1 Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 10:35 PM

Ok, it's only been in the bottle for around 10 days, but I'm not holding my breath for this to improve.

I read some very unflattering reviews after purchasing this kit, and I wish that I'd read them beforehand, because in my humble opinion, this kit is junk.

I was much, much happier with the results I got from pitching mangrove jacks M02 cider yeast into a bottle of UHT Apple juice.

Of course it's all subjective.

Cheers

JP

2 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 12:08 AM

When you say UHT apple juice do you mean the cloudy stuff? That is about the closest most people can get to fresh pressed, unless they visit an orchard in the fall, or have their own trees. It will always be much better than anything made from more processed juice.

Clear juice has been filtered, which strips out much of the flavour, plus nutrition for the yeast. Most often it has also been cooked for a long time to concentrate it. The stuff in those cider kits has been filtered and cooked, same as most reconstituted juice sold in the grocery store; the only difference is water content.

I know a lot of people experimenting with cider making like to use cheap, reconstituted juice from the grocery store, but it is impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Garbage in, garbage out.

By all accounts Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast is a good one….I saw that in another thread you mentioned your intention to wash the yeast and re-pitch it. It seems that unlike brewers, cider makers don't do this; I am not sure of the reason. In any case I would think it is not advisable if you used clarified juice as your base; the yeast would be stressed due to lack of nutrition. Even freshly pressed cider has less nutrition in it than wort, so maybe that's why….There is a big debate in cider circles whether freshly pressed cider needs added nutrients or not, but there is wide agreement clarified juice does. If you don't the yeast will be stressed and you won't have a clean ferment.

Personally, I take my cue from the wine industry and make staggered nutrient additions to my ciders and country wines. I figure reducing yeast stress is a good thing, and it won't need to be aged as long.

Cheers,

Christina.

3 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 12:25 AM

Just the pasteurised stuff off the shelf, Ultra Heat Treated/Long Life, nothing special.

It makes sense that the kit would turn out junk, take approx 20 litres of juice, cook the hell out of it until it's reduced to less than 10% of its original mass…..blah blah.

It's fine, a life lesson for $30.

I'm interested to experiment with fresh juice, and wondering if it's necessary to pasteurise?

In any case, I found that the off the shelf supermarket juice produced a far and away better result than this kit.

4 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 1 AM

ImaginativeName:

I'm interested to experiment with fresh juice, and wondering if it's necessary to pasteurise?


Store bought juice is always UHT/pasteurized. If you squeeze your own juice, it is risky not to pasteurize. Wild yeast might gain the upper hand over your pitched yeast, and impart phenolic flavours, which most do. If you like Saisons, you may not mind that.

That being said I have used unpasteurized juice. The trick is 1.) to make sure that your starting pH is low, somewhere between 3.2-3.4, and 2.) use a very aggressive yeast.

A low pH helps inhibit bacteria. pH 3.4 is a bit more acidic than most apple juice, and much more acidic than some juices made from other fruit. You might have to add malic or tartaric acid to bring down the pH. I don't recommend wine-maker's acid blend, which contains citric acid, because citric acid gets metabolized by the yeast during fermentation; this can also be an issue with juices naturally high in citric acid. In such cases the pH needs to be monitored during fermentation, to make sure it isn't getting too high as the citric acid is metabolized….BTW, malic acid is a lot cheaper than tartaric acid.

As I mentioned it is also important to use a very aggressive yeast with unpasteurized juice. I have only ever attempted it with Lallemand K1-v1116 white wine yeast. Not only is it very aggressive, it also inhibits malolactic fermentation post alcoholic fermenation, which I am not interested in, but some like. I have no idea if Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast does.

Long story short, most cider-maker's treat their must with sulphites, aka Campden tablets, 24 hours before adding their yeast. You can use heat as well, but most prefer to avoid that.

Cheers,

Christina.



5 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 7:20 AM

I have produced good cider with that kit.
Just needs a fair bit of time in the bottle to come good.

I did not ever use the kit yeast though, always SN9.

6 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 8:35 AM

Very useful info Christina.

I always assumed it was just the long life juice that went through UHT, but the refrigerated “fresh” juice is treated also? Perhaps some of them go through a UV treatment instead?


Well Ben, to be fair, it did say on the tin that a few weeks in the bottle is recommended, there's 31 of them left and I won't be in a hurry to try another one, so maybe I'll have something nice to say in a month or two?

That was really harsh of me last night, it's not terrible, it was just terribly underwhelming, had I not made my own cider prior to this, I might have appreciated it more.

As I recently learned, the yeast strain used makes all the difference, you possibly ended up with a very different cider from mine.

7 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 10:45 PM

Ben 10:

I have produced good cider with that kit.
Just needs a fair bit of time in the bottle to come good.

I did not ever use the kit yeast though, always SN9.


The Vinter's Harvest yeast come with some nutrients in the packet (magnesium sulphate, vitamins). They make adding nutrients easy. The description of this yeast sounds like it would be ideal for fruit ciders/wines.

If you are using a non Vinter's Harvest yeast, you can add a very tiny pinch of epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) and spare/expired brewer's or bread yeast which you have boiled for five minutes instead. I use a 1:1 ratio of bread yeast to my chosen yeast.

Don't forget to boil the bread yeast.

Cheers,

Christina.

8 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 10 AM

ChristinaS1:

Ben 10:

I have produced good cider with that kit.
Just needs a fair bit of time in the bottle to come good.

I did not ever use the kit yeast though, always SN9.


The Vinter's Harvest yeast come with some nutrients in the packet (magnesium sulphate, vitamins). They make adding nutrients easy. The description of this yeast sounds like it would be ideal for fruit ciders/wines.

If you are using a non Vinter's Harvest yeast, you can add a very tiny pinch of epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) and spare/expired brewer's or bread yeast which you have boiled for five minutes instead. I use a 1:1 ratio of bread yeast to my chosen yeast.

Don't forget to boil the bread yeast.

Cheers,

Christina.


I'll try this.

Slightly off topic, fermenting small batches in the bottle, for the first couple of days, I agitated them a little to mix the yeast back in.

Is this good or bad?

Last edited by ImaginativeName (Monday, January 09, 2017 10 AM)