Cider usually refers to beverage made from apple extract. The taste is sweet with a blend of little alcohol. Fermented and unfermented versions exist but the first dominates the market. Acetic acid fermentation converts it to cider vinegar.
Dragon fruit is popular for its many health benefits. Many farmers engaged in dragon fruit production due to high demand and high market price. However, almost half of the produce is wasted due to low quality fruits. Wastage problems could be solved by processing.
A series of process can turn dragon fruits to cider and cider vinegar.
1. Good quality fruits are the best option but fruits with scar and broken peel can be selected as ingredients. Dragon fruits are expensive commodity. Choosing fruit with peel damaged reduces recipe cost by half.
2. Wash the fruit with running water. Cut into quarters. Remove the flesh by pulling of the peel with bare hands. Blend it in a waring blender using low speed setting. High setting breaks the small seeds resulting in an ugly looking product. Electric juicer can also be used draw out the juice.
4. Place it in a wide mouth stainless steel pot. Cover and leave for approximately 24 hours to allow floating of pulp. Scoop out the pulp carefully and get the clear settled juice. Filter through cheesecloth to remove the remaining fibers. Use the pulp to make jam or puree.
5. Adjust sugar content to 20%. Dragon fruit usually taste blunt so sugar adjustment is necessary. Use refractometer or sugar hydrometer to do it accurately.
7. Transfer it to fermentation bottle and ferment for three to four weeks or until it reaches the alcohol content of six percent. Start monitoring after two weeks using alcohol hydrometer. The natural microflora of clear extract can be used to ferment it naturally. Or, it can be pasteurized for 15 minutes at 70 degree centigrade and added with wine yeast.
8. Fill into clean sterilized bottle. Pasteurize for 15 minutes at 70 degree centigrade and cap immediately.
9. To further processed it to vinegar, skip step eight. Transfer cider to wide mouth container. Leave about five inches of head space. Allow natural acetic acid fermentation for one week. A small amount of mother vinegar can be added to hasten the process.
10. Pack the product as described in step eight.
Measure the following physico-chemical properties and and adjust accordingly to your set standard. Properties should be uniform every batch.
a. sugar content. Sugar concentration can be increased by adding sugar or can be lowered by adding water or pulp.
b. pH. This can be lowered by adding citric acid or can be increased by adding water or pulp.
c. titrable acidity. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations. Vinegar should have at least 4% TA.
d. alcohol content. Adjustment can be made by mixing different concentrations.
Adjustments can be computed using Pearson’s Square formula.
e. See standards for wine here.
f. See standards for vinegar here.