Quantcast

First Kit Cider Paranoia

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Hi all,
I'm part way through my first brew (a ginger beer, as it happens) and, in consultation with the GF, decided on a cider for our second brew.
I've had a good look on the forums and am now a bit paranoid as ciders seem a bit temperamental.

The issue is one that seems to be a common theme with ciders: making the end result sweet enough for the missus.
Personally, I prefer my ciders so dry you'd think you were on Arrakis, but I'm going to give it a crack.

The plan is to stick to the kit recipe with only minor deviation so that I don't have too many variables if things go south.
I'm bottling and don't have the gear to crash chill.

The recipe calls for:
1 x Brigalow Apple Cider Kit
1kg Sugar (I'm going to use Dextrose)
17L water in total (3 hot and 14 cold)
kit yeast and nutrient (yeast is added when the brew is at 35C or below, which seems a bit high so I'm going to aim for 25C)

My deviation from the kit recipe:
2L Pear juice

I'm not sure if 2L of Pear Juice will too much or not enough, so my Plan B is to wait until fermentation has ceased, taste and add Stevia to the batch (dissolved in water) to suit, then bottle 24 hours later. (the GF has had issues with lactose in milk in the past and I don't want to risk it. Although, that would leave me with an entire batch all to myself....hmmm....)

I'm also planning to split the priming over three batches and do some with caster sugar, some with brown sugar and some with carbonation drops.

Have I gone too heavy handed with the Pear Juice??
Any other tips??
And are there any particular brands of Pear juice that people have found worked well??

Thanks for your patience (if you've read this far)!!

-BeardedWonder
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
You can make the entire batch out of pear juice if you like, so in that regard you can't be too heavy handed with it.

Pear juice tends to finish a bit sweeter so I'd use more rather than less, given your aims. I don't have any brewing software on this computer but I'd look at upping the pear juice some and lowering your dex to your target OG. Any preservative free pear juice should do.

Either way I am sure it will be fine. If your SWMBO can drink a dry white wine then she should be able to drink even a dry kit cider fairly easily. Don't ruin it by over thinking it before it is even started. Just brew it then alter for the next batch if you're unhappy.
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Okay, good to know I don't need to be shy with the pear juice.

I've looked at some of the brewing spreadsheets others have posted in the forums, however I use Open Office on this computer, not Microsoft Office, and I think some of the macros have fritzed out.
Might have to find some time at the work computer.....

I've warned her that the end result may still be too dry for her tastes and we'll still have to backsweeten anyway.

I'll do some recon at the local supermarkets after work tomorrow for pear juice.

Thanks for the help!
 

Deep End

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
180
Reaction score
24
Location
Hobart
My LHBS person warned me off using Dex in Cider, said to use just plain ol sugar. Just a thought. I've just put down the same thing; used sugar, and 4l of apple juice as part of the water requirement as opposed to Dex and Pear. Reasoning being that I heard brigalow kits lacked apple flavour. Dont know if there is any truth to that, but extra juice cant hurt aye? Its currently into its 4th day and is plopping away quite happily at 23-24C. Cant wait to get it in bottles and put it away to condition :)
Cheers
Mick (Deep End)

Forgot to mention, I reckon there are other unfermentables you could add to boost sweetness, LDM? might have an effect on flavour maybe, dunno, just thinking out aloud :)
 

Mattrox

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/1/13
Messages
430
Reaction score
171
What would maltodextrin do in Cider?
 

Ryanemo

Member
Joined
10/9/12
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Hi,
I did a Brigalow Kit Cider, also used the Berri Apple 2.4L and a Apple and Pear 2.4L with 650g Organic Raw Sugar.
Took 4 weeks to carbonate with the drops, but came out quite nicely.
Couldn't taste the pear.
 

carniebrew

Brewvy baby, brewvy!
Joined
26/11/12
Messages
1,868
Reaction score
614
Mattrox said:
What would maltodextrin do in Cider?
Increase both the OG and FG identically, as it's completely non-fermentable. Basically it's used to add "mouthfeel" and perhaps some head retention by 'thickening' your brew, without increasing the abv. For example, 500 grams of maltodextrin will increase a 23 litre brew by 8 points, e.g. make a 1040/1010 brew into a 1048/1018 brew.

It also should have bugger all effect on the taste of your brew, so it adds gravity without affecting taste nor alcohol content.
 

Mattrox

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/1/13
Messages
430
Reaction score
171
carniebrew said:
Increase both the OG and FG identically, as it's completely non-fermentable. Basically it's used to add "mouthfeel" and perhaps some head retention by 'thickening' your brew, without increasing the abv. For example, 500 grams of maltodextrin will increase a 23 litre brew by 8 points, e.g. make a 1040/1010 brew into a 1048/1018 brew.

It also should have bugger all effect on the taste of your brew, so it adds gravity without affecting taste nor alcohol content.
So there won't be residual sweetness?
 

Deep End

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
180
Reaction score
24
Location
Hobart
Well if anyone believes wikipedia, here's a partial extract from their maltodextrin explanation

"Maltodextrin is sometimes used in beer brewing to increase the specific gravity of the final product.[4] This improves the mouthfeel of the beer, increases head retention and reduces the dryness of the drink. Maltodextrin has no flavor and is not fermented by the yeast, so does not increase the alcohol content of the brew"

So if it can reduce the dryness of a drink, it should be helpful, in an earlier paragraph it mentioned it can be either flavourless or moderately sweet, depending on what its made from I imagine.

Maybe this helps, maybe not
:)

Mick (Deep End)

After a little more thought and research, You can add artificial sweetners to it prior to bottling, if your comfortable ingesting them, or apparently using ale yeast in cider can help to sweeten it as supposedly it is not great at fermenting all the fermentables and may leave some residual natural sugars. Chocolate, Caramel and Roasted Malts can also lift a dry cider, experimentation will be needed I guess.
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Awesome.
Thanks for the tips, guys.
Carniebrew, thanks for the info about Maltodextrin. I was wondering about that the other day when I got the Dex but hadn't gotten round to researching it.

Mick, did your LHBS person give reasons why the Dex and cider don't mesh?? Not that I doubt your knowledge. I'm switching it to raw sugar and saving the Dex for a beer later on.
I'm going to hang back from adding apple juice for the moment, because I've set myself a strict rule about not changing the kit too much on the first go so that I have a base line to work on. But I'm going to definitely look at adding apple juice for the next one.
I'd love to hear how your cider ends up once it's done.
 

Deep End

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
180
Reaction score
24
Location
Hobart
She didnt give me any specific reason, however she does hold a Batchelors Degree in Applied Science, so I guess she knows her "stuff". It was along the lines of "Nah, dont worry about buying Dextrose for Cider mate, it doesn't do it any favours, just use your normal sugar for that and save the Dex for beer". I'll ask for a more specific why tommorow, I'm going in to get a few demijohns and some other stuff, picked 5 kilos of apricots today that are just yearning to be turned into booze!! Cant wait to see how that pans out. I'm in a bit of a "if its got sugar in it lets turn it in to grog" mood lately, lookout blackberry bushes up the road in the next few weeks!
Cheers
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Hmmm.....I dunno....Batchelors Degree in Applied Science....isn't that one of those classes that people typically 'coast' through??

If she says "No Dex" then I'll jump on that band wagon!

I hear you on the "if it's got sugar in it...." thing.
Love to hear more about your plans for the apricots.

There are a bunch of kumquat trees at my mum's place.....hmmm.....
 

Deep End

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
180
Reaction score
24
Location
Hobart
At present the plans extend to making some apricot wine, what degree of drinkability it will have only time will tell. I contemplated making a cider type concoction, but I think I'll stick to the wine recipe I have.

Its basically smashed up apricots, sugar, campden tablets, water, yeast and several rackings and will take 12 months of waiting and making. Makes you sort of hope there will be something vaguely palatable at the end aye!

If I get keen I'll try and document the process with some photo's and words and make a thread out of it. I've never done anything in a demi, so I'm keen to try this and learn a new skill, want to try the JAO Mead of BrewerPete's too.
 

Deep End

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
180
Reaction score
24
Location
Hobart
Ok, Just got back from the local Brew Shop, armed with a few Demi's and bits n pieces, I asked why not to use Dex in Cider, and the reply was "You want the fruity flavours in your Cider, just use sugar in cider and wine" So from this I assume Dextrose either masks or has some effect on residual fruity flavours left in fruit based brews. I do want my cider to taste of apples, so I'm glad I just used some CSR in my first cider.
 

Mattrox

Well-Known Member
Joined
7/1/13
Messages
430
Reaction score
171
Sugar is a disaccaride of glucose and fructose. I'm not sure if the fructose is left behind by the yeast.
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Deep End said:
Makes you sort of hope there will be something vaguely palatable at the end aye!
HA!!
Well, if it goes awol you can always mix it with lemonade and flog it off to teenagers looking for rocket fuel!
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
Deepend
Deep End said:
Ok, Just got back from the local Brew Shop, armed with a few Demi's and bits n pieces, I asked why not to use Dex in Cider, and the reply was "You want the fruity flavours in your Cider, just use sugar in cider and wine" So from this I assume Dextrose either masks or has some effect on residual fruity flavours left in fruit based brews. I do want my cider to taste of apples, so I'm glad I just used some CSR in my first cider.

Mattrox
Mattrox said:
Sugar is a disaccaride of glucose and fructose. I'm not sure if the fructose is left behind by the yeast.
Thanks for the info guys.
I can't imagine how many batches I would have gone through to have figured that out by trial and error.

Science FTW!!
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
manticle said:
Pretty sure brigalow cider kit has aspartame.
I checked the can and it lists cyclamate and acesulphame as the two sweeteners, but no aspartame.
Unless they're all related....gonna have to get my google on.
 

BeardedWonder

Well-Known Member
Joined
13/1/13
Messages
74
Reaction score
7
A quick question to anyone still watching this thread....

I've just put down the apple cider I posted at the start, as per the can's recipe with 2.55L pear juice (had to wait a while for my gingerbeer to FINALLY settle down for bottling).

Did everything as per the can, and by day two the brew has gone very opaque, kinda like soup. There is mild bubbling, so I presume there is yeast that is active, however there isn't any Krausen by day three (today). I've heard that apple cider can take a while to ferment properly and my gingerbeer didn't foam up that much either, so I'm not too concerned with that.

My worry is the opaque brew. I think it's okay but would love to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience with the Brigalow apple cider kit.
 

Latest posts

Top