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Old 08-02-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
JRAvpro
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Jul 2011
Wheaton, IL
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For years I have bought two gallons of cider, whenever I can find a small, "non-industrial" press: I buy one to drink now, and one to let harden naturally on the back stoop to enjoy later. The alternating warmth and cooling of the autumn sun and lengthening nights typically yield a delicious snap to the end product; but small cider-pressing operations are increasingly hard to find in my area.

My son got involved in home-brewing beer, and his experience prompted me to try making cider in a bigger way last fall. I found on old German fellow with about 8 acres of apples and pears in a town nearby, so using my son's 5 gal carboy I made up a 5 gal. batch last fall. Somehow I got lucky and won a bronze medal in a local AHA sanctioned homebrew competition. Now I'm hooked, and want to try working with 10-15 gal's this year, so I can have more to enjoy myself and share with others.

My son told me about this forum, and I read it with great interest and wish I understood more. A few questions:

- My biggest question now is about using commercially pasteurized juice: will pasteurized juice ferment if new yeast is added?
(I see multiple posts where people seem to be using pasteurized products, but I want to be sure before I waste a bunch of time and
money trying something that I've always assumed impossible.)

- Don't all commercially sold juices also have preservatives? Perhaps it's the preservatives that prevent fermentation?

- Could I use frozen apple juice concentrate to sweeten and add flavor after primary fermentation? (I've considered boiling down fresh cider to make my own concentrate, but worry about the process changing the flavor for the worse. Any comments on this idea -vs- something like Brewer's Best?)

- Aren't there different types of pasteurization? Does it matter HOW the products are pasteurized?

- What's the diff. betw/ Pasteurization that's done commercially and "canning" (like canning meats and veggies?)

- Is there a glossary somewhere for abbreviations and terms I read here but I'm not familiar with?

Sorry for the long list, but I'm excited to get the answers to these questions I've wondered about for a long time!

Reason: Explanation of details.

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:48 PM   #2
muse435
 
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Jan 2010
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Basically pasteurized is ok, preserved is bad. If it has Potassium Sorbate in it it will/should not ferment.

I am on my first two (concurrently) batches of cider. Both are using store bought apple juice. I have not tasted yet but it has defiantly been fermenting. By law, to sell a juice/cider in a store it must be pasteurized. If you get it strait from the orchard then it can be unpasteurized. The problem with unpasteurized cider is you can not control what yeast is fermenting.

Check out this

I have heard that UV pasteurization (commercial) is better b/c there is no added heat, But like I said it's all hearsay.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:52 PM   #3
frydogbrews
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May 2011
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yup, like muse said, watch out for preservatives, although citric acid is no problemo. they almost all have citric acid. i have made many many batches of cider and cyser with store bought juice in jugs, all types really. we prefer the stuff from target only because it is cheap and it comes in 1 gallon jugs instead of 1/2 gallon.
you can considerably improve the flavor of store bought juice by crushing up a whole bunch of crabapples in the fall and freezing the juice. then when you make cider outside of juice season, just dump a little of the frozen juice in, just a quart to a five gallon batch of cider makes a huge difference.

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:07 PM   #4
RobWalker
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Nov 2009
Birmingham, England
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Lots of questions! You can add apple concentrate to sweeten and flavour, it's pretty common! Depending whether you're bottling or kegging there are steps you need to take afterwards though...

 
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:24 PM   #5
corkybstewart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frydogbrews View Post
you can considerably improve the flavor of store bought juice by crushing up a whole bunch of crabapples in the fall and freezing the juice. then when you make cider outside of juice season, just dump a little of the frozen juice in, just a quart to a five gallon batch of cider makes a huge difference.
I get about a gallon of juice from my crabapple tree each fall, another 2 gallons from mine and my neighbors assorted apples and then I buy 2 gallons of Walmart apple juice to make 5 gallons of the dryest cider you'll ever drink.
I also make a spiced cider with 5 gallons of Walmart juice, some brown sugar and a few spices.

 
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
kkortum
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Oct 2012
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Is it legal to sell home-brewed fermented store bought juice with the proper licensing (manufacturing and distributing) without the permission of the juice company?

 
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:46 PM   #7
zheol
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Apr 2012
lodi, ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkortum View Post
Is it legal to sell home-brewed fermented store bought juice with the proper licensing (manufacturing and distributing) without the permission of the juice company?
aint that a bit like asking a company like gold medal for promission to sell baked goods that used the flour they make.

 
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:06 AM   #8
zdthirtyseven
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Jun 2012
newberg, oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frydogbrews View Post
yup, like muse said, watch out for preservatives, although citric acid is no problemo. they almost all have citric acid. i have made many many batches of cider and cyser with store bought juice in jugs, all types really. we prefer the stuff from target only because it is cheap and it comes in 1 gallon jugs instead of 1/2 gallon.
you can considerably improve the flavor of store bought juice by crushing up a whole bunch of crabapples in the fall and freezing the juice. then when you make cider outside of juice season, just dump a little of the frozen juice in, just a quart to a five gallon batch of cider makes a huge difference.
why crabapple juice? would any fresh apples work?

 
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #9
agent44
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May 2012
Port alberni, BC
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Crab apples if I'm not mistaken have more acidity and tannin then an eating apple from the grocery store. from what I hear they make great cider or in addition to juice from other apples. The unfiltered apple juice (cider) from the grocery store is made for drinking so it uses sweeter apples and doesnt make the best hard cider ive heard. I tried an experiment, I made two one gallon batches one with unfiltered uv paturized cider from Walmart, and one gallon Walmart apple juice. The apple juice turned out better then the cider by a long shot, but that was to my taste. Experiment and find out what you ke on a small scale and then go big! Lol cheers and good luck!

 
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