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First Cider - Brigalow Kit - Success

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Bludger

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Just thought that I would do a quick post of my first Cider attempt. My hope is that this information may be useful to others who want to try a cider brew.

I like a dry cider, and to be honest don't really care whether it is clear or cloudy. I probably drink too much so I like a good "kick" also. Favourite commercial styles would be Rekorderlig (a bit expensive for every day), Monteiths, Dirty Granny and a couple of others whose names currently escape me.

Kit:
I have cobbled my kit together from bits and pieces.
Fermenter: A 25 l water carrier from a camping store. Blue coloured plastic, translucent not transparent. I bought an airlock and a grommet and drilled a hole in the lid for this.
I also bought a lever type tap which screwed in near the bottom of the container
No temperature control

Recipe:
I used the Brigalow Cider kit and pretty much followed the recipe. I used plain white sugar where it called for addition of 1 Kg Sugar.

Note: (Australian date formats dd/mm/yy and Temp in Celsius)

Day 1: Starting date 9/1/13
Canberra was in the middle of a heat wave and I held off until the weather cooled a bit. However it was still high 20's and early 30's during the day.

I did not use hot water to dissolve sugar and contents of the can, as the recipe says, as it is so damned hot at the time.
I did not take a starting SG, as I was concerned about contamination.
I had a lovely brewing smell in my bathroom for the next few days.

Day 5: 14/1/13 Could not measure SG - looked like 1000 but bubbles affected readings.
Day 8: 17/1/13 SG 998
Day 10: 19/1/13 SG 995/996
Day 11: 20/1/13 SG 996/995?
I decided to bottle at this stage.
When I unscrewed the top of the fermenter, the cider was clear with a scum at the bottom of the container.
I used 740ml Plastic Bottles commercially available from Coopers.
I used a plastic commercial measure for the sugar, it has a large end and a small end depending on your bottle size. I put a large measure of the Caster Sugar in each bottle.
I filled each bottle by simply putting them around the tap and pressing the lever.
After capping I inverted each bottle, to do a bit of mixing, and then stored them upright.
As an aside I tasted the product out of the fermenter. It tasted like apple juice, nothing special at time of bottling.
Because the sediment had settled on the bottom, with a bit of tilting of the fermenter I could extract almost every drop of liquid.

The outcome:
12/2/13 Tested the first one.
The Cider was clear, a light straw colour, carbonated- but not overly - just about right for me. It has a subtle apple taste and odour.

Apple aftertaste. Actually my first thoughts was that it was almost like a light white wine, with bubbles.
Virtually no sediment or cloudiness in the bottle.

It is not sweet, definately a dry cider, but from my point that is just about spot on. I have seen on this site and others a lot of people are quite disparaging of the plain Brigalow kit, but for me it is very drinkable and very refreshing. It also has a good "kick"

24/2/13. The taste is slowly changing- maturing?
I can just get a slight yeastiness, which I like, as I like French Champagne. An ever so slight bitterness toward the back of the tongue, this makes it refreshing for me. Some complexity of flavour that I am not clever enough to describe.


A success in my view.
My next brew will be more adventurous, but that story is for another day.
 

Bludger

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Sorry carniebrew. I was misled by the title that said "Kits and extracts" didn't realise that this was resticted to beer kits.
 

carniebrew

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Nah mate, all good...who knows maybe even a kind moderator will change it over to the right place for you!
 

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