Canning storebought cider (unfiltered apple juice)

2ajsmamaMarch 1, 2014

I can carefully pour it off without disturbing sediment, can filter through my jelly-making pillowcase (cold?) but since NCHFP instructions for apple juice say to get it within 24 hours of pressing, can one even process commercially-bought cider at the end of its shelf life (sell-by date is Mar 10)? What would the quality be? Is the "within 24 hours" recommendation just for raw cider/juice, so that bacteria doesn't have time to grow before processing? Same with the 190 degree cooking time/temp before canning - that's for raw cider, so can I assume that just simmering (180 or so) pasteurized juice to avoid thermal shock is good enough and I don't have to stand there with a calibrated thermometer?

DD and I found it at the store marked down from $6 to $1.50/gal so we bought 3 gal, I'd like to put a couple up as shelf-stable juice and try 1 gal as jelly using Linda Z's recipe (no pectin added so it boils down, not sure if that will work with storebought juice either).

This post was edited by ajsmama on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 14:07

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Wow, that is an awesome deal! I would have bought all they had :).

Do you have any freezer space?

I froze a few gallons this winter and have been loving them lately :). The flavor is almost the same as before freezing. If it's in plastic jugs you can just put them in -- the plastic will stretch enough for expansion. Or, to be safe, take a swig out of each first ;).

AJ is so high acid, though, that I cannot see how you would have any trouble just processing it like, for example, applesauce -- which is surely slower to heat through, due to thickness.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:19PM
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No freezer space (just stocked up on stuff this week - frozen veggies, lasagne, meatballs, lunchmeat since my BJs membership expired yesterday and I'm waiting for a deal to re-join).

I'd have to check, I think my parents cleared out their freezer at New Year's (they brought a lot of stuff to me). They're going to be in FL for a few more weeks, I could put some in their fridge but I don't want to start their large freezer and I think the bottom freezer in the French door fridge is full with stuff they thought would keep OK while they were gone.

But if I can get a another chicken or 2 out of my freezer I might have room for cider - really like to can it though (I'm sure it can be done as apple juice, just have to filter it a bit) if quality will be OK. Not sure why NCHFP says get it within 24 hours of pressing.

Right now the 3 gal are in the cooler in the 45-50 degree basement.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:27PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Not sure why NCHFP says get it within 24 hours of pressing.

Because bacteria grows rapidly in it without pasteurization. Especially if it isn't stored just above freezing. And it can also begin to ferment.

Does this actually say it has been pasteurized? Lots of stores sell unpasteurized apple cider. If not then you have to do it assuming it hasn't already begun to ferment..


    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:38PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by digdirt on Sat, Mar 1, 14 at 16:32

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:46PM
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I figured if it said get it within 24 hours of pressing they meant unpasteurized - so you don't want the bacteria to grow (or as you said start fermenting. BTW, I mixed up the Ball Complete (which makes your own juice) instructions with NCHFP, Ball says to keep it at 190 for 5 minutes, NCHFP doesn't. But do you have to start with unpasteurized juice to make a quality canned product?

Yes, this is pasteurized juice from PA, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and malic acid added.

Process quarts 5m in pre-sterilized jars for best flavor? Will it still taste like cider? Or will 1 more processing added to what's already been done/added to it result in "muh" taste?

I could pour some off each jug and just leave them in the garage to freeze, take into house as needed, but I don't know when we're going to get a thaw (about time, we're about 20 degrees below normal)!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 2:53PM
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ajsmama, I freeze our home pressed cider because it's raw juice and that's what we like. I find that when I can it, it just becomes apple juice. Still good, but not cider.

I don't know if the heat processing kills the wild yeasts or what, but the taste is different. Still good, but different.

You can use it for jelly just like any apple juice.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 7:30PM
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Too late! I made 6 12-oz jars of apple cider jelly (or syrup, not sure yet) and then 6 quarts of juice (just warmed to a simmer and processed for 10 min since I wasn't able to fit all the quarts in the canner to sterilize with the jelly jars). We'll see how it is when it cools. I still have 1 gal left in the basement. Supposed to warm to above freezing by Friday so won't keep long in the garage but maybe if I free up some space and the sale is still on I can freeze some in a few days.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:02PM
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Apple cider jelly takes awhile to gel, also needs more pectin added (if using pectin) than apple juice.

Pasteurized can be done quickly, so within 24 hrs isn't a big deal.

If you keep it in the garage and it thaws and freezes, you could end up with apple jack, totally different that apple juice/cider. More of a hard liquor. Dave, have you had it?


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:34AM
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I think it has to ferment before it freezes, then after it freezes you pour off the liquid alcohol, that's applejack.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:58AM
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Well, if it's below freezing outside, you could just put it outside until ready to drink :). I don't THINK animals would go after it.

And yes, cooked juice tastes very different from uncooked. But still good!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 1:36PM
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I did add half a pack of Surejell I had open (but it was expired) and 4C of sugar, we'll see if it gels, if not we have syrup. My grape jelly never set last year, even though I remade it with liquid pectin, going to have to try that in sorbet?

Going to warm to above freezing Fri and Sat, almost 40 on Sat (so they say) but then unseasonably cold again. So yes, if I'm in town and they have some left I may pick up some more just to freeze (I did make some room in freezer today). Not much of a drinker, I may put a quart away to ferment and see what happens, if I get applejack my dad may drink it. But mainly I just wanted to save it for the kids, since they like cider better than apple juice.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:45PM
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I've had a lot of jellies not gel with the liquid pectin this last year. The pectin was within the expiration date. I know expired liquid is useless.

I heard that it's the freezing/thawing over and over again that make it.

If you can find some Raspberry Cider, it makes a good jelly, very tasty.

I agree with your kids, I like Cider more than just juice.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:52PM
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The liquid pectin I used for the grape jelly wasn't expired, but it didn't seem to do anything. The leftover package that was expired was powdered, but I figured since just boiling the storebought cider wasn't doing anything, I'd try it.

I'm pretty sure you have to start with hard cider to get applejack - repeated freezing and removing the ice just concentrates the alcohol, it doesn't produce it.

Never heard of raspberry cider - is it apple cider flavored with raspeberry, or just raspberry juice (hard?)?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 5:29PM
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No, I think it's raspberry juice.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:06PM
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