This is a new product for us. We tried our hand at it in the winter of 2014/2015 with two five gallon (plastic) carboys. We took a sweet blend of apple juice and put it outside to freeze. After it was frozen solid we brought it in, turned the carboys upside down, and let the sugary juice run out. After we could see what looked like slushy clear ice crystals in the carboy we stopped collecting the juice. This concentrates the flavors and makes the juice sweeter like wine grape juice. We then fermented out the juice and had our first Ice Cider. Our customers love the stuff.
In 2015 we decided to increase our production a bit. Instead of using two five gallon carboys we filled two large plastic shipping totes that each held 250 gallons. We tried two different juices. When the temp dropped below zero we set the shipping totes outside. After they froze solid we brought them into the cooler and let the sugary juice thaw at 35 degrees. A couple times a day I would lift the tote with the forklift, open the valve on the bottom of the tote, and let the sweet juice run out.
We ended up with about 200 gallons of concentrated apple juice. We are testing a number of different techniques with this juice. Some are fermented with organic yeast, some are wild fermented. There are two different apple blends and we are trying several Ice ciders fermented with other fruit juices. We hope to have some more real tasty blended ice ciders.