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Culchie

Cider Refill Instructions

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When I said cut back on water, I meant replaced with apple juice instead, keeping the same volume. But since it was pasteurized, I didn't think it would get turned into alcohol. That's why I thought I still needed to add some sugar.  

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I opened one of my bottles (half full) after 2 1/2 weeks of carbonation, and the carbonation is good. I gave it a taste, and like usual, it tasted horrendous. I don't know if it will get much better. When I ordered the cider kits, I got 3 of them for a great deal. I have one left, and don't plan on getting any more after this. For the last batch I bought some lactose sugar. Does anyone have a recipe I could try for my "farewell" batch of cider, I'd be glad to try one. Thanks for your support everyone.

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On 10/4/2016 at 9:45 PM, Culchie said:

I opened one of my bottles (half full) after 2 1/2 weeks of carbonation, and the carbonation is good. I gave it a taste, and like usual, it tasted horrendous. I don't know if it will get much better. When I ordered the cider kits, I got 3 of them for a great deal. I have one left, and don't plan on getting any more after this. For the last batch I bought some lactose sugar. Does anyone have a recipe I could try for my "farewell" batch of cider, I'd be glad to try one. Thanks for your support everyone.

Culchie, let the ciders condition longer.  I don't even taste them until they've conditioned for at least 8wks.  I've gone 3wks, before I knew better, and they were horrendous.  As I mentioned to you in an earlier post, lactose is the key!  Without it Mr. Beer ciders taste watered down and bland.  I use one full pound per recipe.  The cider is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  As far as a recipe...  well that depends on what you like.  Look for my post in the "What are you drinking" thread from earlier this morning.  I did not brew a straight up cider this time b/c I prefer flavor.  Don't be afraid to flavor/sweeten the hell out of it if it!  Trust me, it can take it!!

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Thanks AnthonyC. I'm going to use the lactose next time. I like flavor too. I just figure the more I try to do, the more chance of me screwing it up. I seem to have better luck with Stout, and I like it much better. So I think I will stick to that in the future.

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On 10/4/2016 at 9:45 PM, Culchie said:

I opened one of my bottles (half full) after 2 1/2 weeks of carbonation, and the carbonation is good. I gave it a taste, and like usual, it tasted horrendous. I don't know if it will get much better. When I ordered the cider kits, I got 3 of them for a great deal. I have one left, and don't plan on getting any more after this. For the last batch I bought some lactose sugar. Does anyone have a recipe I could try for my "farewell" batch of cider, I'd be glad to try one. Thanks for your support everyone.

With stout, the kit provides everything you need to make a good stout.  With the cider, I find that you need to make some big changes to achieve your desired taste.  Therefore, I totally see where you're coming from.  Good luck! :)

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Well, I let my cider condition since the middle of Sept. Still tastes like something you would put in your vehicle to run it. I'm beginning to think the Mr.Beer instructions are wrong. Why else would it taste like nothing but alcohol ?? I'm wondering if I should add sugar to it at all, except for priming. 

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18 hours ago, Culchie said:

Well, I let my cider condition since the middle of Sept. Still tastes like something you would put in your vehicle to run it. I'm beginning to think the Mr.Beer instructions are wrong. Why else would it taste like nothing but alcohol ?? I'm wondering if I should add sugar to it at all, except for priming. 

 

I'm pretty sure they aren't wrong because I've made many batches. We even serve it at the Tucson Beer Fest every year and everyone loves it. I'm sorry it's not working out for you. :( Maybe try using a different yeast and different apple juice?

 

Otherwise, the best way to make great cider would be using a kegging system so you can properly backsweeten with fresh juice. This is how the commercial stuff is made. But it can only be done by killing the yeast. And if you do that, you would have to carbonate it artificially with Co2.

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Ok, I'm about to brew my last batch of Mr. Beer Hard Apple Cider. I will list what I have in my arsenal and what I'm shooting for, and let me know how you would do it.

 

I'm shooting for a SWEET cider at around 5% ABV. What and how much of each would you use to try to achieve this ? Thanks.

 

1 - Mr. Beer Hard Apple Cider Kit ( 20oz Apple extract )

6 Qts. Apple Juice

1 lb. Lactose

Corn Sugar 

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On 1/1/2017 at 7:04 PM, Culchie said:

Ok, I'm about to brew my last batch of Mr. Beer Hard Apple Cider. I will list what I have in my arsenal and what I'm shooting for, and let me know how you would do it.

 

I'm shooting for a SWEET cider at around 5% ABV. What and how much of each would you use to try to achieve this ? Thanks.

 

1 - Mr. Beer Hard Apple Cider Kit ( 20oz Apple extract )

6 Qts. Apple Juice

1 lb. Lactose

Corn Sugar 

 

DON'T use corn sugar. It will make the cider dry, not sweet.

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5 hours ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

DON'T use corn sugar. It will make the cider dry, not sweet.

 

Hey Josh. I always heard that if you use corn sugar, you won't get any off flavors. I haven't had any luck with cane sugar anyway. And the cane sugar didn't make it sweet either. I didn't think it mattered about what sugar you used in fermenting, it all turns to alcohol anyway. I thought that is the whole reason I had to try and backsweeten. Can you please explain ? Thanks.

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There's no need to add sugar at all. The apple juice/concentrate has all of the sugar you need to ferment. Sugar will only ferment out creating alcohol, which gives the perception of dryness and reduces sweetness. There's no reason to do this unless you want a dry cider. You cannot back sweeten with fermentable sugars without a kegging system or you will risk exploding bottles.

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19 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

There's no need to add sugar at all. The apple juice/concentrate has all of the sugar you need to ferment. Sugar will only ferment out creating alcohol, which gives the perception of dryness and reduces sweetness. There's no reason to do this unless you want a dry cider. You cannot back sweeten with fermentable sugars without a kegging system or you will risk exploding bottles.

But the instructions say to add 1 1/2 cups sugar when you mix in the concentrate...... now your saying add no sugar? I'm confused.....

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The sugar is optional. Cider is made from apples, not sugar cane or corn. If you want a lower ABV cider with more flavor and some sweetness, leave out the sugar. But if you want a dry cider (how our kit was originally designed), add the sugar. There is really no wrong way to do it. It all depends on what you're making.

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10 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

The sugar is optional. Cider is made from apples, not sugar cane or corn. If you want a lower ABV cider with more flavor and some sweetness, leave out the sugar. But if you want a dry cider (how our kit was originally designed), add the sugar. There is really no wrong way to do it. It all depends on what you're making.

Awesome! Thanks for the clarification. 

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Oh how I only wish I would have know NOT to go by the instructions to get the results I wanted. Why couldn't they have explained that (option) in the instructions ? I had thought about using the 6 quarts of apple juice, instead of the sugar in this batch. And using some lactose as suggested by some for added sweetness. I also heard that after fermentation, you could use Potassium Sorbate to kill the yeast and add apple concentrate or something to backsweeten and add flavor without further fermentation in the bottles. I guess if you do that, you won't get any carbonation. I'm not sure what to believe anymore. haha 

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You will get results if you go by the instructions, but they will be for the recipe the cider was intended as (a light-bodied dry cider). If we were to put the different options on all of our recipes, each page would be a novel, unfortunately, because there are so many different ways to brew. I didn't write the original cider recipe, but I can offer ways you can improve it to your liking. None of our instructions are set in stone and none of our recipes will appeal to everyone in their stock form. And this is what the forums are for. :)

 

Adding sorbate to kill the yeast and backsweeten is the only way to sweeten a cider (lactose works, but not as well), but you will need a kegging system to carbonate it. If you REALLY want to make great American-style sweet cider, your only option is to invest in a kegging system. In my 20+ years of brewing, I've never found a way around that. If you do find a way, PLEASE let me know! lol :)

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Just checked on my cider after 3 weeks in the LBK and I swear it could take the chrome off a trailer hitch. Very disappointing and hope that conditioning with carb drops might help. I wish that they would have been more clear with this kit being less sweet...but live and learn I guess  

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2 minutes ago, Homebrewer202 said:

Just checked on my cider after 3 weeks in the LBK and I swear it could take the chrome off a trailer hitch. Very disappointing and hope that conditioning with carb drops might help. I wish that they would have been more clear with this kit being less sweet...but live and learn I guess  

Unfortunately the carb drops won't do a doggone thing except carbonate your beer.  The trick to ciders is lactose, and tons of it.  Were you looking for something in the lines of Angry Orchard or Red's?

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Just now, Homebrewer202 said:

yeah kind of

 

Ah gotcha.  It's not even gonna be close.  I made my 1st Mr. B. Hard Pear Cider (potatoes-patatos...  they taste the same) and followed the directions to a t.  It was not to my liking.  Next 5 (yup 5!) I flavored and added a lot of lactose and presto...  more like what you're longing for.  Yours is going to be very dry.  

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