press. 
  • The juice is then bottled ready to take home to be frozen or pasteurised – see notes below on various storage methods and containers.  The whole process takes approx 30 - 45 minutes.


  • Small quantities can be kept in a fridge for a few days only.
  • The easiest method is to freeze the juice in plastic containers, bottles or cartons (see information below on containers and bottles). Frozen juice can be stored for months without any appreciable loss of flavour.
  • If using glass bottles the juice has to be pasteurised.  To do this large saucepans of water are brought to 70 - 77 degrees centigrade, then sterilised bottles filled with juice but without their caps are placed in the saucepans for 30 mins while the temperature is maintained.  After 30 mins, the bottles are removed from the saucepans and sealed.  Lie bottles on their sides to cool and to allow the lids to be sterilised by the warm juice.  The juice can now be kept for up to 2 years. 

Bottles and containers.

  • Any screw topped wine bottle or plastic bottle can be used but recycled bottles have to be carefully sterilised as follows: wash thoroughly in warm water, then fill with warm water containing a little sodium metabisulphite and screw lids on firmly.  Lay bottles on their sides and leave for 1/2 hour, turning once or twice.  Immediately before filling them with juice, rinse bottles in warm water.
  • It seems that any seal/top is acceptable on a bottle as long as it fits well and is clean.
  • Any plastic container can be used for freezing, even a bag.  Get your family to start saving them.
  • New bottles and containers do not need to be sterilised.


  • Mixing varieties:  there are no rules as to mixing varieties of apples or pears.  The combination just makes for a sweeter or tarter taste.
  • 20kg apples produces approx 10lts of apple juice.
  • Yields: in a good year a smallish apple bush tree will produce 100lbs (50kg) and a large standard tree (i.e. one you can walk under) more than 500lbs (250kg).

Useful websites: - there's a video.  And George Monbiot's blog on making apple juice accompanied by lots of photos on