Friday, September 11, 2009

Juicing Persimmons for Kakishibui

It is best to juice the persimmons while they are green and at peak levels of tannin. The tannin is what will help the dye to "stick" to the cloth. And anyone who has handled persimmons, ripe or not, will tell you the critters are sticky as all get out! After ripening they will turn a very pretty dusky orange color and where I come from they get made into a baked pudding.

Wow I look old in this picture....speaking of needing to dye something.....

As you can see, the American variety of persimmon is not very big. It takes quite a few to make a gallon of juice. I found that it took four gallons of fresh persimmons to make one gallon of juice. I had to cut them in half and pop out the big seeds. Unripe persimmons are hard and I ended up getting a blister on my hand from trying to cut them.

Let the juicing begin! I have no idea how anyone could do this without using a juicer. I cut the persimmons, took out what seeds I could and popped them in. I did have to stop and clean the blades and the lid out quite a few times and the fibrous bits were quite sticky. My skin on my hands was getting very wrinkly towards the end of my juicing session.

Lovely green persimmon juice! Now it goes into a plastic vented gas can and I let it ferment for about a year. That gives me some time to do planning and prep work. I also hope to grow some indigo to use on the same project. I really love the contrast of the persimmon and indigo dye.

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