Apple Cider Kit Modified.

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so i want to make an apple cider to keg, for some non beer drinkers, and partially for myself. But the thing is i want it to be strong (8 - 10% range)

So i was thinking of buying a cider kit, and adding the kilo of sugar, then adding a few litres of apple juice to that, mabye 6-8 litres for a 19L brew. Then frementing it with the same yeast that comes with the oztops.

Anyone tryied something like this? and how did it come out?
add 1kg dark brown sugar - and plenty (6-8ltrs) of preservative free apple juice - some grape juice 2 ltrs or a 1/4 teasoon of grape tanin goes well also.
Add 2 teaspoons of yeast nutrient and the juice of at least one lemon.
Can add some spices too - 2 teaspoons of crushed Cinamon, 1 of nut meg and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed cloves.
Can also add decored freshh apple 1/4 pieces into the wort - once finished - can eat the apple pieces with ice cream.

Use either a 3276 dry cider or 3187 sweet meed yeast - Grain &Grape has some six month old 150ml packs out for 7.50 ea - never had an old one taht has not worked yet.

Champagne yeast is too dry and ferments the cider down too thin.
Dont know about OZ Tops yeast.

Hope this helps
seems a little fancy to me ken, im a meat and potatoes guy, i want something simple.

I think ill just do an experiment brew and see how things go.

for once ill document somethings so i know how to recreate it if im on a winner.
Kman, you could use the oztops yeast and cheap apple juice. Buy the PET packs from the unrefridgerated section of the supermarket, buy enough for your brew, chuck in a kg of sugar, some yeast nutrient and away you go.

Or, don't bother with the oztops yeast, stick to your original plan and us ethe yeast as supplied with the cider kit.

Either way, am sure you will be happy.
What is oz-tops yeast? Is it a particular strain for ciders and fruit spirits or something? Is it better than champagne yeast?

Cheers - Snow.
i have no idea snow, but i have gotten it to frement out to over 10% on a couple of occations. my LHBS sells the yeasts seperately (there are two different kinds labeled "number 1" and "number 2") maybe if you ask next time your in a HBS they might have some or be able to tell you what it is.

I also bought a Black Rock Apple Cider kit today. So i think tonight i will put it on.

Think ill go with:

Cider Kit
1kg Sugar
500g Dextrose
6L Apple Juice
25g Yeast Nutrients
Still not sure on the yeast.

To make a 19L brew

Any idea on what alc % this might frement out to?

Kamn, seeing as you have the cider kit, you can probably omit the nutrient as the kit probably alreday has nutrient. Maybe, rather than using sugar, use all dextrose to avoid that "cidery" flavour that is talked about. Oh wait, it IS cider.

Oztops are a package of yeasts and special tops that make it easy to convert juices into alcoholic juices.

There are two different yeasts that have different temp ranges.

There are two different lid sizes to fit coke bottle thread and the standard fruit juice thread, on plastic juice bottles sold in the unrefridgerated section of the supermarket. The lid has a hole in the top, about the size of a five cent piece.

There are special rubber seals with a small slit in it that fits under the lid. This allows exceess carbon dioxide to bleed out.

Open juice, tip out a cup of juice, add 1/2 cup of sugar, shake, add some yeast, put on lid, leave somewhere warm, wait a few days, put in fridge, drink. Too easy.
i have some friends making cider and they are making it with commercial juices.

they have a 50/50 mix of two types of juice, the cloudy (real apple juice) for body and some of that clear brown stuff for fermentables. thay have added about a kilo of sugar for more alcohol and are using champagne yeast, as it has a higher alcohol tolerance.

i have made cider but i used fresh apples and a press. took ages to extract all the juice, but the final product was bloody good and quite strong (10%)
i made a cider with 1 can of blackrock cider 4 litres (possibly 2 but pretty sure it was 4) a kilo of dextrose 250g of brown sugar and some cinnamon. filled to 20 liters and used two packs of blackrock cider yeast.
it went nuts and erupted big time. took two weeks to ferment out. cc'd it for a month then bottle and left for three.
turned out quite dry and thin and lacked body. at around 7.5% alc its not bad.
it wasnt a patch on mercury dry which is probably my fave cider i have tried.
has anyone tried sydney cider?
I would use a William Tell kit if making cider from a kit

apple juice instead of water

champagne yeast will attenuate way too far down, just use a white wine yeast. From my experience with cider (one batch) made from juice nutrients will not be needed. . .

Jovial Monk
thanks for the opinions everyone, ill give my batch a shot and let everyone know how it came out.
I gather that champagne yeast is good if you use the right ingredients. There is a good article on experiments with different yeasts in cider here, which shows that a cider brewed with Lalvin 1118 scored quite well with the judges.

Cheers - Snow
Snow, i tried Champagne yeast (in a ginger beer) and found that it stripped all the flavour out, as well as all the floaties. Ginger beer just shouldn't be clear.

I also tried a Cider with a Blackrock kit, 4L of apple juice, 500g of dme. Smelled fantastic in the fermenter, tasted just ok. After 4 months in the bottle, i still tasted green and watery to me. You can come over and try some if you wish (and some of that IPA)...
The Lalvin Champagne yeast was the one I used for Ken's ginger beer recipe and it turned out great. It definitely wasn't clear and I didn't notice any lack of flavour. It did make it dry, but that's how I like my cider, so i think I'll try it. I'd love a taste of yours, though!

- Snow
just finished putting on my apple cider, so we will see how it goes.

Also just had the first taste of my last 2 can screamer brewer. Out of the fermenter it tasted shite, and very bitter, so i thought i would experiment and throw in some chocolate malt in the seconardy. And left it for another too weeks. Kegged it too days ago, thinking it would be crap but id put it on tap to feed to the masses, after having my first pot of it, im in flavour country. Very nice indeed.

So all in all its been a good day.
soon to bottle a cider kit made with 2 kgs dextrose and filled to 18 litres.
it tastes a little to alcoholic out of the fermenter. wondering how i can make it taste sweeter in the bottles?

cheers dunc
add lactose to sweeten it up - add in secondary or bottleing bucket.
will still need priming sugar.
any ideas how much lactose to add to the brew per litre? i assume the lactose will not ferment
We like our ciders dry, so have only made one batch (still fermenting) with lactose. Added 250g to 7 litres...just on spec really, did not not do much calculation beyond 7000/250=28, should give a final lactose content of just under 4% by weight (can anyone verify this is the way to calculate?), plus any unfermented fruit sugars of course- how much sweetness will come through to the tasting end is anyone's guess.

When making kits we put put in 4 litres less water than recommended, and add 2 litres of juice. Ups the flavour nicely, though your yield is 2 litres less.

Of the kits, Black Rock is good, Brigalow not, William Tell is OK. Both Brigalow & Tell contain aspartame though to be fair the Tell includes it in a sachet under the cap, as an optional extra. You can really taste it in the Brigalow, even after months in the bottle.

The best cider we have made was all-juice: 6 litres of pink lady juice bought from St Kilda Farmer's Market, champagne yeast & a bit of dextrose. Small batch because the juice is quite pricey, planning to do more ASAP. Would urge you to give all-juice a go.
Lactose is great, except you will find that ciders can actually eat lactose through their lactic acid bacteria, which is almost always present in a cider. End result is it breaks it down and over time you are back to where you started with the taste. Dont use splenda or any artifical sweeteners because guess what, the lactic acid will break them down too.

cider isnt beer, its cider, so the techniques that work with one, dont always work with the other.

best way to get a sweet cider in the first place is to use the right yeast, something that wont ferment all the way out, and will leave some fermentables leftover.

and kit ciders are crap, you always get a better result with 100% juice.

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