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Choosing a great Apple Cider/Juice is very important

The two basic options to choose from when finding a great apple cider to brew:

Option 1

The first and of course best option is find an orchard and purchase their pasteurized apple cider. Its always good to find out how the orchard pasteurizes their cider. Typically it will be a cold pasteurization using a UV light. This kind of pasteurization will benefit us the best since there will be no heating of the cider, but will still kill off the unwanted bacteria. If you have an apple orchard close by, consider yourself lucky and start heading over there right now! Here is a great website to find an orchard: http://www.pickyourown.org/.

Option 2.

Store bought cider or juice – This is kind of tricky and it seems to throw a few people off. Over time I'm going to try and compile a list of store bought ciders that will work great for brewing cider. If there is a cider you've had good success with please let us know and we'll add it to the list.  Send it to us at our Contact Page.

The main thing to look for when buying cider from a grocery store is that it has NO preservatives in the juice. If it says Pasteurized on the label it's fine. NO to preservatives,  YES to pasteurization! To tell if the juice has preservatives in it look on the label for sodium benzoate, potassium sulfate etc. If it says ascorbic acid, you don't have to be concerned because it's just vitamin C and it won't put the hurt on your wonderful cider! Also if it says shake well before using, you might have just picked up a good cider! If there is a juice that is cloudier than the other I would go for that one. Also it seems like there's much confusion choosing between a cider and a juice.

Ciders that work great:

1. Musselman's Apple Cider - Walmart / HYVEE (my personal favorite, they have juice and cider, get the cider cloudy version

musselman apple juice

2. Motts – Walmart, Costco, Sam's, Kroger

4. Whole Foods organic apple juice in 1 gallon glass jugs – (Buy the right size rubber stopper and you can use this glass jug instead of having to purchase a carboy!) Whole foods organic apple juice works great in the one gallon glass jugs, you will need a #6 size stopper and add 1/4 can of frozen juice consentrate to it. Bam that easy!

whole foods apple juice
(*Remember for all juices, still read the label closely to make sure it doesn't contain preservatives)