Can I freeze freshly pressed cider for later brewing?

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CV_Apple_Gal

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I make cider only with the abundance of apples that my property has, (I typically press 10G but could easily do more if I collected all the apples), but that means I only make cider once a year.

Is it possible to freeze freshly pressed cider to brew at a later time? I am also interested in infusing spring botanicals in my cider, but cannot do that if I'm always making cider in October/November.

Has anyone tried it? Can it work?

Many thanks!
 

McMullan

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If freezer space isn't an issue, I'd freeze the apples instead of the juice. It's going to make pressing easier, too. Fermentation and ethanol production as soon as is the best strategy to stabilise things, of course. I think I'd rather have a cider ageing than apples or juice in the freezer.
 

mashpaddled

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Sure it's as freezable as any other liquid. The thing to keep in mind is that the liquid will expand on freezing so you'll need to store it in a container that can expand and not rupture. I made the mistake once of freezing some leftover wort in freezer bags but the bags developed tiny tears from the expanding ice and ended up leaking in the freezer (it wasn't in a chest freezer) and all over the counter as it started to thaw.
 

Chalkyt

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In Chapter 6 "Apple Mills" in his book, Jolicoeur has a section on freezing apples. He covers the upsides and downsides of this method for extracting juice and outlines the best thawing and pressing method. It is worth reading if you decide to go down this path.

Freezer space is obviously a limiting factor and apparently the resulting juice is "a bit odd to drink" due to the degradation of the pectin during freezing. However, he claims that with freezing the colour is paler since there is no oxidation of tannins, has fewer particles in suspension and the yield can be higher than using the mill-press tandem. He quotes that "for cider, these effects are not detrimental to the quality".

I understand your dilemma, having just spent two days picking, grinding and crushing apples by hand (it is late Fall here in Oz)... hard work nourished by last year's cider!

Having let some of my early picked apples sweat for a couple of weeks, I do have a quite pulpy juice and have to allow for as much as 10% "wastage" once this settles out so the freezing approach does have some appeal.
 

AzOr

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I’ve done this often and it works fine. Sometimes I freeze juice because the ambient temp is too high to ferment. I have a medium sized chest freezer and freeze juices in gallon spring water jugs (filled to a few inches from top).
Usually the juice is only frozen a month or two but have gone up to a year.
 

wayne-smith79

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Why not press more apples, ferment and then rack off into larger containers. Keep them air tight, add SO2 and let the cider mature. Make sure it’s stored at between 10c to 15c. You could also use some form of Bentonite (I think that’s right but I’m not 100%) to kill off the yeast after fermenting. You can then use your matured cider as is or blend with juice/water whenever you like.
 
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