Ultra violet light is a spectrum of sunlight that destroys pathogens such as E. coli. Ultra violet light has been used to purify water supplies across the country for the last several decades. Indian Ladder Farms was the first cider maker in New York State to integrate this process into its cider production operation.
Cider is fresh, unprocessed apple juice. At Indian Ladder Farms cider is made from apples picked off the tree with surface blemishes that affect the appearance of the fruit but not the taste or freshness. We do not use apples that have fallen on the orchard floor in order to maintain the purity of the cider. Different varieties are blended together to achieve the best flavor. The apples are washed and brushed, then put through a grinder that mashes them into a pulp. The pulp is then spread in a thick layer on a rack lined with heavy cloth. The pulp is wrapped in the cloth and topped with another rack upon which the process is repeated until a stack approximately ten high is formed. These bundles were called cheeses by early cider makers. The stack is then pressed until all the juice has been squeezed from the pulp. The juice runs out through the cider cloths and is collected in a vat beneath the press, then pumped into a refrigerated tank. The remains of the crushed apples, called pomace, is returned to the field where it decays naturally into the soil.
Fresh apple cider that has not been pasteurized, treated with ultra violet light or preservatives will last for about one week in your refrigerator before it starts to ferment. If left at room temperature it will keep for about 48 hours. People often ask the difference between cider and apple juice. Apple juice is cider that has been both filtered and pasteurized. Indian Ladder Farms cider has no preservatives. Because it has been treated with ultra violet light it will keep under refrigeration for two to three weeks from the time of pressing. All cider should be kept at a temperature of 34 degrees Fahrenheit or below to maintain freshness.