Forgotten Cider

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katrina_3_

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Okay, so here's the deal. Back in the middle of October my family had our yearly Cider party where we press our own apples. I had a mix of store bought sweet red and green apples as well as freshly picked granny apples and red delicious off our property. Thrown in the mix were a few off the ground as well. We wound up with more jugs than I had planned and a few got forgotten in the fridge in both glass and plastic jugs. The jugs were cleaned not sterilized and there were no yeasts or sugars added to the cider. They have just been sitting in the fridge for a month and a half. I know nothing about the different ways to make hard cider so I was wondering if it can be accidentally created that way is it possible to salvage it or should I just throw it out? I wouldn't want to get sick from it. Please help!
 

JonM

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Hmm ... That's a tricky one. I'm no cider expert since I'm more of a beer guy, but my gut says taste it. If it tastes like juice, toss in some yeast and ferment away. If it tastes sour (like bad sour, not typical Granny Smith, etc. tartness) then it might have gone overboard. Refrigeration is a big help here and you might be in luck.

Others may have more solid recommendations about Pasteurization, wild fermentation, and other steps you might need to take at this point, but in any event, just sit back and RDWHAHB for the time being!
 

ditchbanker

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I don't have a ton of experience, but I'd be prone to tasting it, too.

I've never done a wild fermentation (using the yeasts naturally on the apples) but lots of people do. If you have any fizziness in the juice, or any alcohol flavors, the yeast may have gotten started despite refrigeration. It's possible you might be able to remove it from the fridge, put it under an airlock and let it turn into hard cider. If you had any alcohol taste already there, that's what I'd do.

On the other hand, if it still tastes likes juice and you want to try hard cider, I'd add 1 crushed and disolved camden tablet/gallon, let it sit out for 24 hours, pitch a beer/wine/cider yeast, and let it set for a few weeks. If you have ANY experience with fermenting, you should have a hydrometer (pretty cheap). I'd measure specific gravity before pitching yeast and let it go a few weeks 'til it stays the same for 3 days in a row. After that it gets down to preferences.

Again, I'm a long way from an expert, but that's how I'd handle it. If it tastes like it's gone bad, I'd consider throwing it out. Or saving it to see if it ages out of it. Depends how I was set for storage space.
 
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