SAY NO TO BRIGALOW (Apple Cider Review)

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Only1MADMaN

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Hi everyone.

As I’m new to the AHB I’m trying to search as much about different kits and techniques as I can before posting and or commenting.

I thought I would start my own reviews on the kits I have done/doing.

Im going to begin by sharing my experience with the Brigalows very cheap $14 Apple Cider Kit and will continue my brew story’s and post up my finally details as I get to the drinking stage of every new brew. This is only to show my review of different brews and my successes and failures.

This is in fact my first ever brew.

I have a Coopers Fermenter but picked up a second hand 30L translucent fermenter on Gum Tree to brew my ciders in.


So here is the kit as per my steps along with the Brigalow instructions.


Note where necessary, I washed and sanitized as per any home brew technique.


Brigalow Apple Cider Kit


NOTE

This kit contains artificial sweeteners which (in my opinion) spoils the final taste of the brew.

If you don’t like the metallic taste you get from diet/0 carbonated drinks, stay away from this product and head to your local brew shop for a better solution.


Brewing

1x Brigalow 900g Kit
1-Cider Yeast (included)
1-Yeast Nutrient (included)
1x 1KG of Aldi refined (white) sugar
1x 18L of tap water.

The kit called for 3L of hot water, mix in the 900g can along with the 1KG of sugar.

My mistake came in the form of adding 3L of boiled water only stood for 15 minutes. This meant I spent the best part of the time trying to get my temp down to 35 degrees.

Also, I pitched my cider on one of the hottest December days Newcastle was having at 40 degrees outside. (I’m currently brewing in my laundry)

Once this was achieved I added the yeast, nutrient and seal up the lid with a small amount of hot water in the air lock at 50/50.

The brew calls for 6-10 days of consistent 25 degrees in the wort.

To try and drop the temp I tried the old “wet towel” trick.

It took around 8 to 12 hours to drop to about 24 degrees and sat between 26-24 for the rest of the 10 day brewing.

Bottling

I failed to take an SG value as it didn’t call for it and I didn’t have the experience to do one anyway.
But I did take a FG over a 24 hour period on day 9/10 and it was stable at 1.004.
I bottled 50 330ml Carlton Dry bottles
(Better Known to my friends as “Pussy Pulls! LOL) and added 7g of Raw sugar.
(From my understanding, raw sugar will burn off at 70% leaving a molasses taste in the brew) Then placed them in a 15L black sealed tub (to prevent a big clean up if “bottle bombing” accrued) and stored in the bottom of my linen cupboard.

The instructions asked for the cider to age for 3 weeks.

FINAL VERDICT


This is a cheap brew.
Coming in at about $16, not including water and other disposables like caps and sanitizing agents.

I must admit that my opinion on this kit is purely on the fact I don’t touch anything with artificial sweeteners. This kit doesn’t need it and for the life of me, I have no idea why Brigalow add it to both there Apple an Ginger Beer kits.

With that said, my brew come out very clear with some strong sediment at the bottom of the bottle (no finings added).
It could be shook up before placing in the fridge for a cloudy looking apple cider with no effect on taste between the two servings.

Taste

With a short, sharp sweet taste, followed by a dull dry apple flavor leaving the pallet with a strong metallic nutrasweet aftertaste that lingers a little to long.

If you do choose to use the Brigalow Apple Cider, I feel it needs to be back sweetened with an apple concentrate in a second stage fermentation. Or adding Apple juice at mixing stage to tart it up and add more flavor.

My final suggestion would be to head to your local brew shop and pick up at the very least a starting kit of

Black Rock Apple Cider or if you wont to spend good money and grab a Mangrove Jacks Apple Cider.


Thanks for ready and watch out for my next brew Coopers Lager.
 

brewgasm

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You should give a turbo cider a crack, just buy the juice from the supermarket and add yeast.
 

Only1MADMaN

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You should give a turbo cider a crack, just buy the juice from the supermarket and add yeast.

Yeah that is the next brew. Trying to achieve something sweet for the wife so I’m tryig a lot of different techniques.

I’ve heard of an Aldi Apple Juice brew and will give this a try after I bottle my BlackRocks.

Cheers.
 

captnhaddock

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not knowing how it's done in Oz, I would caution that you ensure that any juice you buy does not have preservatives in it such as potassium sorbate.
 

Only1MADMaN

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not knowing how it's done in Oz, I would caution that you ensure that any juice you buy does not have preservatives in it such as potassium sorbate.
Yep I’ve been researching every corner of the web for as much advice as I can.

Totally have a grasp on the whole preservatives but have found some juices clam “no preservatives” but use acids that could be used as a preservative.

Can only try and find out.

Cheers.
 

goatchop41

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not knowing how it's done in Oz, I would caution that you ensure that any juice you buy does not have preservatives in it such as potassium sorbate.
Yep I’ve been researching every corner of the web for as much advice as I can.

Totally have a grasp on the whole preservatives but have found some juices clam “no preservatives” but use acids that could be used as a preservative.

Most long life juices in Aus just use ascorbic acid or something similar. This definitely doesn't inhibit brewing yeast from doing their job, so most juices off the shelf will be fine
 

brewgasm

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not knowing how it's done in Oz, I would caution that you ensure that any juice you buy does not have preservatives in it such as potassium sorbate.
Yeah definitely steer clear of potassium sorbate. I have only seen it in the refrigerated juice. Can't recall seeing it on the shelf.
 

enikoy

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I made a batch of "Prison Cider" for fun a few month ago using the cheap Coles apple juice and some re-cycled Lallemand ESB yeast. I was really quite stunned how well it came up for what it was. After bottle conditioning it was crystal clear and tasted better than some commercial ciders I've tried. Quite brut/dry so it also worked well being mixed back with some of the unfermented juice to add some sweetness when drinking.
 

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