What is the difference between the fine mesh screen, the larger-hole screen and the blank plate (no hole) screen?
The juicer has a fine mesh screen for harder produce (ULTEM/PEI Material), the coarse screen for soft produce including fruit (Nylon Material).
The fine mesh screen has holes that are smaller to allow less pulp into the juice. The coarse screen allows a much greater amount of pulp. (full of fibre to enter the juice)
In most cases the fine mesh screen can be used at all times, unless you are looking for a more pulpy juice, but this is your personal preference.
The no-hole/blank screen, sometimes called a homogenising plate (ULTEM/PEI Material) is used for making nut butters, ice creams and baby food and does not separate any liquids from the pulp.
Tips on using the Optimum 400 and avoiding any blockage while reducing pulp:
Tip #1) Do not press/shove food into the juicer
Most of us have juiced with the old-style centrifugal juicing machines. If you recall, those machines require you to forcefully press/shove food into them, and allow large items like whole apples. You are required to push hard on carrots and apples to shove them into the spinning blade where they are shredded into tiny flying pieces.
Do not use this same pushing/pressing/shoving force with the Optimum Juicer or any other slow juicer. There is no spinning blade and no dizzying shredding taking place. No pressing is required. Instead, simply let your food fall into the "chewing auger." Virtually no force is necessary, and forcing more food into the chute can cause too much vegetable mass to clog in the auger, resulting in pulp overflowing into your juice, or the juicer becoming blocked.
When juicing grasses, feed the Optimum Juicer a small amount of grass at a time, cutting the grass into short pieces approximately 3cm long. This ensures the waste can easily come out of the waste chute. You do not need to "clump" the grass into a ball. In fact, you can slowly feed small strands of grass, coriander, parsley, kale, spinach and other leafy greens without any force necessary.
A great tip for large leafy, stringy or fibrous vegetables is to remove the leaf from the stem, cut both leaves and stems into 3-5cm lengths and feed through gently, letting the auger pull the ingredients into the juicer, using the tamper only gently if required.
Tip #2) Juice low-fibre plants first, and high-fibre plants last
Here's a really important tip: If you're going to juice high-fibre plants like celery or spinach, juice them last! Why? Because the fibres in celery tends to accumulate in the ejection port at the bottom of the juicing auger. If this port becomes clogged, then "pulp overflow" will occur, sending extra pulp into your juice. Following Tip #1 though will minimise the chances of this occurring to almost zero.
As long as the ejection port stays open, the pulp in your juice will be minimised. The best way to do this is to juice low-fibre fruits and veggies first: Apples, carrots, etc. and saving the stringier, fibrous plants for last. This will lead to a much better result when your concern is the amount of pulp in the final juice.
NB: If you are planning on juicing large amounts and do not mind a very small amount of pulp in the juice another alternative (to ensure you do not block the juicer), is to alternate your leafy greens and stringy items, with the harder items like carrot and beetroot.
Tip #3) Insert red plug correctly
Make sure the red rubber plug/tongue/stopper on the underside of the juicing bowl, is correctly inserted into its slot. This part is removable to assist with cleaning but often not reinserted correctly. It acts as a pressure point to ensure pulp ejects from the waste chute.
Tip #4) Juice your juice
If you still find too much pulp in your juice, simply pour the juice back through the machine again and you will find that the second time through, nearly all the pulp is removed.
You can also strain it through a nut-milk bag, if you wish, but that takes more time and effort.
Using the juicer tap:
The juicer tap offers some extra features in your Optimum Juicer. When it is correctly in place, you can start juicing with the tap closed. This allows a mixing function that lets you juice your ingredients and fill the juice bowl (up to 300ml) with your favourite mixture. Once your food is juiced, you simply open the tap and release the mixed juice into your glass, reducing any frothing. With the automatic pulp ejection, you can still juice continuously until the bowl is full, let out the juice and then continue juicing. The mixing function also improves the results when making nut milk.
How long should I soak almonds for making almond milk?
We recommend a minimum soak time of 6 hours, with 12-14 being optimal. You will need to change the soak water (and filtered is recommended) every 12 hours.
If the water has been changed regularly you can leave them longer, however they often start to ferment depending on heat and environmental conditions.
As the soaking process is designed to mimic nature and rainfall, after the initial soak period you may take the almonds out and sprout them (using a sprouter or by placing them in a nut milk bag in a glass jar and rinsing them every 12 hours) and little tails will grow if you use good quality almonds. However, extended soaking is not recommended.
What are the dimensions of the Optimum 400 Juicer?
Height: 46 cm
Width: 18 cm
Length: 23 cm
Chute Dimensions: 3.5 x 5.5 cm