New to cider making

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Tyler38

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Hi all,
i am completely new to cider making (not cider drinking). I just got a mangrove jacks starter kit which came with a sachet of apple cider. I have made this up but I am already researching my next brew. I’ve heard that using apple juice and yeast is the way to go rather than the concentrate packs from mangrove jacks. I want to get a cider similar to a mercury draught cider. Does anyone have any suggestions on type of yeast etc to use? And also how much to use, I have a 30 Litre fermenter. Thanks all
 

kadmium

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Hi all,
i am completely new to cider making (not cider drinking). I just got a mangrove jacks starter kit which came with a sachet of apple cider. I have made this up but I am already researching my next brew. I’ve heard that using apple juice and yeast is the way to go rather than the concentrate packs from mangrove jacks. I want to get a cider similar to a mercury draught cider. Does anyone have any suggestions on type of yeast etc to use? And also how much to use, I have a 30 Litre fermenter. Thanks all
Hi mate, it's a tricky question.

Aiming to replicate a cider (or beer) that you like will ultimately end up in either an obsessive pursuit of perfection or bitter disappointment. For me, it's usually both! :D

Cider is a tricky thing to get right, as there are so many variables, including the types of apples used, the tannin levels, acid levels (malic acid), type of fermentation, type of cider you are looking for (Scrumpy, Sweet, Semi or Dry) and a whole host of others. However, to get in the ballpark of the dry style ciders, I would suggest the following:

21L of Apple Juice (I use Just Juice or similar) PRESERVATIVE FREE
1 cup STRONG black tea (3 or 4 teabags)
3 teaspoons Malic Acid (The acid that gives green apples their 'bite')

Most apple juice is around 1.048 SG so should net you right around 5% ABV without adding sugar to it. I would go with a clean fermenting yeast, like a US-05 is fine or try those Mangrove Jacks Apple Cider yeasts (or similar).

Ferment it out for about 2 weeks and then bottle or keg.
 

JDW81

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Hey Tyler,

Cider is one of those things you can make as simple or complex as you like. There’s lots of different additives you can put in to replicate various styles. I’ve never added Malic acid or tea to a cider, but have read that this is common practice. My cider is usually made with preservative free apple juice, spices occasionally (for my dry winter slider), and either a champagne yeast or the wyeast cider liquid yeast. I like it dry, so don’t worry about leaving any sweetness in the final product. Straight juice and a good yeast gives you an excellent dry cider.

The real challenge with home made cider is getting some residual sweetness left over, particularly if you are trying to replicate one of the commercial styles ones.

There’s a few options to leave residual sweetness. The easiest is back sweetening in the glass with some apple juice. You can add lactose to the cider (as it won’t ferment), but I find this gives an odd taste which I don’t like. If you keg, you can taste the cider periodically then keg and chill when you get to the right level of sweetness. This method doesn’t work when you bottle though as they will explode.

The other options are filtering to remove all the yeast (I suspect this is what most of the commercial guys do), pasteurising or adding something like potassium metabisulphate/potassium sorbate (again not something I’ve done).

You can make a few small batches to test what you like and works for you (i.e. 4L at a time).

JD
 

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