The number one question we are asked: How do I get more juice yield out of my machine?
It’s understandable. No one wants to waste time or produce if they don’t have to. So we brought together all the best advice we have on how to make more juice yield with each press, without needing extra produce, extra staff, or extra equipment.
So how DO you impact your cold press juice production? How DO you increase your juice yield? How DO you make more juice in the same amount of time?
We have answers, and it’s a little more interesting than you might have thought. In this article, we’ll talk about the some high impact actions you can take to increase your juice yield, many of them RIGHT NOW.
Impact #1 – Know Your Produce
A huge factor in increasing your juice yield is to know your produce. Test everything yourself so that you know what works for the produce you use for YOUR recipes and YOUR area (your pineapples might be firmer than those found on the other side of the world!).
No two recipes are the same. As a matter of fact, you can’t even reproduce the exact same result from press to press with the SAME recipe (it’s virtually impossible). And you can pretty much blame the produce for this natural inconsistency.
1. Produce Texture
The first step to making cold press juice with your machine is to shred your produce. There are several methods with options on which blade you choose and how fast you run your shredder. Knowing your produce texture, specifically whether it’s hard or soft can help you to choose the right blade size and speed setting for your recipes.
To determine your produce texture, use the “thumb” test. Simply press your thumb into the flesh of the fruit or vegetable. If you leave a dent, you’ve got soft produce. No dent, your produce is hard.
Hard produce holds its shape incredibly well and often needs smaller shreds to allow the juice to escape. Soft produce does not hold its shape very well at all and usually turns to mush if texture isn’t taken into account (you can’t juice a smoothie!).
#PRO TIP: Knowing what produce you can and shouldn’t press is important to consider. There are several fruits and vegetables that won’t shred or press well (like the sad banana, for example). For that produce we suggest testing alternate methods and then incorporating them into your final juice product.
2. Produce Water Content
Not only does water content vary from produce to produce, it can vary in the exact same fruit or vegetable family. If your farm fresh spinach was delivered on a warm sunny day today as opposed to the drizzly coolness of the day before yesterday, you will have very different water content with each bunch.
It is common for softer produce to be juicier but it’s not always the case. You can build your produce water content knowledge best by observing and comparing before and after juicing. Before juicing you can look for crisp leaves or if prepping releases some juice. Comparing the weight of your produce before and your juice after pressing will also give you a great indicator of your produce’s “juiciness”.
#PRO TIP: A simple trick that helps even out the produce’s water content from batch to batch (and greatly benefits your production) is to re-hydrate. Simply place washed produce in a large tub or sink of clean, cold water for 8-12 hours before pressing. This re-hydration allows the plant cells to reabsorb water, which creates better shreds and allows more nutrients and flavor to be extracted when the produce is pressed.
3. Mixed Produce: Yay or Nay?
We say: Yay!
Some insist pressing single ingredient juice is the best way, but sadly, juicing first and measuring later rarely keeps the recipe as consistent as most hope. Not to mention, you sacrifice your maximum juice yield with this method.
But when we look at the science of why mixing produce increases your juice yield, you may just agree it is the best way to go. We refer to our explanation of this as the Dishwasher Analogy, which we sum up here:
When produce is shredded, the texture takes on certain shapes (which are based on the firmness and water content). And when the shapes are the same (as they would be with one produce), they tend to nest and fit inside of each other. This nesting closes up the channels around the shredded shapes and literally locks in the juice that you would otherwise collect in your juice pan.Mixing your produce adds variety to the shreds and keeps the juice channels open. We actually recommend shredding and pressing an entire recipe in one batch for the best results. Again, you can learn more about why this works the way it does here.
Impact #2 – Test EVERYTHING
With all these variances in produce, you might be wondering how you can keep your recipes uniform. We have a pretty simple answer to that. Put on your lab coat and test everything!
1. Test Your Shredder Blades and Speed
It is always recommended to test and compare different blade sizes and shredder speeds on all your produce and recipes. The combo you choose can absolutely increase your juice yield. Your machine comes with three different blade sizes (varies by machine).
To start with, we recommend using a larger blade size for softer produce and smaller blades for harder ones. For mixed produce (cause you’re smart!) most often the pulping blade will be a great one to start with. But again, test everything! You may find a different blade works best for YOU and YOUR recipes.
All Juiced Rite machines have a speed adjustment for the shredder and the press, giving you absolute control over your process. To get you started, test turning down your shredder speed for softer items. Harder produce can generally be shred at faster speeds but be sure to follow quickly with your produce pusher to avoid apple cannons!
When you’re testing blade sizes and speed combinations, ask yourself questions like:
- Will hard produce like carrots perform better with a 1/4″ blade over a 1/2″?
- Does a soft apple pulp well?
- Does mixing produce help and which ones do best together?
- Does slowing down the shredder afford a better shred on my produce?
- Does this change when the produce is hard or soft?
2. Test Your Press Bag Performance
Combinations of factors like the fill of your press bag, how your rise behaves and the speed you press can have dramatic impacts on your juice results.
When testing these, remember to ask questions like:
- Do some recipes afford a fuller bag?
- Does the cake rise quickly and is it controllable depending on the fill and press speed?
- Which combo provides the most juice yield?
- Do you get more juice when you slow down the press for softer produce?
You might be surprised how incredibly effective Speed Control can be when managing the “rise” of produce in your press bag. (“Rise” is literally just that: the lifting of the shredded produce in the press bag as the plates come together during a press cycle)
With slippery, large chunked produce like pineapple, you’ll likely want to fill your press bag less and press nice and slow to allow the juice to move outward towards the bag. For firmer produce like green apples and carrots, you can test out filling your bag a little more and pressing at a much faster rate to discover your optimal speed for maximum yield.
Speed Control is a feature on all newer Juiced Rite machines and allows you to control the speed at which you shred and press!
3. Take Excellent Notes!
We offer you lots of juice production tips throughout our resources here on the Juiced Rite website, which are excellent to get you started (if we don’t say so ourselves). But, ultimately, we encourage you to discover what methods work best for yourself, your recipes, and your process.
To help keep things consistent, we recommend taking really, really, REALLY good notes. Like, super good, detailed notes to help you see your patterns and craft the perfect process for your highest yield possible. Ask yourself, what worked? What didn’t work? Finding your best method through trial and discovery will lead you to your highest yield and maximized production.
And – gasp – wouldn’t it be heartbreaking to find that amazing method that changes everything but then have no idea how you came up with it? Avoid that misery and take great notes!
Impact #3 – Unlock Your Juice
In the Dishwasher Analogy referred to above, we mentioned that the juice gets “locked” inside the cake (the shredded produce inside the press bag). This is juice that is literally NOT flowing into your juice pan and becomes waste (so sad).
The dryness (or wetness) of your cake determines how much of this juice was released (or sadly, not released) during your press cycle. Don’t leave your juice locked inside your cake (it’s not a criminal)!
Stir the Cake
An old method of releasing this locked in juice is referred to as “stirring the cake”. Which is literally using a big utensil to stir the cake inside the bag between presses. This was decently effective, as there was more juice released after stirring.
But there were definite drawbacks with the stirring the cake method.
The press operator was tethered to the machine, for one. They were required to observe the press cycle and manually open the press to determine if a stir was needed. After the actual manual stir, the operator would then also need to observe the subsequent presses to determine when the cake was expired.
Stirring the cake also caused press bags to wear out sooner as the utensils often had nicks that tear the bag and cause holes (not good).
The entire “cake stirring” production method, including shredding, averaged about 15 minutes to complete (with juice as the only outcome).
So, the question is, is there a better way? We believe there is, and it’s as easy as pressing a button to use (honest, you can just push “start”).
Pulse Press Program
Making more juice in each press is one way to increase your juice yield – but another is to make the entire process faster so you can make MORE juice in the same amount of time.
How? Automation, my friend.
Once you press the start button, the Pulse Press Program automatically begins and runs the entire press cycle. After the initial press, the platen “backs up” and opens the press momentarily. This brief opening allows a re-wicking of the juice from the cake in the press bag – juice that would have otherwise been locked inside!
A second press is then automatically run to press the remaining juice (you can press more times but usually after two presses you reach the point of diminishing returns). On nearly every pressing, you end up with dry cake, almost powder like. Dry cake equals maximum juice production.
The best part?
The entire Pulse Press Program cycle, including shredding, takes about 5 minutes.
You can actually triple your juice yield in the same amount of time as manual with the automated press cycle.
But wait- there’s a bonus too! Because the press cycle is automated – the press operator is free to perform other tasks while the press is running. No more standing and observing or even manually handling the press process.
With the Pulse Press Program pressing your juice, your press operator is free to prep another batch of produce, bottle and cap freshly pressed juice, or even clean the kitchen.
Add all this up and you’ve got MORE than just triple the amount of juice in the same amount of time, you have bonus production time. Hooray for math!
Impact #4 – Schedule Your Maintenance
You could figure out how to make cold press juice without your juicer- but do you really want to? These machines are amazing tools and when used properly, can produce amazing amounts of juice.
Your cold press juice machine is really a part of your team, and just like other members, it needs regular love and attention. Maintenance may not be as sexy as the rest of your juice yield increasing actions listed here but there are a few key habits you can adopt that not only optimize your juice production, they prolong the life of your machine (hooray!).
Change Your Oil Filter Regularly
A clogged oil filter will reduce the oil flow and compromise the hydraulics. This means the machine takes longer to complete the press, and means there is less pressure available to squeeze all the precious juice out of your produce.
If you notice your machine has slowed significantly since you purchased it or since a recent servicing, a clogged oil filter is often the cause. So check that first as the filter is easy to access and easy to replace if needed. Check out how to change your oil filter here.
So as part of a regular maintenance schedule, we recommend changing your filter every six (6) months but you might need a more frequent change if you are a big juice producer.
Tighten Your Guide Blocks
Your guide blocks keep the moving platen aligned to allow for hydraulic pressure to be evenly distributed. Platens are the steel portions of the machine that come together to press the produce into juice, one is stationary while the other is moving (see image below). An aligned platen creates a uniform rise that allows for a more even press which creates a uniform cake.
All this uniformity maximizes every last drop of juice you can get from your produce.
If you’ve noticed your press is a little wonky (it’s a very technical term) and seems to jerk or whine or your platen is visibly uneven when pressing, you may need to tighten the bolts on your guide blocks.
These offset HDPE guide blocks are located on the side rails of your press, attached to the moving platen on either side of the machine with three (3) bolts on each block (see image below). We recommend checking and tightening your guide blocks weekly as regular operational vibration of the press can loosen things up a bit (check out this video to see how).
Impact #5 – Lean on Your Friends in the Juice Business
Feel like creating your maximized production process to increase your juice yield is a little daunting? Or maybe you’ve applied everything we’ve offered here and are still convinced your process could produce more juice?
Our Resources and Personal Support
Never fear, friend- you have an ally in the juice industry and we’re here to help! All of us at Juiced Rite: orders, service, sales and more are never more than an email or phone call away for any questions you may have. And we mean ANY question. Reach out to us here.
Onsite Audit and Training
You can also bring us on board to audit your process and provide specialized training for you and your team. We love visiting our customers! Reach out to us toll free at 800.590.9670, locally 909.464.8253 ext 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your own Onsite Audit and Training.
One thing we know for sure, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to juicing. But we’ve learned a lot from so many different people and their processes. Our bank of knowledge can help you discover, optimize and solidify your own process. We can help you discover where time or product may not be as precise as it could be.
Build YOUR Process – Increase Your Juice Yield
As with any production process, you are in control of how you accomplish yours. Using what we’ve shared here and knowing how you can ultimately impact your juice yield and maximize production is absolutely yours to own. Test, tweak and adjust – always staying open to new possibilities – and you will find YOUR best process to increase your yield.
No matter what you do though, just remember to take great notes!