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Old 03-17-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
ScottM
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Default Newbie with a few cider questions

So I've brewed a couple batches of beer, and I'd like to try my hand at a little wine and cider. Wine I feel okay with because my uncle's done it for years. Cider will be a new adventure, but I've found some easy recipes and I just wanted to clear up a few things before jumping in.

1) the recipe calls for 3 gallons of apple juice with no preservatives. A local grocery store carries an "all natural" product. Ingredient list: apple juice, apple juice from concentrate and ascorbic acid. I know ascorbic acid is vitamin C. My question is will the ascorbic acid mess with the fermentation at all?

2) When fall roles around I know of a little farmer that sells true cider. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, real get-your-bowel-moving kind of stuff. If I was to brew a batch of hard cider with that what, if any, precautions would I want to be aware of? I'm thinking along the lines of adding a chemical agent to neutralize wild yeasts, they way winemakers would do if they pressed their own grapes.

Thanks for any feedback.

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Old 03-17-2009, 02:26 PM   #2
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Ascorbic acid is fine and will not hurt your cider.

I can't answer #2 for you, but I am interested in hearing the answers you get.

Edit to say, I think the best apple juice to use only has apple juice, water and ascorbic acid. That is all you want in it nothing else.

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Old 03-17-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottM View Post
So I've brewed a couple batches of beer, and I'd like to try my hand at a little wine and cider. Wine I feel okay with because my uncle's done it for years. Cider will be a new adventure, but I've found some easy recipes and I just wanted to clear up a few things before jumping in.

1) the recipe calls for 3 gallons of apple juice with no preservatives. A local grocery store carries an "all natural" product. Ingredient list: apple juice, apple juice from concentrate and ascorbic acid. I know ascorbic acid is vitamin C. My question is will the ascorbic acid mess with the fermentation at all?

2) When fall roles around I know of a little farmer that sells true cider. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, real get-your-bowel-moving kind of stuff. If I was to brew a batch of hard cider with that what, if any, precautions would I want to be aware of? I'm thinking along the lines of adding a chemical agent to neutralize wild yeasts, they way winemakers would do if they pressed their own grapes.

Thanks for any feedback.

There's some stuff that doesn't even have ascorbin acid in it, from the Simply Orange people - see here: Simply Orange Juice. Apparently Target carries it. I used it to backsweeten, but there is someone (or more than one) who used it to ferment and liked it.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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To your 2nd question: use some Potassium Metbisulphide (aka K-Meta) on the "raw" apple juice 24 hours or so before pitching your cultured yeast.

I refuse to call non-alcoholic apple juice a cider, it has to be fermented before it's a cider IMHO

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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asorbic acid is fine. IIRC, martinellis doesn't have it in it either

as for what you need to do with the "fresh press" stuff -
treat with campden tablets - one crushed per gallon of juice and let stand
for (if I remember right) 24 hours this will retard reproduction of any wild yeasties in the juice -then pitch your cultivated yeast to it.

easy cheesy.

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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The Campden tablets for 24hrs is exactly what I was considering. Great info everyone and thanks for setting my mind at ease.

I'll keep my eye out for an apple juice with nothing but juice, and compare prices. If I wait until late August I can get flash pasteurized cider, but I really want to have some hard cider to drink this September. Then once I can get the good unpasteurized stuff, I'll brew a batch to let sit 12 mos. And on, and on...

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Old 03-18-2009, 02:49 AM   #7
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Scott,

The local grocery stores are prepped for Passover, and there's lots of good pure kosher food available. I found a brand, Kedem, which one store carries for $3 / gallon. No too shabby. 100% juice, no nothin' else. I gotta pick up another 1/2 G and then I'm starting another batch...

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Old 03-18-2009, 09:41 AM   #8
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You can also just let the cider ferment naturally from the farm. There's lots of wild yeast that lives on apples that loooves apples. I made a white wine like that by accident. Yea. by accident. OK it was laziness, alright? I forgot to add campden tablets for a few days, and it started fermenting on its own.... but I still drink it today and it's freakin tasty.

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Old 03-18-2009, 12:42 PM   #9
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Wow EvilTOJ, I hadn't really considered that a viable alternative, but I'm going to have to really think about that. Some of my favorite styles are Belgian's and some of their funky sour yeasts. Maybe a 1 gallon experiment might be in order next fall, hmmm....

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