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Apple cider has been a popular beverage for centuries. Whether it’s served warm or cold, it’s a favorite among many. But how long does apple cider last once opened? Knowing how long it lasts can help you make sure you get the most out of your cider. In this article, we’ll explore the shelf life of apple cider, how to store it, and how to tell when it’s gone bad.
The most important factor in preserving apple cider is refrigeration. When stored in the refrigerator, opened apple cider can last up to two weeks. This is because the cold temperatures slow down the growth of bacteria, preventing it from spoiling. To ensure the longest shelf life, keep your cider in an airtight container and make sure that the container is stored in the coldest part of your fridge.
Another factor in preserving apple cider is pasteurization. Pasteurized cider is heated to a high temperature, killing any harmful bacteria that may be present. This process extends the shelf life of the cider, allowing it to last up to a month when stored in the refrigerator. However, it’s important to note that pasteurized cider does not have the same taste or texture as unpasteurized cider, so if you’re looking for a more traditional cider, you may want to opt for unpasteurized cider.
If you want to extend the shelf life of your apple cider even further, you can freeze it. Freezing cider can help it last up to six months. To do this, pour the cider into an airtight container and place it in the freezer. When you’re ready to drink it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
Canning is another way to extend the shelf life of apple cider. When canned, the cider can last up to one year. To can cider, fill sterilized jars with the cider and seal them with lids. Place them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. Once cooled, store them in a cool, dark place.
Signs of Spoilage
When it comes to apple cider, it’s important to know the signs of spoilage. The most obvious sign is a change in color or smell. If the cider has a sour smell or has changed color, it’s likely gone bad and should be thrown out. Additionally, if you notice any mold or discoloration on the surface of the cider, it’s best to discard it.
Knowing how long apple cider lasts once opened is key to getting the most out of your cider. Generally, when stored in the refrigerator, opened cider can last up to two weeks. Pasteurization can extend the shelf life to a month, while freezing can extend it to six months. Canning can extend the shelf life to a year. Be sure to watch for signs of spoilage, such as a change in color or smell, mold, or discoloration.