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  • Karel Schmiedberger

Lyophilized apple cider


100% mošt bag-in-box od Bohemia Apple before loading into AMARU freeze dryer

"I would like to freeze-dry ciders and fruit juices." The first time I heard this sentence, I didn't give up and asked "And what should the final product be?". In fact, I was clearly convinced from the beginning that the result would be similar to the water tests. For every litre of liquid, only a few grams of powder, rather impurities and perhaps chlorine from the tap would remain in the chamber. After all, must in its dried form could not offer more than a percentage of pulp unless it is filtered. I still have a lot to learn.

My opinion was confirmed by Pavel, who also did not think too long about the possible result. That's why I didn't get to the actual test until I heard the first question asked for about the fourth time.

Preparation

For the test, it was necessary to get cider, not less than one hundred percent and preferably unfiltered, in order to have something to show in the pictures. Ideally, I found Bohemia Mošt in a 5L bag-in-box. The manufacturer states that it is not sweetened, 100% cider, only pasteurized and not from concentrate. I picked up two packs at once so that there would be more powder at the end.

Freezing

Since I loaded (strained) an equal 10 liters of cider into the Lyon, I preferred to set a longer freezing time, 20 hours total. Unfortunately, at this point I only just discovered that our temperature data logger had run out of batteries and would only record pressure. Probably a law of expediency, because as I mention in my article How Food Freezes in a Freeze Dryer, it was the temperature curve that could have warned me what was coming.

Drying

The temperature could not warn me and so the lyophilizer went into the drying phase. The pressure curve gave no indication and so the set 48 hours passed - after all, there were 10 litres of liquid in the machine, which is about 95% water.

Result

I released the vacuum from the chamber very carefully, as I was worried that the fine powder would disappear on the chamber walls. It was only when I opened the chamber that I could see what actually becomes of the 100% cider.

The cider is indeed without added sugar. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't contain any sugar, in fact quite the opposite. It would have been the temperature curve that could have warned me that there was too much sugar in the product. However, that didn't work and so I managed to produce something unspecified, perhaps remotely resembling cotton candy. Anyway, all words will be replaced by the traditional video:

However, it is worth adding for interest that 250 g of every 2000 ml of cider remained after drying and therefore the weight was reduced to 12%.

Rehydration

The highly sticky mass can only be dealt with by water. Thanks to it, we managed to restore the shelf system of the freeze-drier to its original state without anyone passing by sticking to it.

When the correct (original) amount of water is used, we get back the classic cider. You only need to wait about 5 minutes for all the lumps to dissolve. Without watering, the sticky mass can be formed into apple (and enormously sweet) candies.

100% freeze-dried apple cider

Usage

Probably none. Maybe it would make a good refill for garden insect traps.


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