Are you tired of constantly spending money on buying apple cider? And is it why you have taken it upon yourself to make cider at home?
The process is simple. You have to ferment the apple juice to make apple cider. People around the world use multiple chemicals, including ascorbic acid. However, the effectiveness of those ingredients is still questionable.
So the question is can you ferment apple juice with ascorbic acid? If you are also looking for the answer, this article is for you. Let me guide you towards the solution.
Let’s Talk About Ascorbic Acid
When you hear the words ascorbic acid, the image of some chemical compound might pop up in your head. Well, that is totally not the case; ascorbic acid is basically vitamin C. It is the same vitamin that you get from citrus fruits.
The difference is that ascorbic acid is water-soluble vitamin C, which does not get stored in our bodies. Instead, it passes through our muscles, veins, elastic tissue, ensuring they function properly. Furthermore, it also protects our bones and joints from wearing quickly.
Will Ascorbic Acid Affect Fermentation?
In a nutshell, it does not. Ascorbic acid is often added during fermentation to balance out the acidity. Moreover, as fruits tend to oxidize quickly, it prevents that and slows down the oxidation process, thus preserving the drink’s color.
One possible change that may come to your fermentation process after adding ascorbic acid is the change in taste. Your drink may become slightly sour as it increases the vitamin C content in the drink.
Is There Ascorbic Acid In Apple Juice?
Any fruit with a sour taste most likely has vitamin C in it. And where there is vitamin C, there is ascorbic acid. Apple being mildly acidic as a fruit, is rich in ascorbic acid. It contains a high amount of vitamin C.
Doctors and nutritionists recommend one apple per day to get the daily dose of ascorbic acid. The natural antioxidant helps to boost your immunity and endurance. As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Even though apple is rich in ascorbic acid, apple juice as a product is low in it. To maintain the taste or manufacturing process, ascorbic acid in commercial apple juices is kept low to maintain the taste or manufacturing process.
Recent research on 18 commercial apple juices found one had 2.6mg/100 ml of ascorbic acid while the remaining had around 1mg/100ml.
As the amount is very low, drinking only juices will not provide you with the necessary amount of ascorbic acid. Thus many people have started producing their apple juice, adding ascorbic acid.
Other three primary juices containing ascorbic acid concentrations include-
|Different Types Of Juice||The Concentrations Of Ascorbic Acid|
|Lemon Juice||0.58 to 1.93 mmol per liter|
|Grapefruit Juice||0.46 to 1.84 mmol per liter|
|Orange Juice||0.83 to 1.67 mmol per liter|
Source – Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Can You Ferment Apple Juice With Ascorbic Acid?
Of course, you can. Many manufacturers have recently started using ascorbic acid in their commercial apple juice to boost the amount of vitamin C in it.
However, before you jump into your fermentation process using ascorbic acid, here are a few things you should remember.
- Firstly, make sure that if you buy the apple juice, it does not have potassium sorbate. The potassium sorbate causes hindrance to yeast growth, which may stop the fermentation process. Try organic apple juice for delicate fermentation.
- Secondly, don’t worry about the quantity. The amount will not affect your fermentation process. The more you put in, the tarter your juice’s flavor gets.
We recommend using ascorbic acid to slow down the oxidization process in your fermentation process. Therefore, using this acid can remove the browning effect, and you will get the perfect golden color of your apple juice.
Even though you can ferment apple juice with ascorbic acid, whether to use it or not largely depends on your taste and preference.
As ascorbic acid adds a tart flavor, many people may not like it. It’s precisely why commercial apple juice makers decrease the amount of this acid to supply to a mass audience.
Can You Ferment Apple Juice With Citric Acid?
Citric acid is equivalent to lime/lemon juice which is basically vitamin C. Like ascorbic acid; it does not play a significant role in the fermentation of your apple juice. It only slows down the oxidization and prevents the browning effect.
Although there are some preservatives, you should be careful while fermenting your apple juice. They are potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. These protect yeast which is basically bacteria and fungus, from growing in your juice, bringing a halt to your process. They stop the cell division of bacterias and fungus, thus having no growth.
Do you need fermenting yeast? Check this out.
How To Ferment Apple Juice to Make Apple Cider?
To make apple cider, you need to know what ingredients you need for fermentation. Let’s check out the ingredients.
|Ingredients and Equipment for apple Juice Fermentation||You Can Try These Products|
|Sanitizer||Try One Step for easy use|
|A large pot||You can try GasOne stainless steel pot for good heat conduction|
|A big funnel||Try Küchenprofi for longevity|
|1-gallon glass jar with cap, airlock, and rubber stopper||Try North Mountain Supply for perfect fermentation|
|1-gallon preservative-free apple juice||Try Martinelli’s organic apple juice|
|1 pound brown sugar or white sugar||Try C&H sugar|
|1 Cinnamon Stick||Try McCormick Cinnamon Sticks for perfect aroma|
|3 Cloves||You can use Happy Belly cloves|
|Some Raisins||Try Sun-Made Natural Raisins for highest quality|
|Yeast||Try Red Star yeast for perfect brewing|
Fermenting Apple Juice To Make Apple Cider: Step-By-Step
Follow the step and make your homemade hard apple cider:
- Sterilize or sanitize everything to prevent any wild, unwanted bacteria from ruining your brew. You can use the pot to sanitize every piece of equipment, including the pot. Usually, the proportion is 1 Tbsp sanitizer powder to 1-gallon hot water.
- Put the apple juice into the pot and warm it on medium-high heat. Remember not to boil it.
- Add sugar, and stir until it dissolves.
- In the brewing glass jar, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and raisin, and pour the warm cider into the jar using the funnel. Now, wait for 20 minutes to let all the ingredients mix. Make sure to leave 2 inches of headspace at the top of the jar.
- Cap the jar and shake it well.
- When the temperature cools down to 90°F or less, add yeast.
- Add the cap again and shake the jar vigorously like a polaroid picture – approximately for a minute or two.
- Now attach the airlock to the rubber stopper, fill it with water to the filling line, and place it tight on the top of the jug.
- Now put the jars in a cool place, especially from direct sunlight, and wait – the toughest part of the task!
- If everything goes according to plan, you should see the bubbling starts in a few hours, including the airlocks. However, if you don’t see bubbles over 48 hours, something is absolutely not correct with the entire process.
- Usually, the bubbling continues for 2 to 4 weeks. When you notice no bubbles, your fermentation is over, and you have your homemade hard cider. Congratulations!
- Finally, bottle your apple cider and enjoy.
Some Tips To Remember While Fermenting Apple Juice
While fermenting your apple juice, follow these tips to make your task smoother.
- If you are using homemade apple juice, we suggest pasteurizing it first. Thus you can avoid contamination from bacteria and wild mold. To pasteurize your apple juice, boil it for 5 minutes, then bring it to a simmer. You can use a clean heavy-bottomed saucepan for perfect pasteurization.
- It is better not to use apple juice that contains additional sugar, preservatives, or additives. Just choose the one that has vitamin C only.
- Avoid juice that gets made out of concentrate.
- Be sure the container you use can handle the buildup of carbonation. You can test if your container can hold it by squeezing it very hard while it is closed.
- What Does Ascorbic Acid Do In Apple Juice?
It does not do much other than stop the oxidization of your apple juice. It means the juice won’t get brown, thus maintaining a golden color.
Moreover, it increases the quantity of vitamin C in your drink.
- Is Ascorbic Acid Bad For Brewing?
No, it is not. It is entirely safe to use ascorbic acid while brewing to balance the acidity of your drink and coloring. People often use ascorbic acid while brewing cider to get a better-finished product despite it not being an ingredient.
- Is It Possible To Convert Apple Juice Into Cider?
It is possible if proper measures get taken. A lot of professional brewers will say sunlight is the core factor in turning apple juice into cider. That may not be entirely correct as proper refrigeration and yeast are also required. Yeast is necessary to remove the sugar from your juice and turn it into alcohol.
Now you know everything about fermentation and ascorbic acid. So, can you ferment apple juice with ascorbic acid? Yes, you can. All you need is a little effort, experiments, and expertise.
Remember, fermenting is a learning process. The more you do it, the better outcome you will receive. So, do not be dishearten if your first or second try at fermenting apple juice goes wrong. Follow through and keep fermenting.