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Basic Cider Recipe Help

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Matty McFly

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Hey gang,

Sorry for creating another cider post, I see there are a million here already, but I figure one more can't hurt.

I'm still very new to this whole brewing gig, so I'm a tad confused and don't want to stuff this up. I want to make the batch at around 5% to 8% alcohol content.

I was hoping to brew roughly 5L, but I don't have a demijohn or anything like that. I hear it's possible to use the bottles that the juice comes in though, while keeping the lid open just a crack, so I'm hoping to do that. I also want to bottle and carbonate it afterwards.

Does anyone have a simple recipe/method they could share or link to me?

I also need some specifics:

- What exact juice should I get & where should I get it? (I live in Brunswick, Melbourne so I have Woolies, Coles, KMart & Aldi all very close) I'm looking to buy one big bottle, otherwise maybe I can make a few smaller bottles of it. I also know the juice can't have preservatives.

- Is it okay to use the yeast I already have in the pantry? It's left over from a Coopers original stout can. Is that the wrong type of yeast entirely or will it still work?

Thanks in advance, brewmasters!
 

Deep End

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Firstly....I dont personally understand why you would want to make 5L of cider, especially if your going to bottle it. 30 bottles sounds like much more fun than half a dozen. Secondly demi johns are cheap and readily availiable...where I live anyway. So enough of my thoughts on the matter.

I dont think apple juice comes in 5l bottles, I've never seen one anyway. So you would need 2 x 2.5L bottles of any apple juice that takes your fancy; fresh, longlife, fancy brand, homebrand, as long as it is preservative free it will work. Have half a glass or so out of the top then add your yeast, your stout yeast would work, but dont ask me what sort of funky flavours it would leave behind, white wine/champagne yeast works well or "cider yeast". Decision is yours in that department.

Then you would leave it in a warm place; in near your hot water service would be ideal, with the lid on but not done up airtight, you will need to leave it half undone for gas to escape. Then I'd forget about it for 3 weeks to a month then it "should" have fermented out, emphasis on should as without taking starting and finishing gravity readings it is nigh on impossible to be 100% sure. And brewing in plastic bottles makes that a difficult thing to do.

Apple juice by itself should brew out to somewhere in the region of 2.5 - 5% al vol depending on the sugar content of the juice, I leave myself a big margin in the estimates as I'm not 100 sure, but I imagine it would be within that range. You will need to get some food grade tubing to syphon it out of the bottles into sterile beer bottles if you wish to carbonate it, 2 carb drops per 750ml bottle will do, then leave them in where you were brewing for a month to condition then wack em in the fridge for as long as you can leave them to further condition. And voila you have a lot of muck assing around for very little to drink.

Get a 25L Brewkit go large LOL its worth the waiting and piss farting around then. Just my opinion again, hopefully this helps somewhat, but if your still keen on nano brewing, experiment with adding a tablespoon or so of sugar to each bottle of juice to reach your desired al/vol.

Mick
 

Matty McFly

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Cool thanks!

I do have a Coopers DIY kit, but it's currently being used for my stout, I just wanted to brew a few other things as well without spending much money.

I've decided to just buy around three 2.5L bottles of juice and add some yeast, sugar and maybe a dash of honey to them and just forget them for a while.
 

fletcher

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what's the best temp to brew a simple juice cider at? above 20? or lower, around 18? i'm making one with a 'cider yeast' and it states 22-26 but i know that sometimes companies (aka like coopers do) say to ferment much higher than you should (style of yeast notwithstanding).
 

Deep End

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Sounds like a good start Matty, once the cider bug bites there wont be any stout going in that keg LOL, thats how I am anyway, have to twist my arm to make a beer now!

Low and slow is good for cider, if you can keep it at 18c she'll be good.

I'm liking the weather currently here, makes keeping temps down easy, I've got 23L of Apple Cider plopping away nicely at 18c at present.
 

Matty McFly

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I suppose it depends on your yeast, fletcher. I don't have much experience with cider yeast, I'll leave that one to the pros.

I fear this may be an addicting hobby, I have a million things to do today and all I want to do is turn juice into booze!
 

doon

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Go to bunnings and buy a fermenter from there then you can make 20l of cider
 

Matty McFly

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Just got back from the shops!

I have 1KG of raw sugar & 3L of Woolworths apple juice ($3, bargain).

Here's what I'm planning, I'm not sure how effective it will be so feel free to add your wisdom.

  • 1/5th (more/less?) of the Coopers ale yeast sprinkled in warm water + a teaspoon of sugar, leave for 30 mins.
  • Remove 250(ish) mls of the juice to make room for cO2
  • 100g raw sugar & 50g honey (More maybe, what do you guys think?) boiled slightly in some of the apple juice to dissolve everything and then add to the 3L juice bottle
  • Boil about 10-15 currants and a little bit of grated ginger in a bit of water until almost evaporated and add to juice bottle, to act as a yeast nutrient. (Will that work?)
  • Add yeast to bottle, close and shake a bit, close tightly and leave for a few hours then unscrew the lid a smidge to allow cO2 to escape.
  • Leave for a month (longer, shorter?) at 18c - bottle/carb, leave for a few weeks. I may just drink it instead of bottling.
Any thoughts guys?
 

amcd72

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There's an interesting product by the name of 'Oz Tops' which sell a pack of 2 types of cider/fruit yeast and various sized bottle lids. These lids are designed to replace the original lids on fruit juice bottles, such as apple juice or apple and black current etc. the lids have a little bladder in the middle which allow the CO2 out but nothing gets in.
I tried this just the other week and it's brilliantly easy. There's enough yeast to make about 70L of cider or alcoholic juice. And it costs $25.
You basically buy a juice (preservative free), empty a cup of it out to give it some headspace, then chuck your yeast in. The cap of the yeast is the measurer. Leave it somewhere warm enough for a few days and 'bobs your uncle'.
Do a google search of OzTops.
 

amcd72

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I think the quality is mainly dependent on the juice you choose. I've had a decent apple and black current before but I wasn't too happy with the results from the apple and mango. Stay clear of citrus too.
 

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