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Old 10-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #1
nsrstka
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Default Juice or Cider

Hell all!

I'm fairly new to the world of brewing and am thinking about starting up my first batch of cider. I am a little confused about what type of cider of juice to start with.

So...

1.) What are the pros and cons of using regular apple juice as compared to some of the more expensive ciders (Organic or otherwise).

2.) Are you looking for a pasteurized product or not?

3.) What are good specific yeast strains for cider (I know that this will depend on what type of cider you are ultimately making).

4.) Can anyone recommend any specific juice or cider brands that have worked well from them in the past. (I'm located in Eugene, Oregon so if anyone in my neck of the woods has any info on local brands of juice or cider I'd love your input.)

Thanks guys!

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Old 10-28-2007, 04:23 PM   #2
tf2
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Well, only limited first-hand experience here -- my first three batches haven't cleared yet -- but here's my understanding:

1. Plenty of people on this list have reported good results with cheap grocery-store juice as long as it doesn't have preservatives in it. Some express preference for unfiltered or fresh-pressed cider.

2. Pasteurized means essentially no wild yeast/bacteria to foul things up, and most agree it won't hurt your final beverage. Some seem like the authenticity, excitement and unpredictability of unpasteurized; many seem to use campden tablets to sterilize the sweet cider about a day before pitching the yeast.

3. You'll get as many answers as posts, I think. I've heard about good results with Montrachet wine yeast (the yeast for the original and much-loved EdWort's Apfelwein), champagne yeast, ale yeasts, hefeweizen yeasts, and of course official cider yeasts. Wine yeasts seem to take longer, produce a drier cider (more complete fermentation of available sugars), but maybe a smoother one; ale yeasts go faster, seem more likely to be messy (overflow of initial, vigorous fermentation) and probably a little sweeter (lower alcohol resistance).

4. I've heard people using grocery-store Mott's (again, no preservatives) and local farm-stand fresh-pressed. It sounds like it just depends on the flavor. Take your pick, or make several one-gallon batches with different juices (and/or yeasts).

I went with three one-gallon batches using the same juice (a cloudy/unfiltered, pale, pasteurized cider I got at a local farm stand) using different yeasts: Lalvin 71B-1122 win yeast, Danstar Nottingham ale yeast, and WLP300 Hefeweizen. So far so good!

Enjoy! I've made beer on and off for years, but there's something about making cider...

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Old 10-28-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
Ann Hill
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1.) What are the pros and cons of using regular apple juice as compared to some of the more expensive ciders (Organic or otherwise).

Pros- Price and availability in larger containers. I've found that a juice or cider that just tastes great to drink is really the best to go with.

2.) Are you looking for a pasteurized product or not?

I know many feel that traditional unpasteurized is the way to go - I've tried both and have had a great tasting product regardless. I've used store brands with various processing methods - boiling, campden tablets, and nothing but yeast and Irish moss added. All turned out well. I've also started to press my own cider which is fun in itself. I recommend trying the easiest and progress to the more complicated (relatively).


3.) What are good specific yeast strains for cider (I know that this will depend on what type of cider you are ultimately making).

I generally use a dry wine yeast. They store well, are inexpensive and have quite a wide array of choices. I've used Red Star Premier Cuvee, Lalvin 71B-1122, and a liquid Wyeast cider yeast. All worked well.

4.) Can anyone recommend any specific juice or cider brands that have worked well from them in the past. (I'm located in Eugene, Oregon so if anyone in my neck of the woods has any info on local brands of juice or cider I'd love your input.)

I use Treetop and Wilderness from the store - both taste great.

Good luck with your experiments - I found that when I did five small 1 gallon batches I could find 1 or 2 great ones to scale up.

Ann Hill

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Old 10-28-2007, 07:00 PM   #4
Adolphus79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsrstka
1.) What are the pros and cons of using regular apple juice as compared to some of the more expensive ciders (Organic or otherwise).
Nothing major, it's a matter of pasteurization, and clarity... the cider will take a little longer to clear, and you will need to either pasteurize it, or add campden...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsrstka
2.) Are you looking for a pasteurized product or not?
Not really, pasteurized or not doesn't matter, so long as it doesn't have any preservatives added to it... If it is not pasteurized, that just means that there's a chance it will start fermenting on it's own...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsrstka
3.) What are good specific yeast strains for cider (I know that this will depend on what type of cider you are ultimately making).
Whatever you want to use is what's good... there are threads on here of the different yeast tests people have done, using everything from Cider yeast, to mead yeast, ales & lager yeast, and wine yeast... I think the basic standard is wine yeast (cuz it's cheap and works fine), or actual Cider yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsrstka
4.) Can anyone recommend any specific juice or cider brands that have worked well from them in the past. (I'm located in Eugene, Oregon so if anyone in my neck of the woods has any info on local brands of juice or cider I'd love your input.)
You can use any brand of juice, just so long as... A) It is 100% juice (or 100% juice from concentrate)... and B) It has no preservatives in it... look at the ingredients, it should say "Apples", and maybe Ascorbic Acid... just so long as that's it, you're good to go... If you're looking for cider, that's really a local thing, look at your local grocery store... Also, find out if your school has a school farm, I bought some cider from the local school farm here for $2.90 a gallon...

Cider is quite hard to mess up, just so long as you remember a few things... 1. Sanitize everything, 2. 100% juice, no preservatives, 3. RDWHAHB...
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