1 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 10:02 AM

Hello all,

Was trying to find a decent kit cider recipe.
Have been requested by friends and relatives to do one for the summer.
Was hoping to do a Blackrock kit plus some DME and maybe some sugar.
Was hoping to get around 6%ABV.
Has anyone got experience as I have read sometimes they can be too dry and adding Lactose helps sweeten it a bit..?
But don't want a sweet cider really..
Not too dry not too sweet, if you know what I mean.?
Also what yeast would be best ( I have been using Nottingham for my ales lately)?

Any thoughts or experience is appreciated.

Cheers

James

2 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 10:37 AM

Hi James.

Get yourself a Mangrove Jack's cider pouch. I made one for my wife a while back and she really enjoyed it. All you need is the pouch and 1kg of dextrose - it includes the concentrate, sweetener & a proper cider yeast. We just added half of the sweetener sachet so it wasn't overly sweet.

When I made it I bottled it up and got pretty close to 6% ABV.

http://mangrovejacks.com/collections/cider-1/products/mangrove-jacks-craft-series-apple-cider-pouch

3 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 11:30 AM

Thanks for that !
Looks like an easy but good one to do.
Not normally a cider drinker but don't mind a pint with ice on a hot summers day every now and then.
Cheers

James

4 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 12:02 PM

Ive done a small batch with just apple juice and a spare coopers dry ale yeast. Rurned out pretty decent

5 Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2016 9:42 PM

Cider is easier than beer. All you need is approx 20 litres of apple juice from the supermarket (avoid home brands), approx half a kg of sugar, and an additional 5 litres of water. This will give you an OSG of around 1.040 which is plenty high enough really. You need some (unfermentable) way of adding sweetness, I use Equal, around 50 grams per brew (this will produce a fairly dry cider, a bit dryer than Strongbow Dry, you can add more Equal if you wish), but some here may have other suggestions. A cider yeast such as Mangrove Jacks MO2 will be ideal, or you can use a dry wine yeast. I've never used beer yeast to make cider and wouldn't recommend it. I find that I can do two 25 litre brews with one MJ's yeast if I make a starter from the previous brew. It is worth remembering that apples, and apple juice, naturally contain yeast, which assists in the process. Thus apple juice exposed to air will ferment of its own accord, even in the fridge, but it would take longer.

Brewing at temps indicated on the yeast package (20C is fine) for about 12 days, you should end up with a finishing gravity well below 1.000, about 0.996 or so. This is because there are no unfermentable sugars in apple juice, unlike beer. This will give you an alcohol content in the region of 6%. If this is too high, you can omit the sugar. When bottling, you would add sugar at about 6g per 750ml, or even a tad more but do ensure fermentation is complete.

I find that cider brewed in this manner reaches its best about two months after bottling.

I've also used Brigalow cider concentrate from Big W and it gives an acceptable result as well and is much easier to carry home. Always check that the yeast hasn't been pinched when buying this though.

6 Posted: Saturday, October 22, 2016 10:54 PM

Those Mangrove Jack's Cider kits can be quite expensive, and all you are getting is extract and yeast. Do yourself a favour and forget the kit. Go to the produce section of the grocery store, or better yet an orchard in the country, and buy as many 4L jugs of cider as you can afford. In my area they cost around $8/4L. Then buy yourself a pack of Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast, or another yeast of your choice, allow the juice to come to 18C, and add them together, and let them ferment. It is not necessary to add dextrose, but you can if you want a higher ABV.

You can make it more complicated if you want to though. If you want a clear cider, add some pectic enzyme (as per the directions on the package) at the same time the yeast. With the Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast FG should be 1.002. If that is too dry for you add some non-fermentable sweetener to taste, in the form or xylitol or Splenda. Alternatively you could add lactose.

Finally, another option might be to add some DME at the beginning of fermentation. I am not sure if Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast can ferment maltotriose (you could write and ask them) but there are some yeasts that don't, for example Prisse de Mousse champagne yeast (Lalvin EC-1118), and Danstar Windsor beer yeast. The new Danstar London ESB beer yeast might be another one; I have just written to Danstar to clarify.

Good Luck and cheers!

-Christina.

7 Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 3:18 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

I wanted to go with a simple kit/can type of recipe for my first attempt.
My LHBS had run out of Mangrove Jacks apple cider, so I went with the Blackrock Apple cider can.
Have got 2.4 litres of 99.9% Apple juice, was planning on putting 250gm of Lactose in to sweeten.
Does anyone know if this goes in at the start when adding the brew can contents etc?
Also was wondering at what sort of ABV I could expect, going to 23litres?
I usually use Ian H's xls when coming up with beer recipes, but couldn't find anything on Blackrocks website or the net to guesstimate the ABV for the kit.

Cheers

James

8 Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 3:56 PM

G'day guys.

With all the cider talk seemingly centering around the NZ Mangrove Jacks brand of kits, I felt it only fitting being an Aussie based forum that I highlight an Aussie produced product as an option.

Country Brewer produce a kit cider range called “Crush Cider”. Info on that can be found HERE.

Last time I was in my local Country Brewer, the manager there had some on tasting & poured me one to try. I admit I'm not much of a cider drinker, though due to my job I have sampled many commercial versions, I was pleasantly surprised & thought the Crush cider he poured me was very good, & I told him so.

Probably best to grab one soon before all the local manufacturers relocate to the USA to revel under the promised lower business tax policy of the new Donald Trump governed regime!

Anyways, back to building my underground bunker…



Cheers,

Lusty.

9 Posted: Friday, November 11, 2016 11:57 PM

James Lao:

Thanks for all the replies.

I wanted to go with a simple kit/can type of recipe for my first attempt.
My LHBS had run out of Mangrove Jacks apple cider, so I went with the Blackrock Apple cider can.
Have got 2.4 litres of 99.9% Apple juice, was planning on putting 250gm of Lactose in to sweeten.
Does anyone know if this goes in at the start when adding the brew can contents etc?
Also was wondering at what sort of ABV I could expect, going to 23litres?
I usually use Ian H's xls when coming up with beer recipes, but couldn't find anything on Blackrocks website or the net to guesstimate the ABV for the kit.

Cheers

James


I am not sure what you mean when you say you have 2.4L of 99.9% apple juice. What is the 0.1%? Is that a concentrate or straight juice? Most non-concentrated juice is standardized to OG 1.045, which will result in about 5.5-6% ABV, depending on the yeast. Wine yeast will ferment it down to 0.998, and MJ's cider yeast to 1.002. Adding lactose will change that though.

It doesn't matter when you add the lactose, before fermentation is fine. Be sure to dissolve it first.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/abv-calculator/

Cheers!

Christina.

10 Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 11:49 PM

Ended up putting this cider down last brew night along with my usual APA recipe.
The cider was:
Black Rock Apple cider can
2.4L Berri apple juice
250 gm lactose
Topped up to 23L with tap water
I didn't dissolve the lactose in warm water prior to putting in the FV (doh!)
The OG said 1.046
Pitched the kit yeast dry - 7gm cider yeast
After 4 days the SG is saying 1.020
Does this seem normal for cider yeast?
The APA was pitched with Nottingham yeast harvested from a starter and is 1.010 (OG: 1.055ish)
Maybe I am trying to compare apples with oranges..?
Also not much krausen activity with the cider compared to the ale..?
Taste sample from Gravity reading is very appley and sweet, but not bad…
Any advice appreciated

Cheers

James

11 Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:09 AM

Don't worry about there being no krausen.
And yes it does ferment rather quickly.

12 Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 10:55 AM

Just been doing a bit of reading on the net as well, and it seems cider yeast don't krausen up like ale yeasts.
Forgot to say there was 1.2kgs of white sugar in the FV.
Thought the OG wouldve been higher, but probably due to just using 20ish degC tap water for the sugar and lactose, not being mixed properly
See how it goes in another 4-5 days.
Cheers

13 Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 2:09 PM

Is it safe to ferment apple juice in the container it comes in using a balloon air-lock? For example …



That way you could do four or five small batches with different amounts of sweetness to determine your tastes.

Also, for the lactose intolerant, would maltodextrine be suitable?

14 Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:02 PM

I don't see why they couldn't be fermented in the bottles like that… there are obviously no bugs in there otherwise they'd just randomly start fermenting in the bottles by themselves.

Maltodextrin doesn't add sweetness really so I don't think that would be an ideal substitute. The easiest way may just be to ferment it out fully and then add a sugar solution to the glass to desired taste.

15 Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 8:36 PM

done three.
1 mangrove jacks, average and expensive.
2 of my own with 23-25 l of apple juice and half a kg sugar boiled in 1 l of water and a tin or two of passion fruit pulp, used cider yeast and they turned out amazing after a few weeks in the bottle, i like them dry and that's how they turn out almost wine like.
i will admit to dry hopping both with cascade after some research and recommend trying it, im going Amarillo next time…….
easiest brews ive done.

16 Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 11:24 AM

King Ruddager:

Is it safe to ferment apple juice in the container it comes in using a balloon air-lock? For example …



That way you could do four or five small batches with different amounts of sweetness to determine your tastes.

Also, for the lactose intolerant, would maltodextrine be suitable?


Done it once before. Turned out good. Used coopers kit yeast took 1/4 out the bottle and just loosen the lid.

17 Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 2:38 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

I don't see why they couldn't be fermented in the bottles like that…


The impression I had (and I don't know how I got this) was that there's something about the plastic which is bad if you ferment stuff in it.

Otto Von Blotto:

Maltodextrin doesn't add sweetness really so I don't think that would be an ideal substitute. The easiest way may just be to ferment it out fully and then add a sugar solution to the glass to desired taste.


Ah fair enough. I'd still rather have the sweetness in there rather than having to add it … perhaps I'll try Equal as PaulW31 suggested.

18 Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 7:41 PM

HDPE (recycle symbol #2) and PP (#5) are best, but PET (#1) is also okay for fermentation. However if you intend to age your cider at all, best to transfer it to glass after it has been fermented.

Equal is aspartame. Splenda is sucralose. Sucarlose is less artificial tasting. The most natural tasting is xylitol, which it made from birch bark. I've used it at 8gm/L but that did not seem to be enough, maybe try 9gm/L? The tastiest is probably to mix it with fresh, un-fermented apple juice when you open it/drink it.

Watch the amount of Vitamin C in the brand of apple juice you buy. Many have 100% of the RDA, and some even have 150%. Try to keep it below 50% or your cider will be very tart. It will be tart anyway because all the sugar will ferment away, and because of the natural malic acid in apples.

Good luck and cheers,

Christina.

Cheers,

Christina.

19 Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 7:33 PM

Well i put 9.5L of apple juice in my craft FV + a bag of BE2 threw in some mr beer yeast. Will be interesting to see what happens.

20 Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2016 7:04 AM

CaffeinatedSentryGnome:

Well i put 9.5L of apple juice in my craft FV + a bag of BE2 threw in some mr beer yeast. Will be interesting to see what happens.


Most juice I use is about 14% sugar from memory.
And then you've added 500 grams of dextrose in the BE 2. I'm not sure what the malt in the BE2 will bring to the flavour. I generally use raw sugar, about 250-300 grams in 12 litres.
It could end up being quite strong. Did you take a gravity reading?
As for the yeast the blokes on an English forum I read seem to chuck any old yeast in and don't care. I've only used cider yeast.