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Old 09-30-2012, 09:38 PM   #1
GhettoDickens
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Default Pasteurized v Non-Pasteurized: a few questions

I have seen a lot of options for cider/apple juice popping up at the farmers market and local grocery stores. I want to make a hard a cider (graff actually) and I am curious what I should be looking for in a juice.

I hear some people say the best cider is made from unpasteurized juice. Others say pasteurized juices are fine. Don't you just have to stove-top pasteurize an unpasteurized cider anyway? What would happen if you don't treat the unpasteurized cider and just pitch the yeast? What would be the ideal juice? I have both pasteurized and unpasteurized options...

Oh boy, I am confused. I have never thought so much about apple juice before.

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Old 10-01-2012, 12:37 AM   #2
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Both pasteurized and unpasteurized juice work fine. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that pasteurized juice develops a distinct 'baked apple' flavor. I can't tell the difference between the two and double blind scientific studies seem to agree there is no sensory difference. I suspect that in times past, less controlled pasteurization methods did often produce a baked apple flavor but today's scientific advancements have negated this effect while the folk knowledge keeps getting passed on even though it mostly no longer applies.

Pasteurizing unpasteurized juice at home on the stove would just be silly. No need to make extra work for yourself.

There is more potential of microbial infection in non-pasteurized juice obviously, but proper use of sulfites and sanitation can and does work great at mitigating the risk.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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Unpasteurized juice will clear faster, although it also depends on type of apples. Pasteurizing sets the pectin. I've done batches of juice that was pressed at the same time, with and without pasteurization. I could not tell the difference in taste but the pasteurized batches always took longer to clear.

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Old 10-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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So pasteurized or not, I don't need to treat the juice in any way?

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Pasturized cider you can just pour and pitch yeast. I just started a batch this weekend, but it's more of an apple mead. 5 gallons of cider, 6 lbs of honey and 6 lbs of brown sugar, with some "apple pie spices"

I'll tell you how it tastes next year!

but, it was store bought, pasturized cider, I heated up about 2 gallons to about 160-170 so that the heat would help dissolve the sugar and honey, then poured the last 3 into the carboy.


with unpasturized cider, I believe you add some type of acid treatment to kill any natural yeast/bacteria that may be in it, then pitch your brewing yeast.

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Old 10-03-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhettoDickens View Post
So pasteurized or not, I don't need to treat the juice in any way?
I like to add ~50ppm of SO2 (aka campden tablets) to inhibit any wild microbes.
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