Unpasturized Apple Cider?

CiderIt’s that time of year when thoughts turn to picking apples and buying cider. Though a trip to Carter’s Mountain makes for a fine afternoon, their cider is, sadly, pasteurized. Does anybody know of an area orchard that sells unpasteurized cider?

27 Responses to “Unpasturized Apple Cider?”

  • IY usually starts carrying it about this time of year.

    Rural Ridge sells it at their Apple Harvest Festival in November. I’ve only been there during the festival–never at any other time. I should probably remedy that. I buy the BEST apples there–lots of amazing heirloom varieties.

    You have to drink it fast . . . . unless you have something involving a dark closet in mind.

  • I’ve never heard of good apple cider not being consumed within a ridiculously short period of time. Never had to worry about it going hard.

  • I’m clueless on this subject. What’s the difference? And I’ve always called “Blackthorn” my favorite commercial hard cider.

  • I’ve had unpasteurized cider start to turn within just a couple days after purchase. I’m the only one who can drink it in my house. If I can only buy it in gallon sizes, I portion it out to friends who can help me drink it quickly.

    I love it, though, and continue to buy it and share it.

  • I’ve seen unpasteurized from an orchard in Timberville sold at Foods of All Nations, Cville Market and the Scottsville IGA. I plan to pick some up once I get through the pasteurized swill my girlfriend picked up.
    Taste the e.coli in every sip!

  • What’s the difference?

    Pasteurized cider doesn’t taste nearly as good.

  • Our grandmothers said the same thing about milk.

  • Our grandmothers were right. We just can’t experience the difference anymore, since the sale of unpasteurized milk is now illegal. We can still enjoy fresh, unpasteurized cider, though.

    Go get some, so you can tell your grandchildren about it, because it’ll be illegal soon. (Just be sure the producer doesn’t have cattle grazing in the orchard.)

  • Carter Mountain’s cider may be pasteurized, but it still doesn’t have any preservatives and so it is that I have several gallons that just finished up in my fermenter with a nice, quick ale yeast. I’ll be bottling it tonight.

    Take *that,* you USDA bastards. We’ll kill the e. coli with the wholesome, cleansing power of alcohol.

  • We’ll kill the e. coli with the wholesome, cleansing power of alcohol.

    Jack, you’re my hero.

  • Try some of the roadside fruit stands in the neighboring rural counties. Also, I have found it in the past at the City Market. Have not been there in a few weeks so don’t know about this year.
    Recall they did try to ban its sale , unsuccessfully, a few years ago. Remember writing Virgil Goode opposing the ban. He agreed with me, so Virgil does have his good qualities.
    Oh yes, if you want to give it a bite, what oldtimers called “sharp”, leave it unrefrigerated in dark, cool place for 2 or 3 days with the cap a tad loose. It makes a difference, definitely improves the flavor.
    I have had the hard cider you buy in the liquor section at the grocery store or in wine shops and it has a good flavor too. Have not tried many varieties as it is a bit pricy.
    As for pasteurized “cider”-save your money and drink plain water.

  • The guy that we get our produce from has been delivering unpasteurized cider that he gets pressed in the valley. http://horseandbuggyproduce.com/

    And there is a huge difference between it and what you can buy at your large chain grocery store. I agree with the comment above. Save your money and drink water instead of the pasteurized variety.

  • I was at the beach on Friday, so I missed my weekly Horse and Buggy pick up. That’s what’s left me jonesing for good cider. :)

  • Too bad. You should have shouted out so someone could have kept a jug for you. :(

    It was yummy. Our 2 gallons disappeared in a few days.

  • Wow – It just occurred to me yesterday that it is hard cider season and Jack’s already got a batch in bottles. Despite being forced to confront my slackness on such matters, this thread is inspiring. There’s still plenty of time in the brewing season.

    Its been a while, but I have always had good luck with the stand on 250W, on the left just West from the I64 Exit. I also knew folks who got good results from Carters mountain and am glad to hear that they still produce good fermentable juice. Closer too.

    Anyone know if there is still a place in Cville to get yeast and some type of carboy cleaner like campden or brite?

    Six years ago, the best deal I knew for raw juice was 50 bucks for 25 gallons from Maupins and the afore mentioned stand was 15 bucks for 5 gallons. Now, I am completely ignorant of current prices outside of the grocery store. Has anyone shopped around to get a price on 5 gallons?

  • Kevin,

    The nearest source of brewing supplies is The Happy Cook in Richmond, or better yet The Weekend Brewer over in Chesterfield. A long drive, I know. I have some so-so yeast that I can give you a packet of if you want. It’s really quick but fermentation is a little more complete than I prefer. Nonetheless it is actual ale yeast. I haven’t restock my brewing supplies in a long while, unfortunately. I’ve also had good luck pitching a few bottles of Sierra Nevada or another beer with live yeast when I was hard-up. I’m not sure if you want beer in your cider, though. Most of my experience is with beer rather than cider.

    I’ve never bothered with any of those specialized carboy cleaners. In 11 years of brewing I’ve always just used bleach water and in all that time I’ve only had 2 batches ruined by bacteria. One capful of bleach and then fill the fermenter up with cold water and leave it to sit overnight.

  • Yea, the people at the weekend brewer in Chester are super nice. If you can’t make the drive, I’ve had success in mail ordering materials, including yeast, from a variety of internet-based home brew supply shops.

  • Thanks – I’ve always used champagne yeast, which takes 3-4 weeks to ferment and used to be available at Market St wineshop. How long did the ale yeast take? Sometimes even with the champagne yeast I would let it ferment too long which makes it too tart for most people and I would need to add a gallon or two of fresh cider to the keg

  • Kevin,

    I’ve brewed cider a few times with champagne yeast and just wasn’t happy with my results. Too dry and something just a little off. I believe that that most of the traditional hard cider made in England and early America was made with ale yeast (or wild yeasts in remote areas of the US).

    There are literally thousands of different ale yeasts, all with slightly different characteristics. Champagne yeast will tend to give you a more dry and alcoholic product. Like wine yeasts in general, it has a greater resistance to the alcohol that it produces. This allows it to get up as high as 11 or 12% alcohol before the alcohol kills off the yeast. Most ale yeasts have a lower limit and will get you up to anywhere from 5-8% alcohol (unless it runs out of sugar first). If I was going to pick a single generalization about ale yeast vs. champagne it would be that the ale yeast can allow you to make a sweeter product if you want it.

    If you feel like making the trip to the Weekend Brewer, the guy there really, really knows his stuff. If you describe to him the characteristics of the cider that you want to make then he can tell you exactly what yeast to use.

    So you’re kegging? Nice. I’ve always bottled and often thought that I ought to switch to a kegging setup.

  • Thanks Jack – I think I might have to try the ale yeast. Your description of the champagne yeast sounds about right – “dry” isnt even the right word if I didnt stop fermentation – more like drinking lemon juice – but quite a punch. Are you going to 2nd Fridays? Maybe I could bum some ale yeast off you.

    I’m not kegging any more. Before council, when I had more of a life, I used to put up 5-8 five gallon kegs a season. I sold off all my equipment a couple of years ago, but kept one 5 gal carboy

  • I’ll be downtown for a bit on Friday evening. Email me at jack [dot] landers [at] gmail [dot] com and we can arrange to meet up. I also have an extra bottle capper if you need to borrow it along with plenty of caps.

  • I was just up at Carter’s Mountain today. The cider I bought says “non-pasteurized” right on the jug. It’s mighty tasty.

  • Wow! It seems I have a trip to Carter’s Mountain my future. In fact, if I pick my car up from Edgecomb’s early enough, maybe I can swing by there this afternoon.

    Unpasturized cider, here I come.

  • Every fall a group my friends gets together one Saturday and spend the afternoon turning 40-50 bushels of apples into nice fresh unpasturized cider (there’s nothing quite as good as fresh cider).

    I’m not sure of the yield but it’s got to be upwards of 150 gallons all told.

    Blasting the rotten apples with a baseball bat is also something not to be missed…

  • I really prefer to get it from a place where they press it, when at all possible, so I can get some fresh-pressed. It really is so, so much better like that.

    Damnit, now here I am in this Days Inn in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia with an incredible hankerin for apple cider.

  • There’s a good chance of finding fresh cider in the middle-of-nowhere WV. Are you stuck in the Days Inn with no hope of seeking out apple love?

  • I took back roads to get out of WV today, driving Rt. 20 (which is beautiful, BTW) back to 64E. I’d hoped to spot a cider stand, but nothin’ doin’. The good news is that I came home to find that my wife had picked up our weekly stash from Horse & Buggy, providing us with a gallon o’ cider. :)

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