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Apple juice v. cider, definitions


Fat Guy
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What's the difference between apple juice and apple cider? I thought juice was filtered but cider wasn't, but I've recently seen some examples of a product labeled "unfiltered apple juice." Is that not cider? And if not, what's the difference?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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Juice is usually filtered, and also pasteurized. Cider is not. At least according to the Mass Department of Agriculture. Apparently, there is no strict, universal, official definition, so usage may vary. And now the USDA requires pretty much all juice sold retail to be pasteurized, even cider. Apparently, the "unfiltered apple juice" is more of a West Coast thing.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

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Cider is usually sold refrigerated also. More of it is pasturized since an incident a few years ago.

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I thought Cider was fermented apple juice and juice was the liquid that resulted from crushing or squeezing apples.

Actually I just looked it up in "Food Lover's Companion" and seems I'm not right. What we call juice is unfermented cider or 'Sweet Cider' and after fermentation it becomes 'Hard Cider'.

Now I am more confused than when I started.

Robert

Seattle

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You know, most people don't know the difference

between apple cider and apple juice, but I do. Now here's a

little trick to help you remember. If it's clear and yella',

you've got juice there, fella! If it's tangy and brown, you're

in cider town. Now, there's two exceptions and it gets kinda

tricky here...

PS: I am a guy.

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I thought Cider was fermented apple juice and juice was the liquid that resulted from crushing or squeezing apples.

Actually I just looked it up in "Food Lover's Companion" and seems I'm not right. What we call juice is unfermented cider or 'Sweet Cider' and after fermentation it becomes 'Hard Cider'.

Now I am more confused than when I started.

I suspect that's exactly where the term "unfiltered apple juice" was born. "Cider", all on its own, can mean either a fermented or unfermented product, with the distinction of "hard" or "sweet" sometimes being made. "Sweet cider" is the same thing as "unfiltered apple juice."

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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In English English, it is terribly simple.

Juice is what comes out of the fruit. It contains (very very very nearly) zero alcohol. "Apple Juice" would usually be expected to be filtered, so that wouldn't be remarked upon. However, "cloudy" (or unfiltered) product would always be described as such - usually to justify a higher price!

Ferment the juice, and you get cider, which contains alcohol 2% by volume or more (sometimes much more).

Depending on the amount of residual sugar after fermentation, the cider could be sweet or dry (or in-between - 'medium').

Hence, "sweet cider" refers to a sweet-tasting but alcoholic drink in the UK.

Similarly, depending on the apple varieties used, juice might be sweet or dry.

However, the term "hard cider" is not known/used over here.

But some rustically-made cider is accurately disparaged as "rough".

In the south-west of England, cider's heartland, the local product is often referred to as "scrumpy".

Some, but not all, scrumpy is very rough indeed ...

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Juice is what comes out of the fruit. It contains (very very very nearly) zero alcohol. "Apple Juice" would usually be expected to be filtered, so that wouldn't be remarked upon. However, "cloudy" (or unfiltered) product would always be described as such - usually to justify a higher price!

Ferment the juice, and you get cider, which contains alcohol 2% by volume or more (sometimes much more).

Depending on the amount of residual sugar after fermentation, the cider could be sweet or dry (or in-between - 'medium').

Hence, "sweet cider" refers to a sweet-tasting but alcoholic drink in the UK.

Similarly, depending on the apple varieties used, juice might be sweet or dry.

However, the term "hard cider" is not known/used over here.

But some rustically-made cider is accurately disparaged as "rough".

I'm suspecting this is closest to the real answer. We have a tendency to take poetic license with things here in north america in the name of the dollar and I can easily see someone looking at their unfiltered apple juice and thinking "you know, if I call this cider I can probably get away with charging more for it than I do for the filtered stuff which actually required an additional amount of work to make".

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I thought I'd leave this one for you, dougal, and then you forgot to even mention still cider and sparkling cider :laugh:

The best bit is that in Japan, Cider (notably the brand Mitsuya Cider) is what in the UK is commonly called Lemonade - absolutely clear, sparkling sweet soda with the flavour of lemons. I can't think what that's called in the US, where Lemonade is the handmade stuff with squeezed lemon juice and sugar or syrup, isn't it ? In the UK, you'd have to qualify that stuff as "Real Lemonade" or "Handmade Lemonade".

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Down here in the Antipodes our understanding of cider vs. juice would match Dougal's: cider = alcoholic, juice = not. I can't think of a local cider which isn't sparkling.

In northern Spain - Asturias, Galicia - the cider (alcoholic) isn't particularly fizzy but is often poured from a height into the glass to give the impression of bubbles.

I haven't had many French ciders, but my memory is of them always being fizzy. Actually, my best French cider memory is from a Normandy-style créperie/galetterie in Dijon, where the cider was served in what were essentially tea cups. We were told that was how it's done in Normandy. The galettes were good too ...

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Cider was what you got at the Orchard's market...they had a window to see into the press room and spigots outside to fill your 25 cent cup with all you wanted...and filled plastic jugs too...oooh and a doughnut machine and hay rides too

Apple juice came in glass bottles from Motts

But we did have some homemade hard cider at Christmas this year

tracey

I miss Van Ripers farm

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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All this talk of Cider being pasteurised and filtered and it being non-alcoholic seems strange given the history of the drop.

English Cider (Scrumpy, made from Scrumps, wind-fallen apples) was rustic and heavily alcoholic and served in "Cider Houses;" establishments which were frowned upon by people who frequented Inns and Taverns. An inn-keeper in Bath in the past decade actually said to me "you don't want to go there: It's a cider house."

I've heard of people drinking the nice "sparkling apple juice" and tolerating it quite well until they got off their stool and their legs collapsed underneath them.

The original English cider used pig's blood as finings to clarify the brew. Wonder what the FDA would make of that one? :rolleyes:

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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Apparently, there is no strict, universal, official definition, so usage may vary.

Moopheus has got it right. There's no "official" definition. And based on the discusion here, there's no one "unofficial" definition, either, other than when it's alcoholic it's cider.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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I think the term we might need in the US is Fresh Cider, which when I was young we went to the orchard for in the fall. Now the Major brand in supermarkets is this...

http://www.zeiglers.com/

To me this is apple cider, sold refirgerated usually in the produce dept. I try to get in a NY State orchard trip every fall just to get something better...but urban sprawl has killed any local places in North Jersey

I am still trying to find some old pics of the presses from Tice's or Van Ripers farms

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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In Brittany, where there's a fair amount of 'cidre' and history to go with it, I think you would only find the term applied to fermented juice, just as in the UK.

cider

c.1280, from O.Fr. sidre, var. of sisdre, from L.L. sicera, Vulgate rendition of Heb. shekhar, word used for any strong drink (translated in O.E. as beor). Meaning gradually narrowed to mean exclusively "fermented drink made from apples," though this sense was present in O.Fr.

[Online Etymology Dictionary, Harper]

Dougal's on the case, I think. 'Soft' and 'Hard' cider leaves an aftertaste of North American marketing in my mouth. :wink:

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I agree, we need a new term for unfiltered apple juice. Growing up in southwestern Ontario, "apple juice" was clear, yellow, very sweet, and sold year-round, while "apple cider" was murky, brown, had a slightly stronger and more complex flavour, and was only available in the autumn and early winter. Around Christmas we had "mulled cider", which was cider served hot with cinnamon and spices similar to those used for mulled wine.

I never knew there was such a thing as sparkling, alcoholic cider until I came to Japan (and I'm not referring to the sparkling lemony drink Blether mentioned, although that was pretty confusing too). I found it at a local wine shop and got excited, thinking it would be just be a sparkling alcoholic version of the juice I knew of as cider. It turned out to taste like rotten apples and I ended up dumping it down the drain.

Now I wonder: is it supposed to taste like that, or was that a bad bottle (or were my expectations just so different that I would have disliked it even if I had liked it, if that makes sense)?

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... It turned out to taste like rotten apples and I ended up dumping it down the drain.

Now I wonder: is it supposed to taste like that, or was that a bad bottle (or were my expectations just so different that I would have disliked it even if I had liked it, if that makes sense)?

Rotten apples is all wrong. You can get a fairly good French cidre in Yamaya. I've also seen British cider on tap at some of the British pubs in Tokyo & Yokohama.

IME French cidre is typically lighter & softer than British, though on the British side I remember Woodpecker as close to that. "Dry Blackthorn" and "Strongbow" brands were stronger and fuller-bodied, whilst at the top of the tree are small-producer ciders / scrumpy from The West Country, as mentioned by Dougal, which are still and run at 6-9% abv, with a maximum around 15%. More detail from the BBC.

Edited by Blether (log)

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Does anyone have a good recipe/method for home cider making they'd like to share?

I can't vouch for good, but this looks authentic:

Here is a recipe for a strong scrumpy. One glass and the world seems a better place, two glasses and you probably do not remember.

You should let the scrumpy mature for a year to become smoother and mellower

Ingredients:

12 pounds apples

1/2 pound raisins

1/2 pound raw meat

1 gallon water at 70 degrees

champagne yeast (tradition calls for bakers yeast)

Method

Chop and grind the apples and raisins. These days a food processor will do the trick

Use a brewing barrel with an airlock - sort of thing Boots sell

Put the ground apples and raisins into the water with the chopped meat.

Stir thoroughly

Add the yeast and seal the brewing barrel with the airlock

Everyday swirl the barrel to stir the ingredients

after the first fermentation slows, about 8-10 days, move to a similar vessal for seconary fermentation.

If you like a dry cider, add a second dose of yeast to the secondary fermentation. Seal with an airlock.

Let it sit until it the fermentation slows to a very slow, almost imperceptible bubble.

Move to a carboy to let the heavier particles settle out.

Let it sit for about a week and bottle.

The scrumpy will need to mature for about four months before you will want to even try it since it will give off a strong unpleasant smell and almost vinegary taste.

The longer it is allowed to mature, the better,smoother and drier it will get.

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The meat was yeast food,

Making hard cider is easy.

Just take fresh apple juice and let it ferment (under an airlock). The apples carry enough natural yeasts.

If you press the apples in say October, it will be drinkable by Christmas.

Making good hard cider is more difficult. Normal eating apples do not contain enough sugar or enough tannin, resulting in a weak thin product.

YOu can make it more palatable by freeezing and filtering out the ice.

That is why special varieties of cider apples are used.

You can add sugar (look for an OG of around 1.065), and maybe tannin or oak chips if you are not fermenting in an oak barrel.

Getting clear cider is also harder - the pectin in the apple juice clouds. Various high tech methods (pectinase enzyme, finings, filters) can be used, but the traditional French method is keeving - forming a pectin gell that filters. Google will point as sites with the method.

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The freezing that Jack mentions is a type of distilation. Since the alcahol doesn't freeze as soon as water, when you remove ice you concentrate the alcahol level...Illegal in most US states :wink:

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Are you sure its illegal? Applejack is an old tradition, INAL but can you quote a source? I thought that in most places heat distillation and any form of alcohol sale is illegal unless licensed, but other forms of concentration for personal use was OK.

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