First time-time (but will be long-time) poster. I've been brewing all-grain beer for just over a year now and I've loved every minute of it. A few months ago in the fall I decided to try my first attempt at making a hard cider. I looked up that you DON'T want cider that has preservatives. So, what did I do? I went to a local (one hour away) apple farm and picked up some freshly made cider with no preservatives. I then proceeded to pick up a pack of Safcider, pitched it in my 1-gallon carboy with the cider and *viola* a week and a half later fermentation was complete (no issues).
I wanted to make some more cider, but this time I was going to add some spice (cinnamon sticks) to the fermentation. Since apples are out of season here where I live, I couldn't go to the apple farm. However, my local Whole Foods sells preservative free cider (at least that's what it says on the label and ingredients) so I picked up a gallon of that. I used the same Safcider, pitched the yeast and absolutely no fermentation occurred. I thought maybe I didn't sanitize the carboy properly, the yeast was poor, or for whatever reason, it was just bad luck. So I went and bought another gallon of the same cider, used Brewer's Best cider yeast this time (and I even rehydrated the dry yeast this go around), and still no fermentation.
Can anyone explain what my issue might be? THe only thing i can think of is this cider i'm buying is different than what the label reads as "preservative free."
Thanks in advance!