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
 

duncbrewer

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Monk fruit or erythritol also useful to sweeten with and non fermentable.
 

jgriffin

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Monk fruit or erythritol also useful to sweeten with and non fermentable.
Curious how much you use for a 20L batch? I've just ordered some "pure monk fruit extract" and even a rough guide woudl help me understand where to start

Cheers
 

InCider

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I just kegged my first brew for 8 years and it was a cider - Aldi preservative free yeast like kadmium said and Lalvin EC-1118 Wine Yeast. Complete leg opener! ;)
 

An Ankoù

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I make my cider collecting as many different varieties of apple as I can. I've got half a dozen trees, but I collect apples from trees growing wild including crab apples. Then I mill the apples using a scratter and press the juice out with a fruit press. I use Youngs or Mangrove Jack's Cider yeast. (I understand it's the same as champagne yeast) and when it's finished fermenting-expected FG 1000 or less- I bottle and prime it in string bottles.
Nothing else gets added. I've never had a bad one except the one time I tried to pasteurisé it and it tasted of stewed apples.
 

TowelBoy2013

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I've just put down a Black Rock cider and am looking for that clean apple crispness you get in a commercial cider. I normally use and have great results with the Mangrove Jacks M02 cider yeast but this time I've decided to experiment and use a wine yeast the Mangrove Jacks SN9 Wine Yeast, as I've heard it leaves the cider with a nice crispness...Will post a video in the upcoming weeks to see how it goes. Cheers
 
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I just kegged my first brew for 8 years and it was a cider - Aldi preservative free yeast like kadmium said and Lalvin EC-1118 Wine Yeast. Complete leg opener! ;)
Much success with InCider's simple recipe. Add 1kg sugar for extra kick. 2kg for stagger-cider. Have also had success adding grated ginger. Latest experiment has 100g juniper berries, 10g coriander seeds. 10L batch. Serve topsed with ginger ale, lemonade, apple juice, etc, to taste. So easy.
 

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