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naeco 09-09-2010 01:58 AM

Question about using store bought juice
the 2 batch I have going right now are made from freshly pressed cider but I would like to be able to make sweet carbonated non-expensive cider using juice that is store bought. The problem is I don't know what to buy as most apple juice are made from concentrate and I don't know if ht concentrate has preservative in them ?

I live in Ottawa, Canada. Does anyone know of a apple juice that is sold here without preservative ?


maddprofessor 09-09-2010 03:05 AM

It's easy to find apple juice here without preservatives. Ascorbic acid is vitamin C and is ok. Make sure you get some juice w/o sulfate.

lumpher 09-09-2010 03:29 AM

you have a walmart. buy their 96 oz 100% apple juice. it's $2 american ( i think that's like $35 canadian :D ) . i buy 8 of them, dump 4 lbs table sugar into it, pitch montrachet yeast onto it, and 30 days later, hard cider. you can also vary it. almost all walmart brand juices (which are 100%, and have no preservatives - watch for the word sorbate ) are ok. right now i have 3g apple juice, 1g cranberry-raspberry juice, and 1/2g grape-cranberry juice on montrachet yeast (done today). total cost is about $15 us for 4.5g

naeco 09-09-2010 01:05 PM

thanks for the info lumpher ... 2$US would actually be 2.07$CAN, not $35 :eek: LOL

naeco 09-09-2010 01:19 PM

I found a type of apple juice called Rougemont and all it says is 100% apple juice from concentrate with added vitamin C and the ingredients does not mention anything about preservative. I pitched some 1118 in a 1 ounce shooter and it started to bubble immediately.Would a juice with preservative not bubble at all ? Do you still recommend I get a juice that says: 100% apple juice ?

How does the taste differ from making cider with juice VS freshly pressed cider and how to make the juice cider better as I want to try Sticky's Easy Stove-Top Pasteurizing technique ?

Pappers_ 09-09-2010 01:45 PM

If it doesn't say it has preservatives in it, if the ingredient list says only "apple juice" or "apple juice concentrate" then you are fine.

One way to think of the difference in flavor is in layers or complexity. Sometimes we like a cream ale or a kolsch - good quality, fresh, not too complicated. I like draft-style cider (Woodchuck, Strongbow, etc.), but it is not a complicated drink, flavor-wise.

naeco 09-09-2010 01:55 PM

Pappers, I'm crazy for Strongbow so would simply using store bought juice and doing the Easy Stove-Top Pasteurizing once at 1.010 give me a similar taste ?

With my freshly pressed cider, I plan on letting it ferment to complete dryness as I don't like to drink cloudy cider and will have to let it age in secondary and then adjust the taste with non-fermentable sugar and natural apple essence. Cant wait to see how the freshly pressed will compare to regular store juice ... hopefully way better as it's WAY more trouble !

CvilleKevin 09-09-2010 02:34 PM

In the past, I've fermented a lot of different store bought juices when apples were not in season. The best was some juice I got at whole foods, but they all tasted pretty crappy compared to using fresh juice. It comes down to the type of apples. Most big table juice producers use apples like red and yellow delicious that are sweet and have high juice yields, but when you ferment the sugar off, there is no taste left. Might as well make a sugar wash, which is a lot cheaper and flavor that.

Which is not to say that all fresh pressed juice is good, but you are much more likely to find good juice at the press. The place I go to also presses mostly red and yellow delicious, but they also press a smaller amount of flavor apples which makes their table juice really good. That way they can distribute to produce stores where people will pay a premium for flavor, vs trying to compete with Chinese bulk producers for the juicy juice market. They also do pressings of just the flavor apples for hard cider makers.

Bottom line is that its all about the taste of your starting juice. If you can find good tasting juice at the supermarket that isnt all sugar then you are fortunate.

Pappers_ 09-10-2010 01:33 AM

One way to think about it is in terms of layers and complexity of flavors. Fresh pressed juices may give you a cider that is more complex and layered than a simple store-bought juice. I find that the store bought juice lends itself to producing what some call a 'draft style' cider - similar to the commercial varieties like Magners, Woodchuck and Strongbow. I don't find these to be complex beverages. An analogy to beermaking might be cream ales, witbiers, or kolsches - not the most complex beers but sometimes they are just what you want.

So, Naeco, while I'm not an expert on Strongbow, I think you can make a good cider in that style from store bought juice.

As Kevin says, fresh pressed juice, from a good mix and balance of cider apples, will give a more complex and layered cider.

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