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Old 12-14-2009, 09:00 PM   #1
damdaman
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Default Making hard cider from store-bought apple juice

Does anyone have experience doing this? Any tips on a good brand (preferably organic)? Ideally I would find some fresh-pressed cider where I could pick the variety of apples, but I don't have the time to do that right now, so I figure I'll just go buy 5 gallons of cider and pitch some yeast to it and see what happens.

Also would it be a bad idea to bottle the finished cider back into the glass jugs I got the juice in? Cleaned and sanitized first of course.

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Old 12-14-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Most of us buy our juice, I've even used concentrate. You can put the cider back in the jugs, but make certain the fermentation is done.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:20 PM   #3
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Cool, thanks, I guess I'll just try different brands until I find what I like.

What about yeast? I read somewhere that champagne yeast is a good one to use so I picked some up at the LHBS.

Also, what about adding sugar? I notice a lot of people do this. I assume this will increase the final alcohol content and mean it will take longer to ferment? I don't like overly sweet ciders, would adding sugar at the beginning make it more sweet in the end?

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:30 PM   #4
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I've been using store bought juice for quite a while with good results. As for the champagne yeast, it should work out pretty well for you. My only experience with it is that it pretty much ALWAYS ferments through ALL of the sugars in the batch, unless you go crazy adding sugar (haven't tried it, but I figure you'd have to go pretty high, like 1.1 to whack out champagne yeast). So, since you stated you like a dry cider, it should go well. Adding sugar at the beginning will just make the alcohol content higher if you don't stop the fermentation early. From memory, store-bought juice without added sugar would probably yield ~4.5% alcohol.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:39 PM   #5
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Great, thanks! That's very helpful. I think I'll add sugar and pitch two packets of yeast to burn through it all.

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:43 PM   #6
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I'm also a newbie, have made about 3 batches now. Both have been great, and had very different tastes. Two were made with Lavlin EC-1118, the one with the Safale SA-04. I found this thread to be very helpful. It's a huge thread, but the info on page 1, page 15, and some other pages had comments that helped, and made me think differently about what I was doing.

All my juice has been from a store, or from a farmer's market.

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Old 12-15-2009, 05:33 AM   #7
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Does anyone have experience making cider with Simply Apple? It's by far my favorite juice, and I'm willing to spend the extra money if it makes a quality cider. (my first one)

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Old 12-15-2009, 06:21 AM   #8
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You'd frankly be wasting money to use Simply Apple, as all of the character of the original juice is subsumed by the yeast and alcohol. Use Tree Top or Mott's or house brand - whatever you can find that doesn't have any preservatives (sorbates, particularly).

Check the thread - long though it is - on EdWort's Apfelwein. It's in the Wine Maker's forum here on the board. You'll find what you're looking for.

I'm on my 3rd batch of apfelwein right now. It's tasty, tart, and totally drinkable. Oh yeah, and it'll get you drunk!

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Old 12-15-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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Well its certainly an exaggeration to say that your juice choice doesn't matter. While the flavor changing significantly through fermentation the juice you choose does have a big effect on the end result. Having said that is not the same as saying you can't make great cider out of inexpensive juice.

I personally wouldn't use simply apple, becaue of cost. For the same or less I have done with fresh pressed from a farm or at least "fresh pressed" organic juice from the store. Also one thing to keep in mind is that if you use drinking juice your using different apples than traditional ciders. Juicing apples tend to be sweeter and less tart than cider apples. Some people add acid blend or citric juice to balance out this difference.

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Old 04-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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Hello,

Noobian here

I just want to know what the yea's and no's are when choosing apple juice (cider) to turn into hard cider?

I just want to make sure i buy something i can turn into cider

thank you in advance

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