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Old 05-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #1
Buckhuntr
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Default Making cider from fresh pressed juice ??

I will be traveling near Ellijay, Georgia in October, coinciding with the apple harvest there. From past experience, I know the fresh cider they press at some of the orchards is very good and unpasteurized, unless they have changed practices in the last few years. I'd like to make some hard cider with some, but I'd either have to buy the juice there (in gallon milk jugs) and transport it back to Oklahoma in a cooler, which would mean I couldn't start the ferment for a few days after it's pressed; or take my brew bucket, yeast and other equipment with me to Georgia and start the ferment at my sister's house, then carry it back here while it's still fermenting.

I've never made hard cider before, but have made a few batches of beer & wine thus far. I need pros/cons and advice, please. Any help/advice/comments are most welcome.


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Old 05-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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I've heard they make good cider up in Ellijay. As far as transporting it, I would ask them if they add ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to the product, if they don't I would add some before transport to prevent browning/oxidation. You should also go ahead and add the sulfite and cap the containers to kill the wild yeast and bacteria so it doesn't start fermenting until you get it home.
As far as making hard cider from fresh juice, I haven't done it, but someone else who has should chime in.


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Old 05-02-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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Get a couple of those $2.99 styrofoam coolers & a couple of bungee cords. You should be able to fit 3, maybe 4 gallon jugs in each one, pour in the ice, put the lid on & secure it with the bungee cord. Should work well enough as long as you keep pouring off the meltwater & replacing the ice. I've used the same system for camping & it works great with steaks, shrimp & beer. Though a bigger, better, rigid plastic cooler works better. Replace the ice at least once each day, more if you think it needs it. Really no difference between the cooler & the refrigerator if you're talking only 3 or 4 days. Regards, GF.

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Old 05-02-2009, 09:46 PM   #4
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Ok thanks. Sounds like that's a viable solution then.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #5
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There shouldn't be any problems transporting the juice. Fill each container right to the top and add some sulphite, camden tablets is the most convenient source. Fresh juice should have a SG of around 1.05 - 1.06. Many on this forum would add dextrose to up the OG and alcohol but I would advocate just fermenting the juice for a traditional cider. Juice from the shop is treated, diluted, mixed with concentrate, pasteurised etc. fresh pressed juice is quite a different thing and makes a delicious cider by itself. Be sure to rehydrate the yeast and ferment at a good steady temperature. The main issue is sweetness. I like mine dry but most commercial ciders are sweetened a bit even when called "dry" so it takes getting used to. Cider from fresh juice has a lovely appley taste which makes up for the lack of sweetness IMHO.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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The containers are sealed plastic gallon milk jugs with the tear-away strip to unseal it (remembering from the last time I bought some at Penland's Apple House). So if I added anything, I'd have to unseal each jug first, and that in itself would make it more risky to transport, I would think.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
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If they are already sealed they probably have preservative (sulphite) added so transport shouldn't be a problem. Raw juice will start fermenting within a couple of days so couldn't be sold in sealed containers. If it is fresh pressed it should be cloudy and noticeably sweeter than commercial juice. Keeping it cool as already advised would be a good idea.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:54 AM   #8
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Default Ellijay Apple Cider

Just wanted you to know that we have to pasturize the cider now. We use flash pasturization to try to keep the flavor. I own the apple market (Panorama Orchards) across from Penlands. We do freeze it so people can take it with them out of state. It takes 2 days to thaw. If you put frozen cider in an iced styrofoam cooler it will be ok for over a week. We do not add any perservative to it FYI.


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