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Old 12-30-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
JiHadJoe910
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Default My First Hard Cider

So i have the yeast and everything else i need, but i am having trouble picking the apple juice i want to use. Recommendations?

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Old 12-30-2012, 11:25 PM   #2
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Are you doing a sweet draft-style cider or something dry?

I've had really good luck with the Earth's Pride 85% Macintosh Juice from BJs...its 100% juice (not from concentrate) and it's less than $5 a gallon.

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Old 12-31-2012, 10:29 AM   #3
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Honestly, I have had great luck with Wal-Mart juice. That tap was the most popular one in the kegerator over the holidays!

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Old 12-31-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 9Frogs View Post
Honestly, I have had great luck with Wal-Mart juice. That tap was the most popular one in the kegerator over the holidays!
It has worked fine for me too. I made a nice little three gallon batch and then, once finished, made Apple Jack. I put it into quart jugs to age.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:33 AM   #5
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so i have heard these two rules. Not from concentrate and non pasteurized. the concentrate i can understand but why does it have to be non pasteurized?

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Old 01-01-2013, 02:51 AM   #6
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I use pasteurized cider. The one time I used non-pasteurized cider from a local mill it ended up terrible.

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Old 01-01-2013, 12:25 PM   #7
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And I've used "From Concentrate" to make some very good ciders. Just make sure there are no preservative or additives.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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The Wal Mart juice is 100% juice, with only ascorbic acid (vitamin C) as a preservative. For a 5 gallon batch, I added one pound of corn sugar and one pound of brown sugar dissolved in a quart of water to up the ABV some. That, some Montrachet yeast, force carb it, and it is a continual hit. Good luck and enjoy!

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Old 01-02-2013, 04:38 AM   #9
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I used 4 gallons of plum cherries that was steamer juiced, but because the fruit had been steamed after fermentation was complete of the juice it smelled like burnt hair. It tasted fine, but yeah smelt horrible and got dumped

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Old 01-02-2013, 04:54 AM   #10
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You can use pasteurized juice, as long as it doesn't have potassium sorbate or potassium metabisulfite in it. I think not from concentrate juice makes slightly better hard cider then something reconstituted from frozen juice concentrate. Better then that is any actual apple cider. You can probably pick some up still, but the season is done so I doubt anybody will be getting more shipped in. The same rules apply for the preservatives though.

Real cider is about 6$ a gallon most places. Cheap apple juice is about 4$ a gallon. Cheapo apple juice makes very good cider. Not awesome, but very good. If you want a higher abv then you would get from the gravity of the juice/cider then many people add table sugar to increase the gravity. Typically, juice/cider has a gravity of 1.04 - 1.055. Once in a while you'll get a batch of cider that has a gravity of 1.07, but that's really rare.

If you are going to raise the abv with sugar, plan on letting it age for a while before you drink it. Unless your abv is extremely high, it's drinkable right after fermentation is complete. However, give it 2 months in the bottle and it's much better. 6 months and you'll wonder why you ever bought hard apple cider.

Happy brewing.

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