Quantcast

Recommendations on cider kits

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
I have been successfully brewing beer for a lot of years but now my son wants me to have a go at cider. I dont usually like cider, but on a trip to NZ I tried some pear cider and really liked it.
I cant be bothered with pressing apples etc even if I had the equipment to do it so I would like to get opinions on which are the better cider kits on the market, both apple and pear varieties would be nice.
My son prefers the dryer styles of cider rather than the sweet ones.

Thanks in advance
 

mikeybycrikey

Active Member
Joined
17/5/12
Messages
33
Reaction score
6
If I'm having guests over for a sports day or something with lots of drinking I usually do brigalow, then keg with about 600ml of apple juice. Not that my mates are cider conniseours or anything but I've yet to hear any complaints. Also did a Mangrove jack pear cider once. Lovely drop, but costs about 40-45 as opposed to 13 dollars with a couple bucks of apple juice.
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
Buy some preservative free juice from the supermarket and do away with the kit entirely. You don't need it and it's no easier than pouring 20 L of juice in a fermenter and adding yeast and nutrient.

Kit has artificial sweetener to stop it going completely dry.
 

brad81

Well-Known Member
Joined
10/4/12
Messages
555
Reaction score
93
Location
Palmerston, ACT
I've used the Blackrock Cider kit as well. It was a bit rough after 2 weeks bottle conditioning, but it is fantastic after about 3 months conditioning. Has a clean non-cloying mouthfeel. Maybe something you could make in the colder months ready for summer?
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
You're right, the BR kit doesn't.

Some kits do (brigalow jogs the memory bells as having aspartame or somesuch).

@OP - all juice will ferment right out and make a very dry cider.
 
Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Many thanks for the replies. I have no tollerance for artificial sweetners so the Black rock kit looks good to me. I will also think about 20l of apple juice idea. Any particular brands of juice or are they all much the same. Do some contain preservatives and others not. I suspect that preservatives may knock the yeast around a bit.

Again thanks ... now off to read the link Bum posted here.
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
You want preservative free. Up to you how much you want to spend - I go for preshafruit mainly as it's pateurised with pressure and retains a great flavour.

Some of the cloudy organic juices are good too if you don't mind cloudy cider (I don't). Berri is OK and a mix is OK. If you are preferring something on the cheaper side, home brand juices can work OK and aldi homebrand getsused by a few.

I prefer a more complex cider so I use the above with malic and tannic acids and more recently dregs from French cider bottles but that moves well away from the idea of simple cider.
 

Bludger

Active Member
Joined
6/2/13
Messages
33
Reaction score
5
Location
The Tropics
I like a dry Cider and found the Brigalow Kit quite OK for my taste buds. I will say that at times I think it is more like a wine in falvour and lightness, rather than a cider. But extremely drinkable.
I know that a lot of people onthis and other forumsare quite disparaging about the Brigalow and try to beef it up with extra juice or apples and all sorts. Try it, don't listen to them.
I find that Cide ris easy to make from either a kit or Juice. Don't forget it takes longer to ferment than beers, and that it prefers a longer ferment.
 

Glengine

Active Member
Joined
18/2/13
Messages
32
Reaction score
6
Location
Canberra
I used home brand juice for the one cider I made, along with 1.5L of golden circle pear juice. I can drink dry cider but it fermented too dry / tart for me to want to drink 20L of it. I ended up back sweetening when bottling. I used splenda in some bottles, stevia in others and left some dry. I'm quite happy with artificial sweeteners and it turned out well. That said I thought it lacked character and was pretty sick of it by the end of the batch. I ended up using the dry ones to make snakebites (lager / cider mix). I would consider using some lactose if I were to go this route again.

I would love to try one of the pear cider kits, but as mentioned previously they are a tad pricey.

I just put on a Graff yesterday, inspired by Brandon O's Graff recipe here http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/graff-malty-slightly-hopped-cider-117117/
I varied slightly from the recipe there. There are numerous people throughout that thread that left the last few litres of a beer in the fermenter when bottling or kegging and then filled the fermenter with apple juice and were happy with the final results. Something else to consider as well.
 
Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Again thanks for the replies... Much food for thought. I think at this stage I will search out a Black Rock kit and try that first then start adjusting things from there if required.
Again thanks
 

bum

Not entitled to an opinion
Joined
19/2/09
Messages
11,585
Reaction score
909
That kit was around $30 when I bought it. If you find supermarket juice on sale it will be better and cheaper.
 
Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
I will check out Aldi's price on the juice as there is one near where I work. Do those who use supermarket juice for their cider use any yeast nutrient etc. I have seen a few recipes that have malic acid (1 teaspoon) added to improve the cider. Are there any other additions I should be considering?
I know my son is not a fan of strongbow as he says it is all too sweet. He prefers Murcury cider (draft i think). So any recipes that could be compared to that style would be welcome.\

Thanks again
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
Nutrient is a good idea. Start simple (juice, nutrient, yeast) and then look at other additives if you think it needs a tweak (different juices, malic/tannic acid etc).

Allow it to ferment right out and you will get a dry cider.
 
Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
No apple juice in the local Aldi, but if the price of OJ is any guide $1.50/L looks about what I would expect to pay. Thanks for the advise re nutrient etc.
 

Bribie G

Adjunct Professor
Joined
9/6/08
Messages
19,838
Reaction score
4,393
I currently have a Black Rock plus 6L Aldi Apple juice plus a kilo of dex on the go for around 6.5% ABV

The kit was $23 from LHBS and the apple juice is a dollar a litre from Aldi, in 2L bottles.

I intend to back sweeten it just with sugar in the keg - I don't bottle.

It smells fantastic in the fridge. The kit comes with 3 sachets labelled "cider yeast" so I'll save some yeast cake for next batch which will probably just be 22 L of Apple juice, some nutrient and save 2 L of juice to backsweeten in the keg and end up with more of a strongbow strength as opposed to my first batch of jungle juice :kooi: .

Edit: the Aldi juice lives in the same aisle as the cola and springwater, not in the fridge. Grab a couple of boxes of six and you're set.
 
Joined
8/4/10
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the tip. I did look in the fridge only at aldi. It is going to be too hot for brewing in Melbourne next week (over 30 every day) and I brew in the shed. So I can wait a few weeks and make it a winter brew for drinking next summer (if it lasts that long) I like plenty of age on my HB beer (at least 6 months) so I can wait for the cider to condition till next summer i think.
 

pommiebloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
5/3/06
Messages
291
Reaction score
82
Location
Bridgeman Downs, QLD
I got my juice from Woolies when it was on special. 24L of juice for 30 bucks, worth keeping an eye out and you can store it until you want to make the cider.
 

Pirate Pete

Active Member
Joined
28/11/12
Messages
28
Reaction score
4
Location
Canberra
Woollies home brand juice was a $1 per litre this week - bought 8 x 3 litre bottles. Means I can brew at around $1.20 per litre with yeast and some brown sugar added. Apple juice tastes the same as the more expensive stuff.

Peter
 

Latest posts

Top