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Old 06-17-2006, 01:21 AM   #1
Keln
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Default Getting ready to start one

I'm about to start my first cider and I'm in the dilemma of finding an acceptable juice without paying too much. Well, the stuff we normally buy is pretty cheap, and pretty good, and it doesn't say anything about preservatives on it. The ingredients say only apple juice and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The vitamin is added for it's healthy bonus as far as I know, but would it effect anything in the fermentation process or in taste? It says nothing about preservatives on the label, and I'm assuming there aren't any if they didn't list any in the ingredients. This stuff safe to use?

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Old 06-17-2006, 02:54 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keln
I'm about to start my first cider and I'm in the dilemma of finding an acceptable juice without paying too much. Well, the stuff we normally buy is pretty cheap, and pretty good, and it doesn't say anything about preservatives on it. The ingredients say only apple juice and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The vitamin is added for it's healthy bonus as far as I know, but would it effect anything in the fermentation process or in taste? It says nothing about preservatives on the label, and I'm assuming there aren't any if they didn't list any in the ingredients. This stuff safe to use?
Hello,
When they say no preservatives i don't know if that includes ascorbic acid or not. Just want to tell you what i used. I made my first batch last saturday, so hopefully i can bottle it tomorrow or sunday, not sure yet. I bought applejuice from walmart. The only ingredient it said was apple juice. It was on sale for $1.50 for a two quart plastic jug. I bought 12 of them for $18 for a 6 gallon batch, and used a dry ale yeast. So under $20. Just my 2 cents worth. Good luck!
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:11 AM   #3
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i think this stuff is from walmart too. Either there or Kroger. It's like a generic store brand.

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Old 06-17-2006, 06:26 AM   #4
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I'm currently doing my first batch of cider and chose to do 6 gallons as well. Walmart is pretty much the only game in the poor hurricane torn town of Waveland, MS so that's where I went to purchase my apple juice. I checked a half dozen brands of apple juice on the shelf and ALL of them contained absorbic acid, so that made my choice for me. I bought Mott's because I like the flavor of that brand and it too came to around $18.00 for the batch. I read somewhere that some people add some apple concentrate to kick up or reinforce the flavor, so I added one can of frozen/defrosted apple juice concentrate as the only other ingredient besides the yeast.

I doubt absorbic acid is a harmful preservative as my fermenter has been bubbling like a mo' fo' for about 10 days now; still one bubble every ten seconds @ 72 degrees. I used a brown ale yeast that I really like and it was bubbling fiercely within the first 24 hours. I'm using my 6.5 gallon carboy as a primary and the stuff was foaming out through the airlock during the whole second 24 hours. I didn't realize I'd need a blowoff tube for cider!

Here's a picture after 24 hours:




My final observation is that the stuff stinks; real sulphury. I read that this would be the case, otherwise it would smell like it was spoiling to me. Real sour smell that I'm told will clear in time.


Good Luck!

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Old 06-17-2006, 07:38 AM   #5
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I'm in a similar situation, just bought some apple juice myself for my first batch and like yours it listed water apple juice and vitamin c, and being someone who cant bare to live with him self if he returns five gallons of apple juice i followed up on it. i called my local shaws costumer hotline and they told me that if there was any preservatives or such it would have to be listed, and reinforced it with some long winded analogy about how water melon listed water melon as an ingredient. as for the vitamin c, as hard as i search i cant seem to find any negative information on it in regards to cider and my LHS recommended a blend of acids however as far as i know ascorbic acid was not one of them, so I'm planing on giving it a go. Hope that helps.

Jake

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Old 06-17-2006, 08:00 AM   #6
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Thankyou for your replies. I will try this juice then, since I like the taste and it costs next to nothing anyways. I am only doing a gallon batch, like the mead I am almost done with and the wines I have made. I'm doing only gallon batches for now to gain experience in brewing and to figure out which kind I like the best before I invest in a 5 gallon batch.

I can tell you, the last batch of wine I made (chardonnay) smelled horrible the first few weeks. A real rotten smell. After it was done and ready for the bottle, it had a pleasent aroma and a nice, dry taste.

And I have also read that cider stinks too. In fact, I drank a few Woodchuck hard apple ciders tonight and noticed that even the smell from the bottle was a bit rank, although they taste pretty good.

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Old 06-17-2006, 01:11 PM   #7
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Absorbic acid/vitamin c is there as a preservative. It works as an antioxidant and is hostile to many micro-organisms. You add a lot of yeast to the fermenter, so no problem. It's preservatives like potassium metabisulfite (campden) that you need to avoid. Fresh juice is nice if it's in season, but I've made good cider from concentrate.

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Old 06-17-2006, 02:39 PM   #8
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David, thanks for the info on absorbic acid. I'll rest a little easier about the project now. Although, to be quite honest, my mind was at ease when the foam was oozing through my airlock. My only concern after that was taste and now I won't have to worry about that.

Always good input, thanks again!

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Old 06-17-2006, 03:43 PM   #9
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You know, I usually read about people tossing in a packet of yeast, but every recipe I have done so far, including the one I am about to use, gives a precise measurement of yeast to add. Does it really matter as long as you add enough? Is there a thumbrule for how much you add per gallon or something?

Anyways, I put in about 1/2 a tsp of Ale Yeast into my batch I started today. It's only a 1 gallon batch. I took an initial gravity and it was 1.050. That sound about right? What F.G. can I expect?

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Old 06-18-2006, 02:53 PM   #10
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Wow...

Only a few hours after pitching yeast and setting the carboy in the utility room, it started bubbling yesterday. Today it's going nuts. This stuff is aggressive!

How long normally does it take to ferment out in the primary before I need to rack it? It's about 3,300 grams of sugar to feed on.

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