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Is There A 'how To Cider' With A Beer Brew Kit Faq?

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fletcher

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Just as the title states, is there one? I've searched the site but can't find a how-to, so I googled it and came up with a bunch of interesting sites.
I was just asking as I've just got a new coopers DIY beer kit and wondered how adaptable to cider it would be?
Thanks all, and sorry if this sounds like a stupid thing to ask
Fletcher
 

bum

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Yep, you can totally make cider in a Coopers DIY fermenter, so long as you were looking at a cider that doesn't need extended (and I mean really long) fermenting/conditioning times. If you're going to do a kit cider or an all juice cider (have a search for "Simplest Cider" in this forum for some great beginner tips) then that fermenter will be more than satisfactory. On the other hand if you were after a farmhouse, naturally fermented cider then you might want to be looking at fermenting/conditioning times much longer than is suitable in PET - in which case, I'd suggest you hold off on that idea until you've got a bit more experience with the easier methods first.

Good luck with it.
 

fletcher

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Yep, you can totally make cider in a Coopers DIY fermenter, so long as you were looking at a cider that doesn't need extended (and I mean really long) fermenting/conditioning times. If you're going to do a kit cider or an all juice cider (have a search for "Simplest Cider" in this forum for some great beginner tips) then that fermenter will be more than satisfactory. On the other hand if you were after a farmhouse, naturally fermented cider then you might want to be looking at fermenting/conditioning times much longer than is suitable in PET - in which case, I'd suggest you hold off on that idea until you've got a bit more experience with the easier methods first.

Good luck with it.
thanks for the words of wisdom mate; I think you're right. I'll have a go at the simple styles and work my way up from there :) thanks for the heads up, I figured it'd be somewhere but just didn't know what to look for :)
 

Greg.L

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When researching cider keep in mind there are basically 2 types of home cider. The first is the cider from storebought juice, basically the same as kit and kilo beer, but will finish very dry without the beer non-fermentables. Some people add spices and flavours to make it more interesting (?) You will get a recipe to follow.
The second is cider from apples grown and harvested specifically for cider, milled and pressed to get the fresh juice. This is basically the same as white winemaking, trying to source the best fruit and preserve the flavours. With the extra flavour it doesn't taste as dry as the first type, and there are endless variations of fruit cultivar and fermentation treatment. Generally you don't add flavouring to this type of cider, and there isn't any recipe. It is made only once a year and is different every year.
 

Greg.L

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One thing to keep in mind when researching cider on the internet is that Americans don't use brown sugar in their cider recipes. When they say brown sugar they mean raw sugar, they don't have a product like our brown sugar. I know it sounds weird, but that's the USA. They don't even have SR Flour and they call coriander cilantro. When you see the cider recipes on the US cider sites, they don't mean to add caramel flavour, just raw sugar for a little extra flavour. I don't know what brown sugar tastes like when fermented, and I don't want to know, but if you want to use brown sugar start off with small amounts.
 

fletcher

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haha thanks Greg. yeah I know Americans are a weird bunch...my wife is American haha. all good mate and thanks for your tips. I daresay my first batch/attempt will be the very simple juice type variety as I live in the city and have no way of getting cheap nice apples to crush and use myself. it looks amazing that type but it's not feasible for my situation. I'm happy to try the juice variety to start off - using perhaps brew enhancer and such (or whatever seems to work best) in my kit, and then expand from there as my confidence and knowledge of the process grows...it's so damn addictive and exciting :)
 

fletcher

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what would be your recommendation to make as close to an over-the-bar type cider (bulmers, rekorderlig, magners etc) using my kit and whatever else was needed? I know I've probably made everyone cringe with those types but my knowledge on cider is from those only...cant wait to expand and taste exiting new homemade flavours!
 

Luek

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Rekorderlig etc clones will require a buttload of artificial flavours.
Sweet cider is very difficult to make when using bottles (I assume you're bottling) because most sugars you want in a brew, will completely ferment out ("turn" into alcohol and CO2). The easiest option is to back sweeten in the glass, meaning add your sweetener of choice (apple juice, cordial, etc) in the glass at time of serving

I've never backsweetened because I like a dry cider.

Just letting you know also, cider generally tastes pretty bad without a bit of aging. If you have tastes like mine you're in for a world of hurt if you intend to pitch champagne yeast on apple juice and drink it within a month or so.
 

hendog88

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what would be your recommendation to make as close to an over-the-bar type cider (bulmers, rekorderlig, magners etc) using my kit and whatever else was needed? I know I've probably made everyone cringe with those types but my knowledge on cider is from those only...cant wait to expand and taste exiting new homemade flavours!
i usually just use store bought preservative free juice, if you want something a bit sweeter use the berri apple and pear, i sometimes throw in a can or two of straight pear juice. i use nottingham or a cider yeast. too easy. they arent super sweet though.

the search funtion at the top left is your friend, use it. theres heaps of threads on what yeasts to use and different ideas on what juices to use, thats how i got started.

Cheers
 

Tim

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Easiest way to make cider is via a product called OzTops. Its a kit that has yeast and special pressure release cap. You pitch yeast and ferment out in teh standard juice bottle.

All kit and kilo ciders taste like a$$, don't even bother. OzTops are the way to go I'm to lazy to google them, but I assume they are still around.
 

Luek

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Just use cling wrap + rubber band over the bottle, save like $30-50 or whatever that kit costs
 

geneabovill

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There's OzTops products all over eBay. Also, whatever you do, don't ferment with the Super Yeast 24hr yeast. I believe Bulmers bottle condition their cider so you can probably steal the yeast outta the bottle and make a starter. Otherwise HBSs will usually carry cider yeast.
 

Luek

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Bulmers don't have sediment... only bottle conditioned cider I can think of is that old rosie one you can get in 500mL or even 2L from Dan Murphy's
 

fletcher

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wow thank you guys! much appreciated!

i'll probably do a bit of a search and just try an easy juice method if possible first and pretty much, see how it goes...then adjust from there. you've all given some fantastic tips! very much appreciated. i do like the sweeter variety but would brands like magners and bulmers be considered sweet? and 5 seeds and that crud? that's more my style - is that dry? i'd have thought so...(rekorderlig is nice but a little on the sweet side so i couldn't have more than 1 without cringing a bit).
 

manticle

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Simplest way to make a reasonable quality, sweeter than bone dry, Kit based cider:

Take your cider kit. Try something like Black Rock.

Instead of the water and sugar it suggests you add, add some different brands of clear supermarket apple juices. You can use some of the cheaper stuff as long as it has no preservatives. If you are not trying to be super tight, add in a few different bottles of preshafruit (as many different varieties as you can find - lovely juice but expensive). If you can find some preservative free pear juice or apple and pear juice, add a few litres in too.

If you have a home brew shop nearby, buy some diammonium phosphate and add a bit to your mix. Ferment cool (say around 16 degrees - cooler than the kit probably suggests). Allow the brew to ferment out properly, chill the whole lot down to 2 degrees for a week if you can, then prime and bottle as normal.

The kits usually have artificial sweetener in them which holds the cider back from drying right out. You can make cider just with juice and yeast but unless you employ various tricks, it will dry right out so adding a kit will help retain sweetness.
 

pk.sax

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Bottle of cloudy apple juice from the store (heaps of varieties out there, pick one you like). Pour out a glass, drink (optional), tip in a pinch of white wine/champagne yeast.

Replace cap with cling wrap and rubber band, let it ferment in the bottle. when its done/close to done, add a little sugar and cap it with the normal bottle cap. Let carbonate for a day or two. Refridgerate. Serve out of the bottle, don't shake the yeast lees too much.

There is only so much cider in a 2L bottle of juice so it will be gone before old yeast at the bottom becomes a problem.

If you like it, start doing larger batches with mixes of juices etc as mentioned above.
 

Greg.L

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I don't think you will get an actual dry cider at Dan's. They are all sweetened to some degree, mainly because they would taste like crap otherwise. The easiest way to sweeten is backsweeten with sugar after fermentation finishes, then bottle and pasteurise. If you keg, you can try cooling and racking after fermentation finishes, after a couple of months there won't be much yeast left, you can backsweeten and keg, keep cool (3-5C) and you will get at least a month or 2 to drink it before the sugar ferments away.
 

pk.sax

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Greg, Dan's had Aspall's Suffolk dry cider. Quite liked it on the occasions that I bought it. Didn't catch any sweetness in it.
Also, Napoleone's Perry. Quite nice.
 

fletcher

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Bottle of cloudy apple juice from the store (heaps of varieties out there, pick one you like). Pour out a glass, drink (optional), tip in a pinch of white wine/champagne yeast.

Replace cap with cling wrap and rubber band, let it ferment in the bottle. when its done/close to done, add a little sugar and cap it with the normal bottle cap. Let carbonate for a day or two. Refridgerate. Serve out of the bottle, don't shake the yeast lees too much.

There is only so much cider in a 2L bottle of juice so it will be gone before old yeast at the bottom becomes a problem.

If you like it, start doing larger batches with mixes of juices etc as mentioned above.
Thank you to everyone who's replied...I'm liking the sound and ease of the above option and the oztops option too. Practicalfool, is there a specific yeast you'd recommend for this? And bought from a brewery shop or from anywhere else in particular?
Cheers!
Fletch
 

nathan_madness

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If you are looking for sweet. Use a liquid product called sugarless available at Coles and woolies follow the directions on the bottle. Its non fermentable. Add it to you brew after fermenting.
 

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