I'm an experienced Beer home brewer, but I've never done a Cider and would like to try. I've bought natural pressed apple juice from a farm near me, it's free of preservatives, and thus is chilled to be drunk soon. It's reasonably sweet (not tart) and may already have sugar added for sweetness. It's very clear clean apple juice and awesome to drink.

I've bought CBC-1 Yeast and some Nutrivin Yeast nutrient for the fermentation. I'm most worried about contaminants in the apple juice, i.e. will probably contain many natural yeasts as well that will also attempt to ferment it.

Will I spoil the apple juice by pasteurizing it before cooling and pitching yeast (i.e. first heating to 75'C - 167'F)?

Should I even try pasteurizing it?


Most cidermakers do not agree with this, but personally I am a big proponent of juice pasteurization. I heat mine to 71-74 C (160-165 F) for about 10 minutes then immediately chill. I get excellent results, I enjoy my ciders as much or better than others. I used to boil it but after realizing the lower temperature for 10 minutes is plenty, it's what I employ now for both cider and for mead as well. (I've won a Best of Show for mead out of 28 entries so anecdotally at least it didn't hurt anything there either.)

I say go for it as you've planned. I do the same thing. Cheers.

  • Excellent - thanks for the advise. – zatbusch Jul 26 at 14:09
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    The only type of pasteurization is by heat. chemical additives is preservation. No? – brewchez Jul 29 at 12:03
  • Oh and are you heating the cider to temp for 10 minutes or is it in a water bath at that temp for 10 minutes? – brewchez Jul 29 at 12:05
  • I think you are right about pasteurization being with heat only. We are discussing treatment of the raw juice before fermentation, not after, so a water bath does not apply here. I heat my juice to about 160 F then wait 10 minutes, then chill. – dmtaylor Jul 29 at 12:06
  • @brewchez Cider to temp for 10 min. No water bath. – zatbusch Aug 10 at 20:01

I would do both, I would get 2 batches on the go, one pasturised and one with the wild yeast doing their unpredictable thing. Then you have a story to tell when you crack them open with friends. I am personally a great fan of wild yeast and experimentaion with cultures.

You will get far more predictable and repetable results with pasturisation, and with the wild you will get the falvour of the field the apples were picked in (well of the yeast that was there).

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