Apple Cider Info

What’s the difference between Soft Cider and Hard Cider?

Apple cider historically referred to a mildly alcoholic beverage produced when apples were ground and pressed and the resulting liquid was allowed to ferment. Fermented apple cider is now called hard cider.

Apple Cider, Pressing
Bladder Press

Today apple cider (soft cider) refers to the unfermented and unfiltered liquid produced by pressing apples. The apples are picked, ground into a pulp, and pressed to yield cider. The cider retains a small amount of apple pulp resulting in an opaque liquid with a rosy brown color resulting from the oxidation (browning) of the apple pulp. Most apple cider sold in stores is pasteurized, that is, heated to 82 degrees Celsius or treated with UV light to kill any pathogens. Unpasteurized cider can be risky for pregnant women, small children and those with a compromised immune system. While pasteurization renders apple cider safer to drink, and increases its shelf life, the process can alter the flavor of the cider slightly. The process destroys enzymes, and inhibits oxidation so pasteurized apple cider has less distinct flavour.

Petrofka Orchard uses a hammer mill to produce the mash and a 20 ton press to extract the golden juice. This juice is then put into a 60-gallon steam kettle where it is pasteurized and then bottled in two litre containers.

What is the difference between Apple Juice and Apple Cider?

Apple juice and apple cider are both fruit beverages made from apples, but there is a difference between the two. Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not undergone a filtration process to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. It takes about one third of a bushel to make a gallon of cider.

Apple juice is a translucent golden liquid made from apple cider that has been filtered to remove all traces of apple pulp. (Apple juice that has been watered down, or contains added sugar, must by law, be labelled as an apple drink or an apple juice beverage.)  Apple juice has a far less complex flavor than apple cider and is also less nutritious. Unfiltered cider contains higher amounts of polyphenols (natural antioxidants that protect us from cancer) than commercially bottled apple juice.

To make cider, apples are washed, cut and ground into a mash that is the consistency of applesauce. Layers of mash are wrapped in cloth, and put into racks. A hydraulic press squeezes the layers, and the juice flows into refrigerated tanks. This juice is bottled as apple cider.

Cider needs constant refrigeration because it is perishable. Cider can also be frozen, but be sure to pour off an inch or two from the container for expansion during freezing.

Apple cider is a good source of potassium and iron. Our product is pure and natural with no sugar added. A 6 ounce glass has only 87 calories. Apple cider, like other juices, contains no cholesterol.

Pasteurization

Our pasteurization process involves heating the freshly pressed cider to 82 degrees Celsius for a few seconds. The high temperature kills bacteria that might be there. The cider is then immediately cooled to prevent it from getting a “cooked” taste. This process is the same process used to pasteurize milk. When done properly, pasteurization does not affect the flavour of the cider. Consumer tests have indicated that people cannot tell the difference between the flavour of pasteurized and un-pasteurized cider. Also, the nutritional value does not change.

Used for pasteurization
60 gallon steam kettle we use to pasteurize the cider.

 

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