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Trader Joe's Pink Lady juice

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Nick Z

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Public service announcement:

I went to my local Trader Joe's today and saw that they now have Pink Lady apple juice/cider as well as the Honeycrisp. It wasn't there a week or so ago. It's in 64 ounce (half gallon) bottles. Just like the Honeycrisp it is not from concentrate and unfiltered. About $3.50 per half gallon. I haven't tasted it yet.

One of the staff there confirmed for me that the Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are temporary, seasonal items.

Figured I'd share this in case anyone finds it useful.
 

bernardsmith

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Thanks, Nick Z. Both these apples are quite delicious eating apples but are they really tart and complex enough to make a good (hard) cider?
 
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Nick Z

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That's my question as well. I suspect Honeycrisp is not. But I have strange opinions about Honeycrisp. Pink Lady might work. It's got some tartness to it.

It drew my attention because I rarely see single varietal juice for sale and I figured I should snag some while I can and others might wish to as well.
 

bernardsmith

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That's my question as well. I suspect Honeycrisp is not. But I have strange opinions about Honeycrisp. Pink Lady might work. It's got some tartness to it.

It drew my attention because I rarely see single varietal juice for sale and I figured I should snag some while I can and others might wish to as well.
What if we were to think outside the box: for cider (where you want the drink to be really bright and tart) neither may be perfect, but for cyser - a mead that is made with apple juice rather than water these apples may be perfect. (you drink cider by the pint, but you drink cyser by the glass. You drink cider to quench a thirst, but you drink cyser (or mead) with a meal).
 

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That's my question as well. I suspect Honeycrisp is not. But I have strange opinions about Honeycrisp. Pink Lady might work. It's got some tartness to it.

It drew my attention because I rarely see single varietal juice for sale and I figured I should snag some while I can and others might wish to as well.
I've made a few batches with Honeycrisp juice. They were alright, drinkable but unremarkable. I've found Gravenstein juice, which makes a pretty good cider, at Whole Foods and Harris-Teeter.
 

bernardsmith

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Gravenstein is known to make a good cider. I have never seen either those apples of the juice in this part of the country but that may be me.
 
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Nick Z

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North Coast has quarts of Gravenstein juice. But at about 5 bucks a quart it's not something I will get a gallon of anytime soon. I think Whole Foods might have it for slightly less.

I was able to squeeze some Newtown Pippin apples. I got about two gallons and put it in the freezer. I will yank it out at some point.

I was thinking of using small pieces of thawed quince to add tannins.
 

madscientist451

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If I was using honeycrisp or pink lady juice in cider, I would use it as part of a blend.
 
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Nick Z

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That would be preferable but I don't have the proper cider apples or crab apples for a blend. I know that's what you are supposed to use but I just cannot get them now. So I'm stuck with what i can get. What I am mostly seeing now is honeycrisp, gala, fuji, opal, red delicious, granny smith, pink lady, and a couple of others whose names escape me.

I thought the quince could add a bit of that bitter/tannin flavor in. I'm also not above using wine grape tannins or added acids.
 

madscientist451

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When I've used sweet/tart apples in cider I've noticed that the sweetness disappears and your left with an overly acidic cider. Maybe the Trader Joe's juice would work, but a better plan might be to get 10 different kinds and put them all together and hope for the best.
 
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Nick Z

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That's what I'm afraid will happen. It's an unfortunate side effect of only being able to get dessert apples. While I, myself, like tart flavors, not everyone does. I can back sweeten with concentrate or plain sugar. But I book on cider I read suggested I learn to like my cider dry and still. I think that's good advice.

Are there any reasonably common apples that add aroma? I think I read that Fuji apples do. I squeezed a little Red Delicious juice because I read that it adds aroma in small quantities in a blend.
 

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Public service announcement:

I went to my local Trader Joe's today and saw that they now have Pink Lady apple juice/cider as well as the Honeycrisp. It wasn't there a week or so ago. It's in 64 ounce (half gallon) bottles. Just like the Honeycrisp it is not from concentrate and unfiltered. About $3.50 per half gallon. I haven't tasted it yet.

One of the staff there confirmed for me that the Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are temporary, seasonal items.

Figured I'd share this in case anyone finds it useful.
Not sure where you live, but Berkeley Bowl in Berkeley California sells gallons of gravenstein juice. Might blend well with the TJ juice. I might go down to TJs and grab a few to mess around with. The Berkeley Bowl sells Ashmeades, and some other interesting varieties, but they are quite expensive by the pound. It sucks when all you can get are dessert apples once the season is over :(
They almost always ferment into a flabby finish, but I tweak it with grape tannin and acids. And, if I find some whole apples somewhere, I'll juice them and blend it in, sometimes it comes out surprisingly good, especially when I get some crabapples
 
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Nick Z

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I actually have a crab apple tree but it flowered early in the season. My parents cut it back viciously a couple of years ago and I think it's still recovering. Hopefully I can get some off of it next year. They were going to kill it entirely except it is probably a pollinizer for the sweet apple tree.

I am in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Hood River may have some cider apples still but it's too long a drive to justify right now.

I have seen Gravenstein juice in quarts from North Coast. A whole gallon would be pretty spendy. I may see if Whole Foods has some in their house brand.

I was thinking of using Martinelli's apple juice. The reason being that research has indicated that the main apple in their blend is Newtown Pippin.

As far as tannins and bitterness I have grape tannins, oak chips, and hops. I think that hops do not express bitterness unless heated. I am thinking of boiling hops in water and then using the hops in cider or the hops water. Whether this works.. Who knows
 
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blasterooni

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I actually have a crab apple tree but it flowered early in the season. My parents cut it back viciously a couple of years ago and I think it's still recovering. Hopefully I can get some off of it next year. They were going to kill it entirely except it is probably a pollinizer for the sweet apple tree.

I am in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Hood River may have some cider apples still but it's too long a drive to justify right now.

I have seen Gravenstein juice in quarts from North Coast. A whole gallon would be pretty spendy. I may see if Whole Foods has some in their house brand.

I was thinking of using Martinelli's apple juice. The reason being that research has indicated that the main apple in their blend is Newtown Pippin.

As far as tannins and bitterness I have grape tannins, oak chips, and hops. I think that hops do not express bitterness unless heated. I am thinking of boiling hops in water and then using the hops in cider or the hops water. Whether this works.. Who knows
I am finding that I can only get the hops flavor right when I pull a sample out of the carboy (dry hopped). The hops seems to dissipate quickly once its bottled or kegged. I haven't tried boiling hops, but it may be worth a try. Oak chips take fricken forever to impart the tannins unless you're cool with aging for quite some time. At least that's my experience, so, I go with the powdered grape tannin.

The North Coast juice is quite expensive. I don't want to pay anything more than $9 a gallon. I didn't know that martinellis is Newtowns, good to know! I also, get apples out of the bargain bin and juice them. Sometimes I luck out and get some quince. Its what I call urban foraging...
 
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Nick Z

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I've been going to this grocery liquidation store near me called Everyday Deals. Most of the time their produce is over the hill. But they've had Newtown Pippin, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Sonata apples. All in fine shape. I have been grabbing them and juicing them. I would guess that eventually they will have others as orchards and stores liquidate their stock.
 

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I've seen these also at Safeway and Wal-Mart, probably at a better price.
The last cider I made I used them plus some opal juice as the main part of the three gallon batch. I also added a pound of finely chopped granny smith apples to add a little tartness.
 

blasterooni

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I've been going to this grocery liquidation store near me called Everyday Deals. Most of the time their produce is over the hill. But they've had Newtown Pippin, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Sonata apples. All in fine shape. I have been grabbing them and juicing them. I would guess that eventually they will have others as orchards and stores liquidate their stock.
That's what I am hoping for, but it seems that the place I go they don't put the "good stuff" in the bargain bin. How many folks are going to buy arkasas black, and ashmeades kernel before they are no longer sell-able? Most of the dessert apples are in fine condition, there must be a sell by date I a not aware of. Or maybe they end up in the deli department and end up in smoothies (what an unfortunate end for such lovely apples! Use those goldens, and honeycrisps for that!)
 
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Nick Z

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I suspect the stores either go by appearance or have a pull by date. Produce that they consider over the hill is either dumped, donated to food banks, or sold/given to the liquidation places. Apples tend to have a long shelf life though, which is to our benefit.

I never asked the Everyday Deals (also known as Morrow Brothers) how they get their inventory. I just see them bringing in trucks of stuff.

I could see a scenario where the liquidation places don't even have to pay for their stock other than transport. If Safeway needs to get rid of a hundred pounds of apples it may be cheaper for them to just give them to a liquidation place than pay for disposal or shipping.

They are charging thirty nine cents a pound for apples and pears at Everyday Deals. That's by far the cheapest I have found apples so far.

I doubt the grocers would know what an Ashmead's Kernel is, let alone try to market it. And I think the demand for cider apples currently outstrips supply in North America. And perry pears are almost unheard of in the United States. I think the clever French Canadians in Quebec have some.
 

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Are there any reasonably common apples that add aroma? I think I read that Fuji apples do. I squeezed a little Red Delicious juice because I read that it adds aroma in small quantities in a blend.
Plain old Mac's are reputedly the most aromatic apples on earth.
 

bernardsmith

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. Oak chips take fricken forever to impart the tannins unless you're cool with aging for quite some time. At least that's my experience, so, I go with the powdered grape tannin.
My experience with oak is very different. A month and the amount of oak imparted can be very noticeable. I think the extraction may depend on the amount of alcohol in your wine or mead. What you might also consider doing is using vodka to extract the oak flavors (from cocoa to vanilla), you are looking for and then add the vodka to your cider or wine or mead. You don't need much vodka - just enough to cover the oak cubes. (you write chips, but IMO, cubes are better).
 

GeneDaniels1963

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Public service announcement:

I went to my local Trader Joe's today and saw that they now have Pink Lady apple juice/cider as well as the Honeycrisp. It wasn't there a week or so ago. It's in 64 ounce (half gallon) bottles. Just like the Honeycrisp it is not from concentrate and unfiltered. About $3.50 per half gallon. I haven't tasted it yet.

One of the staff there confirmed for me that the Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are temporary, seasonal items.

Figured I'd share this in case anyone finds it useful.
I found some honeycrisp juice a few years ago and made 3 gal of cider from it. It was good, much better than the regular juice I buy.
 
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Nick Z

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Plain old Mac's are reputedly the most aromatic apples on earth.
You appear to be prescient because I checked out Everyday Deals today and they had some McIntosh apples. I snapped up as many good ones as I could find and will juice them. Judging from the texture I don't think I'm going to get a very efficient juice yield. But they are the only of their variety I have found. I know they are supper common in many places but this is the first time I've even laid eyes on a McIntosh.
 

madscientist451

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If all I can get is "eating apples", this blend has worked for me:
40% Jonagold/Jonathan
20% Yellow Delicious
20% Mactintosh
20% Whatever else interesting I can find, Braeburn, Cameo, N. Spy, Goldrush,
Ida Red, York, Fuji, crabapples, but keep the "tart" apples to 10%.
Note that any apples you find in a store were picked before they are ripe, letting them sit for a while and ripen up will make better juice.
 

GeneDaniels1963

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You appear to be prescient because I checked out Everyday Deals today and they had some McIntosh apples. I snapped up as many good ones as I could find and will juice them. Judging from the texture I don't think I'm going to get a very efficient juice yield.
If you can, freeze them first. They will juice much easier and you will get max juice out of them.
 

blasterooni

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Went to pac-n-save last night and picked 2 gallons of Martinellis $9/gal (usually $12), 2 gallons of Tree Top "Tart and Sweet unfiltered" $5/gal, and one gallon of Tree Top "Honeycrisp" $5/gal, couldn't pass up the sale prices. $38 for 5 gallons for 5 gallons, not too bad. This just might make a good enough blend, but will probably need added tannin to round out the structure. I also have some some macs that I picked that I good juice and blend in, or some pippins, but I may use those to blend with a bunch of other apples that I picked along with the bargain bin apples. Been letting them sit in hopes for a better juice yield since this will be the last hoorah for neighborhood apples until next year (unless I can get permission to get into a backyard that has two trees choked with pippins on one tree and something red on another). I bought some Hornindal Kveik at Morebeer yesterday that I will use to ferment this batch
 
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Nick Z

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If you can, freeze them first. They will juice much easier and you will get max juice out of them.
I tried that with other apples and I didn't get any more juice out of them than I did when I juiced them fresh. But it was certainly easier on the food processor. My extremely limited experience so far indicates that softer fleshed apples don't yield up their juice as easily as harder, crisper fleshed apples.

I also snagged some Granny Smith apples. I'm thinking of making this batch mostly McIntosh but with some Granny Smith. They also had only a handful of Newtown Pippins which I will include in the blend. And I think I will throw in a few pieces of quince.
 

blasterooni

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I also snagged some Granny Smith apples. I'm thinking of making this batch mostly McIntosh but with some Granny Smith. They also had only a handful of Newtown Pippins which I will include in the blend. And I think I will throw in a few pieces of quince.
Well, my friend, it looks as though you are on your way to a rather nice cider, the quince will certainly add some structure, and freezing them first will help a great deal when it comes to juicing them, the yield I had post freezing was markedly better than unfrozen :)
 
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Nick Z

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I just chopped up the last few quince (less than a pound overall) and put them in the freezer. They will get thawed out tomorrow and pureed and juiced. I may just dump the puree itself into the carboy since I won't be using a lot.

So far I got about two quarts out of the Newtown Pippins. I am thawing the frozen McIntosh and hope to get a couple of quarts from that. Then the grannies. I'm shooting for about half Newtown Pippin, a quarter McIntosh, and roughly a quarter of Granny Smith with some quince. If I have enough leftover I will combine it with a couple of quarts of Gravenstein juice I got at Whole Foods and see what I can accomplish. I also picked up a gallon of Whole Foods apple juice (I got it mostly for the jug) which will be used to top off and for drinking and to rehydrate the applesauce. I already have a batch of their juice fermenting.

I was able to get a gallon out of the McIntosh apples and froze that for later use.
 

wasully

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If all I can get is "eating apples", this blend has worked for me:
40% Jonagold/Jonathan
20% Yellow Delicious
20% Mactintosh
20% Whatever else interesting I can find, Braeburn, Cameo, N. Spy, Goldrush,
Ida Red, York, Fuji, crabapples, but keep the "tart" apples to 10%.
Note that any apples you find in a store were picked before they are ripe, letting them sit for a while and ripen up will make better juice.
Those are all supposed to be good cider apples if you don't like tannin. Reportedly goldrush makes for a fantastic base.
 

Maylar

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There's a local cider mill that does a special pressing for hard cider makers once a year. The blend varies each year but it's always excellent. This year's blend is:

70% Winesap
22% Empire
4% Northern Spy
2% Quince
2% Dabinett & Aronia berries

Still oaking in secondary, haven't sampled it yet.
 

MarkKF

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There's a local cider mill that does a special pressing for hard cider makers once a year. The blend varies each year but it's always excellent. This year's blend is:

70% Winesap
22% Empire
4% Northern Spy
2% Quince
2% Dabinett & Aronia berries

Still oaking in secondary, haven't sampled it yet.
Mines just aging in a glass carboy. Darker that others in appearance. But clearing nicely. I used Brewers Best Cider House Select yeast. Did you let yours go wild?
 

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Mines just aging in a glass carboy. Darker that others in appearance. But clearing nicely. I used Brewers Best Cider House Select yeast. Did you let yours go wild?
Only a half gallon of it is wild. It took off quickly, probably use it as top off somewhere down the line. This batch is with Renaissance Fresco cider yeast from last year.

Had to top off my secondary 20 ltr Spidel and used Lyman Orchards cider bought at Big Y.
 
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Nick Z

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After two days of squeezing apples and a trip to Whole Foods for juice I just put together three 1 gallon batches. Just hit them with a campden tablet. Tomorrow afternoon they will get pectic enzyme and about twelve hours later they will get yeast.

The first two batches are a mix of Newtown Pippin, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Red Delicious, and a tiny bit of quince. The first batch has more granny, the second has more Newtown Pippin. The Red Delicious was used in small amounts as an aromatic.

The third batch is two quarts of Whole Foods gravenstein apple juice and the remainder the regular Whole Foods apple juice in the gallon glass jug.

I want to try different yeasts and I just got some CY17 and SN9 (Vintner's Harvest, I think). The third I'm not sure. Probably Mangrove Jack's M02.

If there aren't enough tannins I will add grape tannin. If my malolactic culture grows enough I will probably add some of them in when the fermentation is done or nearly done.

New Seasons had a gallon of generic but seasonal juice so I picked a gallon up. It's from Hood River Juice Company and says it was pressed from Oregon and Washington apples.

One of the apples I am seeing now in the stores is Opal. Has anyone used that in cider? I assume it's a late season apple because it is suddenly all over the place.
 
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