HBT 2015 Big Giveaway - Enter Now

Huge Supporting Membership Discounts - 20% Off

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > 100% Trader Joe's Cider
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-10-2014, 07:13 PM   #1
Jon_TWR
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 96
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default 100% Trader Joe's Cider

So on a recent trip to TJ's to pick up some Candy Cane Joe-Joes (aka Xmas Crack), I grabbed a couple of bottles of the vintage ale (still need to stock up so I can continue my vertical tastings with this year's) and foolishly swung by the juice section...


Honeycrisp are probably the favorite apple varietal of both my wife and me, so I figured I had to make cider out of them (I mean, what else would a homebrewer do when confronted with a varietal apple juice at a reasonable price!?).

I'm mostly a beer brewer, but I've done enough cider to figure out a recipe that is bulletproof for our tastes, and still palatable to most people...as well as being ready really quickly, at least for cider.

The basic recipe is to ferment out 4.5 gallons of apple juice, cold crash, rack to a keg and top up with 1 gallon of unfermented apple juice. For us, this hits the perfect level of sweetness to be drinkable once carbed, but not cloyingly sweet like many commercial ciders (though with the relatively recent cider explosion, things are much better).

Since I have the TJ's Vintage Ale, and I know Belgian and Hefe yeasts make great cider, I decided to try to harvest the yeast and ferment the cider with it.

So today, I bit the bullet and drank a bottle of the Vintage Ale after Jury Duty and before heading to my second job (which starts at 4:30), flamed the lip of the bottle, poured some of the TJ's Honeycrisp juice into the bottle, covered it with a flamed piece of foil and put it in the cabinet above the stove to get started. I put the remainder of the juice in the freezer, and will take it out to thaw as soon as I see activity in the starter.

Once the starter ferments, I'll cold crash it, decant it (drinking the starter, for science) and step it up. I'll probably pitch the starter into 4 gallons of the juice once it's actively fermenting.

Should make for a great cider, and I hope some of the Honeycrisp character comes through. If not--not the end of the world, I've made plenty of fantastic ciders using this method with generic store bought apple juice.

__________________
Jon_TWR is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-11-2014, 05:01 AM   #2
schwiz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 148
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

That is some EXPENSIVE cider you got going. Hope it turns out well

__________________
schwiz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2014, 01:49 AM   #3
Jon_TWR
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 96
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by schwiz View Post
That is some EXPENSIVE cider you got going. Hope it turns out well
Well, $3/half gallon *is* more expensive than the cheapest juice I can find, but if I'm not willing to hunt/wait for sales, it's usually $2.50/half-gallon of generic AJ (which is from concentrate...I think this isn't). This was $3/half-gallon

If I'm getting fresh pressed or green market cider (UV pasteurized), the price is similar, so I consider this a worthwhile experiment.

I probably should just use a yeast I've used many times before for cider, rather than experimenting with it, too...but I'm too much of a homebrewer and too little of a scientist for that.

The starter isn't showing much activity, but it is showing a little. I probably should've diluted the juice 50% with boiled water, but I didn't. Guess it'll be at least a few more days before I get this one going.
__________________

Reason: add pricing of this, fix normal pricing of AJ
Jon_TWR is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-13-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
sgranz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 2
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

I have been brewing cider with Trader Joes Apple juice for almost 2 years now. I do not have access to fresh cider but plan to start some cider trees this year. I recently tried this Honey Crisp cider and I was not impressed with the results. It was your typical brown sugar with Nottingham recipe with about 1.25 cups of brown sugar for 3 gallons. The cider was "bland" without much flavor.

My go to "baseline" cider is made with trader joes juice but I tend to use 50/50 of the unfiltered 100% organic apple juice and the filtered McIntosh. I always add wine tannins and lately with a great crop of crab apples I add about 5-10% crab apple juice and not put the wine tannins. I have tried juices from whole foods and also the cheap AJ from supermarkets and I always go back to the Trader Joes juice despite it being $7 a gallon.

My view is for $7 a gallon I am making something I enjoy better than most store bought ciders and it is cheaper.

__________________
sgranz is offline
D-west Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-14-2014, 04:52 AM   #5
schwiz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 148
Liked 16 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_TWR View Post
Well, $3/half gallon *is* more expensive than the cheapest juice I can find, but if I'm not willing to hunt/wait for sales, it's usually $2.50/half-gallon of generic AJ (which is from concentrate...I think this isn't). This was $3/half-gallon

If I'm getting fresh pressed or green market cider (UV pasteurized), the price is similar, so I consider this a worthwhile experiment.

I probably should just use a yeast I've used many times before for cider, rather than experimenting with it, too...but I'm too much of a homebrewer and too little of a scientist for that.

The starter isn't showing much activity, but it is showing a little. I probably should've diluted the juice 50% with boiled water, but I didn't. Guess it'll be at least a few more days before I get this one going.
Maybe you caught them on sale or maybe its just more expensive in the KC area. $3/half gallon isn't too bad.
__________________
schwiz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-14-2014, 05:11 AM   #6
Hello
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 24 reviews
 
Hello's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Posts: 8,835
Liked 2370 Times on 1652 Posts
Likes Given: 4226

Default

I love that juice. It is $3.99 where I live.

__________________

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hello is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-14-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
madscientist451
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 490
Liked 102 Times on 81 Posts
Likes Given: 41

Default

I did some tests this fall by pressing apples from a local orchard and have several different combinations still in progress. The honeycrisp juice wasn't my favorite, but would work as part of a larger variety blend.
If you have a 1 gallon jug you might want to run a test batch with your harvested yeast and some of the juice you have, If it works out, you can save the yeast and then do a 4 gallon batch with what you have.
If you don't like it you can blend the honeycrisp with other varieties you can get.
Some of the apple/yeast combinations I've tried are good, some aren't that great. I keep coming back to the WL 002 as suiting my taste.

__________________
madscientist451 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-14-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
bpnc9702
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Posts: 45
Liked 2 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 27

Default

This is ironic - I used that exact same cider from TJ - I just popped into the store and knew I wanted to get some cider with no preservatives and walked over to that section, I think I paid 2.50 a piece. Several varieties to choose from and just decided on the apple crisp. Used notingham and fermented down to 1.004....those of you who have used this or an unfiltered type like this, how long did it take to clear?? Mine is still cold crashing and it has to come out of secondary by thursday since thats when we go out of town (I made this for Christmas) - everything clears out in the secondary (as Ive been told and experienced but this is my first cider) for this unfiltered type, how long will it take to clear? I realize its all aesthetics, Im just curious for those who have done it a few times.

__________________
bpnc9702 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-15-2014, 11:26 PM   #9
Randzor
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 495
Liked 42 Times on 35 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

I've only used the makintosh type, was very light but good. Id think that honey crisp would make a bad juice tbh since it was bread only for the taste and crunch. The breeder joked that they almost threw it out when they tested the baking qualities and it can back described as rubber.

__________________
Randzor is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-16-2014, 12:49 AM   #10
sgranz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 2
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default clearing trader joes cider

Typically my cider clears in about 2-3 weeks in secondary with 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme. Cider is always clear after 2 weeks bottle carb and 1 week in fridge.

So worst case scenario its 4-5 weeks. It always clears if your patient and do not shake or move the fermentation container.

__________________
sgranz is offline
bpnc9702 Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cinnamon Pear Cider from Trader Joe's phished880 Cider Forum 16 03-07-2014 09:15 PM
Trader Joes Spiced Cider mcangeli General Beer Discussion 7 11-18-2013 12:56 AM
Trader Joe's Spiced Apple Cider? mewithstewpid Cider Forum 19 12-30-2011 08:02 PM
Cider from Whole Foods/Trader Joe's Mead-or Cider Forum 6 10-13-2011 09:24 AM
Trader Joes Cider (Newton's Folly) Edcculus Cider Forum 1 01-18-2011 07:20 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS