john bull country cider

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pete_pete

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Hey guys,
I'm currently fermenting this cider. My query is, when i come to siphon off,
i want it to be flat when i drink it, similar to scrumpy. Do i go about this by not priming?
or do i need to prime for other reasons than carbonation?
 

Norse John

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Hi Pete,

I'm new to this, but from instructions I have seen on JB cider the priming is only for the carbonation and an addition of 0.2-0.3% ABV during secondary fermentation.

However, from reviews that I've read on this kit it has a fairly diluted, dry un-appley taste, similar I guess to strongbow, so not sure if it would make a good scrumpy style cider. Mine is just clearing at the moment and shall test on Friday to see if it is ready.
 

pete_pete

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Thanks for the reply. I have made this before but it was years ago and have forgotten what is tastes like.
I like flat, strong cider and i am fermenting 18L to hopefully get 7% ABV. Just don't know if priming is
necessary if i don't want it sparkling. I will keep you noted as i carry on experimenting.
Have you tried Magnum apple cider? If not i recommend it, it was my first ever brew and very tasty and palatable and strong!
 

Norse John

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OK sounds good, would be interested to know how you get along with it.

I've not tried Magnum yet, from what you say it sounds like it ticks the boxes though.
 

terrym

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The only reason priming sugar is added at bottling time is to carbonate a beer/cider i.e add CO2. So if you want still cider don't add any sugar.
And since you don't require any yeast for carbonation, I would allow it to completely clear in the FV before you bottle to minimise the yeast at the bottom of your bottles, and that extra time in bulk conditioning may be beneficial to the taste of the end product.
Finally good cider takes months to mature and whilst kit cider may be quicker I would not expect it to be ready to drink within a week or two in spite of what the instructions may suggest, so I would be leaving it for at least a couple of months, but sampling it now and again along the way to check it out. Others may have a different view on this.
 

Cwrw666

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I made one of these many years ago and it was totally watery and un-ciderlike. Next time just go to Tescos and get some apple juice and ferment that with cider yeast. Half the price or less and you get actual cider at the end of it.
Like Terrym says though, time is a great improver of cider.
 

pete_pete

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Thanks for your input guy's. Thanks terrym for that really helpful advice.
I will let you all know what the end product is like in the coming weeks/months acheers.
 

Frogbrew

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I've done this kit a few times , first time brewed to 23 ltr and was tasteless and watery. Next time brewed to 20 ltrs and topped up to 23ltrs using cheapo apple juice, still watery and pretty tasteless. I won't be doing it again.
As you've brewed to 18ltrs it will be interesting to hear your results but I can't see it being comparable to your magnum kit.
 

Norse John

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First test JB cider out of the fridge. 22 litre batch was made up with dextrose, 2 carbonation tablets added to bottles. It's been carbonating and sitting for 13 days. Calculated to have been 5.2% after primary fermentation, so guess it will be 5.4% after priming.

First impression is the fizz is just right - not too aggressive. It is watery as others say here, which is fine for me personally. Has a tart after taste which is pleasant and slightly sour. However one slightly off putting thing is the smell when glass is raised, it has a smell similar to that of cheap 3 litre bottles from down the cornershop, or tescos own (if that even exists). Luckily the smell isn't replicated in the taste, which is very neutral.

For me, I'm happy with it for what it is. But I'll be leaving the rest of the batch for another couple of weeks I think to see if it develops more.
 

Cwrw666

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I'll be leaving the rest of the batch for another couple of weeks I think to see if it develops more.
Cider improves considerably with time, whether it's kit, turbo cider or real cider from apples. Traditionally cider made in the autumn wasn't touched until the following summer and the long wait makes a huge difference.
 

VW911

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Just be careful when priming/bottling.
The instructions are generic across the John Bull range, and they recommend bottling at 1.006. IMHO this is way too high - most ciders finish at 1.000 or below.
I had a customer that followed the instructions to the letter, and ended up with some serious bottle bombs!
 

pete_pete

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update:
I siphoned off the cider today into a' bag in box'. It had been in the FV for 10 day's and for the last two day's was reading at FG: 1006 with an ABV 5.78%.
I have not primed and will now let it sit for 1 month and update from there.
I did sample it. It is to my taste. I can see why people say it's watery but i would say it is crisp. However, i will update more on it's taste after maturity. :cheers3:
 
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Norse John

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Sounds good Pete. Do you plan to serve warm or chilled?

Just had another tester of mine after sitting for about 3 weeks now, and the 'cheap cider smell' that I previously reported has gone completely, and your word 'crisp' is apt for it, but the apple taste is becoming a little more prominent, although still mild. As cwrw suggests, may leave these for another few weeks.
 

pete_pete

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I'm just going to have it as it is. Not too bothered about chilling it. Can maybe add an ice cube or two.
 
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