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Cider: Pimping the Brigalow Kit.

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xpostmanx

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G'day All, a new brewer, but I have used the search function and read the sticky posts, I promise. Many of the threads I read didn't seem to come to a conclusion, but rather left open ended.

I am looking for advice to pimp the Brigalow kit to suit a sweet palette.

I snagged the kit with a new fermenter and chances are it will be a once off. I have several small (4.5L) batches of all-juice cider in the wing. an apple and pear bottle conditioning, an apple pear and raspberry in the fermenter and and apple and blackcurrant awaiting a spare carboy. Each have had 250grams of lactose added to them and Mangrove Jack's cider yeast , however I am yet to taste the end result.

From my reading on here regarding the kit, with regular yeast, will be quite dry and thin.

Has anyone had documented success in this? to be cliche, a strongbow original type sweetness is what I am looking to achieve (both the sweet and dry variants are a bit extreme in both directions for my palette).

My thought process insofar:-

1. Using an ale yeast. LHBS seems to stock Mangrove Jacks, a suggestion for an appropriate variety?;
2. Adding 2ish L of pear juice as a substitute for some of the water;
3. Add lactose to primary (currently using at a rate of 1kg/19L, but adjusted for the pear juice?);
4. Add Maltodextrin to add body (250grams).

I appreciate that the "suck it and see" approach would work best. However as I don't intend to make it again (unless it is delicious) so any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
 

manticle

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Admittedly I like a dry cider but many years ago when I did a brigalow cider straight up, I found it quite sweet. I think it may have artificial sweetener in it.
Is there a commercial example close to the sweetness level you'd like?
 

xpostmanx

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I shudder to suggest strongbow.. but given it is widespread its perhaps a great example, the original is about where I am at, I find the dry well, dry. and the sweet funnily enough, quite sweet.

Though I'd be happy with something slightly down on the sweetness scale such as James Squire Orchard Crush or the Monteiths Apple.
 

manticle

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I'd be inclined to try as is.
Next attempt would be pear juice.
Next lactose.
Next a shade of fresh apple juice in each serve.

If that's not sweet enough, there are other methods but the above are ones I can vouch for from experience
 

xpostmanx

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I've hedged my bets, added 500gm of lactose, replaced 2l with apple juice and went with s-04 yeast. I also used white sugar rather than dex. Time will tell how sweet it is.
 

xpostmanx

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Bottled last night. Was sweet, but not "my teeth are rotting" sweet. We will see how it conditions. Less sweet than a strongbow draught, but not dry by any stretch.
 

Hostage_85

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I'm interested in how this works out for you.

My wife has been asking me to make her a sweet cider for years.
 

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