Cleaning Olive Oil Containers

If we have a good olive harvest, we generally fill these 25-litre containers when we mill the oil. They are a bit of a pain to clean but I’ve found a good method to ensure that they are ready for next year.

  1. Use an outside hose to rinse out as much oil and sediment possible.
  2. Bring inside.
  3. Fill the kettle and bring to the boil.
  4. Meanwhile, fill the container to the 1st line with cold water and some washing-up liquid.
  5. Put on the lid and shake well.
  6. Clean the outside of the container with washing-up liquid and a sponge.
  7. Empty.
  8. Rinse with cold water.
  9. Fill the container to the 5th line with hot water.
  10. Put on the lid and shake well.
  11. Leave until the kettle is ready and then undo the lid and empty.
  12. Pour the boiling water into the container.
  13. Shake well.
  14. The container will expand with the steam, so gently release the pressure by undoing the lid, covering it with a dishcloth.
  15. You will need to release the pressure about 5 times, shaking the container thoroughly after each time.
  16. Undo the lid and empty.
  17. Completely fill the container with cold water. Empty and make sure that the water runs clear. Continue rinsing with cold water if it doesn’t.
  18. Fill the container with a small amount of cold water and add a minute amount of sodium meta-bisulphate to sterilise.
  19. Replace the lid and leave until needed.

Video of wrapping soap

Sarah has now become an expert soap maker and has gone into large scale soap production. We have been selling boxes of 6 soaps in Spain and also around Europe.
We have so far only sold soap to people we know.

We even have an Etsy and a Wish page.

Sarah invented and designed this system to wrap the soaps using a wooden template. 

See the other page about soap making here  https://cortijoblog.com/2020/06/20/soap-making/

ROMMELSBACHER OP 700 electric oil press – Review

ROMMELSBACHER OP 700 electric oil press – Review

Oil Extractor

The oil extractor

We are always trying to find new ways of using our almonds. The price we get from selling them to a cooperative is very low so it is best to use them ourselves if possible. We brought this machine to make oil from almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Results so far:

1 kg of almonds resulted in 230 grams of oil. The oil is fairly cloudy at first but after a couple of days most of the solids fall to the bottom and the oil becomes clear.

We warmed up the almonds slightly. Most of the time the machine works very well. Towards the end of the kilo batch of almonds the screw got blocked and the machine started to produce almond butter in the oil tray. We could have stopped the machine and cleaned the spindle but the almond butter was a good surprise product.

If the nuts are the right size, have the right temperature and the correct oil ratio the machine works very well.

I think this machine is good for small quantities of nuts. It requires a fair amount of vigilance to make sure all is working correctly. It is best to be in the same room so that you can make sure all is OK.

The almond flour which is the powder left behind after the milling process can be used for many purposes. So far we have added it to flour to make bread with good results.

AMAZON SPAIN:

Wine Pressing and facts about Wine.

Wine press
Sam And Heather pressing wine

The earliest known traces of wine are from China (c. 7000 BC). Mead, also called honey wine, is created by fermenting honey with water. The French are the biggest wine drinkers in the world. They drink 53 litres per person per year. (this fact is disputed because it is said that the Vatican drinks 73 litres per capita) People who are scared of wine have “oenophobia”.

Alcoholic beverages, including wine, are forbidden under most interpretations of Islamic law. Within ten years of the death of Mohammed in A.D. 632, wine was largely banned from muslim countries. Top sommeliers think that smell is by far the most important sense when it comes to drinking wine.

The custom of raising a glass to one another and saying “cheers” before drinking originated with the Romans and the Greeks, who used to offer wine to their gods before celebrations. The world’s oldest bottle of wine is over 1600 years old and can be found at a museum in Germany. It was buried nearby in 350 CE and was found again in 1867.

There is scientific evidence that moderate, regular wine drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and gum disease. Heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, drives an Aston Martin DB5 that’s powered almost entirely by wine derived bioethanol. It is a convertible and the wine powered car averages 300 miles per year.

It takes about 4 or 5 years for a newly planted grape vine to get to full production. A single celled organism called yeast converts the sugar in grapes into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and also release heat in the process. 70% of the alcohol is produced in the first 7 days of fermentation. This is called primary fermentation. At the start the wine can ferment so fast that it appears to be boiling. If the yeast converts all the sugar into alcohol it is a dry wine. Wine ferments fastest at 21C. Yeast will die at 37C.

Pomace
The pomace left over after pressing wine.

Pomace is the solid remains of grapes, olives, or other fruit after pressing for juice or oil. It contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit. Wine fermenting at high temperatures creates more acetaldehyde which is a chemical which can produce hangovers so it is best if the wine does not ferment too fast. The largest wine producers in the world are France, Italy, and Spain. Michael Jackson used to order his wine served in diet coke cans during flights, due to being a ‘private drinker’ and not wanting his kids to see him drinking alcohol.

In a blind tasting it is very difficult for most people to differentiate between red wine and white wine (try this at home if you don’t believe it) . The Romans added lead to wine in order to give it a sweet taste and pleasant texture. Some people believe that the decline of the Roman empire was due to lead poisoning. For purists wine glasses should always be held by the stem and not the bowl because the heat of the hand will raise the temperature of the wine.

Enologists are wine chemists who analyse samples of wine and advise winemakers. In the late 19th century most of the vineyards in Europe were destroyed by the phylloxera epidemic because some infected vine cuttings were introduced from America. Phylloxera is a type of aphid which sucks the sap of the vine. American vines have adapted a defence mechanism against phylloxera. Nowadays, most vines in Europe have American roots and the top of the vines are grafted onto the rootstock.

Vineyards buy ready grafted dormant plants and plant them in the ground in winter. It takes at least 4 years before many grapes can be picked. The colour for red wine comes from the skins. Hardly any varieties of grapes have red flesh. Grapes contain all the necessary ingredients to make wine, the yeast is found on the skin and all the sugar and nutrients are found in the grape. A high concentration of alcohol will kill the yeast so the maximum strength of normal wine is generally around 15% alcohol by volume, but the exact amount will depend on the type of yeast.

Here are 3 videos of very small scale wine production in Spain showing the process of pressing the wine.