Magnum, Apple Cider Review

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ScottM

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I had major success with this cider kit, I'm absolutely over the moon with it. Considering it's a kit it came out very nicely with perfect clarity, lovely appley taste (although a little artificial) and spot on fizz. I made a few very minor changes to the brew in order to get a little bit more of a kick from it.

The instructions said to add 1.3kg sugar but I added 1.5kg in order to get just a little bit more. I used bottled spring water rather than tap water (had lots of success since switching), 17p per 2l from Asda. I made a small starter for the yeast in order to have all the temps spot on. Pitched at 23 degrees and fermented at a steady 20 degrees using an immersion heater.

When the fermentation was done I transferred to a secondary and left it in there for 2 days, after which time I transferred to the primary (after it had been cleaned/sterilised). I racked it with 220g sugar, added the flavour pouch and then bottled. This has meant that I lost a little more of the brew than I would normally but it also made what was bottled that bit cleaner. 37 bottles were sat quite happily in a row though.

I've sampled a bottle every week since brewing and this week it has really came into its own (week 4 since bottling). Sat last night and had 4 bottles of it, all went down great and I had a very nice glow to me when I went to bed :D


Positives:

Very easy to brew, was seamless.
Very tasty considering its a kit, even the aftertaste is nice.
Good strength


Negatives:

As with every kit there is a slightly clinical smell from it, it has cleared up a fair bit as time has gone by though.
Although the apple flavour is quite nice it is obviously artificial so can taste a little fake.
It's not quite as dry as you would expect, quite sweet tasting and maybe a little fluffy for proper cider drinkers. It's almost alchopoppy.


Not sure of the exact strength of this cider as I broke my hydrometer. I blew a 0.07 on my breathalyser 30 mins after the first bottle though, so it must be pretty good :D
 

alank950

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Good post..i just joined the forum as i was looking info on this kit or something similer.Have you tried the Pear or Strawberry?..i like the idea of tweeking the ingredients as you did to get a better taste.
 

ScottM

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alank950 said:
Good post..i just joined the forum as i was looking info on this kit or something similer.Have you tried the Pear or Strawberry?..i like the idea of tweeking the ingredients as you did to get a better taste.
The pear gets a very bad review on here, not sure about the strawberry. The Ritchies On the Rocks Pear is magic, although a little artificial as to be expected, if you want a pear variety.

My absolute favourite is the Mixed Berry though. More stock is imminent according to an email I got yesterday :D
 

Rwilts

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Not to hijack this thread but I couldn't get a on the rocks pear kit this week so i bought the wilko version. This didn't come with any flavour pouch.

You could smell the pear straight out of the tin. After 24 hrs the spare room smells of pears.

Not recommending this kit yet as i haven't tried it just passing the info...
 

ScottM

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Sounds good.

The OTR kits seem to be mostly grape concentrate with the required amount of apple to pass as a cider. The flavour pouches are just that. Makes for a refreshing-alcopop type drink that the womenfolks love. Really refreshing and tasty etc but nothing like a traditional cider.

It really depends what you are after. I doubt many kits will taste like proper cider though.
 

Pakman

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Alank950 asked about the strawberry kit, just bottled a batch the wife has brewed (that'll teach me to take her to the home brew shop with me ) :whistle: last night and straight from the settling keg it was a bit alcopoppy as reported by ScottM. Did 12 bottles plain and primed the rest with diluted strawberry syrup. Reading the other reviews I promise to report back in 4 weeks when we try it.
 

dave01

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bought one of these kits at the weekend, never done a cider kit before :hmm:
thought i'd give it a go :cheers:
 

Pakman

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Having had the Magnum Strawberry cider in bottles for four weeks we decided to try some with lunch today. It was dry but had a good strawberry flavour and a nice gentle carbonation. An excellent drink, so good I had to have a second pint! :thumb:
Whoever it was no here (ScottM) who recommended leaving it for 4 weeks before drinking was giving sound advice, Thanks! It has totally changed from the sample I tried 3 weeks ago.
Graham
 

Bobbynog

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Had this in the bottles for about 3 weeks and not bad. Bit low on fizz even though I went for two carbonation drops and left for well over a week at room temperature.

There is a very feint eggy/poo smell that hopefully will go away with age but doesn't spoil it.

Can see this one being good on a nice hot summer afternoon.
 

hansybebes

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I bottled a Samson's Westcountry Cider a week ago. That also has an eggy smell. LHBS recommended it to me. Think i will try the Turbo cider next and hope for more of an apple taste. I don't like artificial taste with fruit so would be wary on the Magnum one.

Does anyone know if the egg smell would go away in time, or if i may have done something wrong? I use a non rinse sanitiser (Sodium Metabisulphite ).
 

tonybaloni

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I suppose it depends on what caused the eggy smell.
If the brew was too warm during fermentation or you had a lack of nutrient the chances are it will get better over time as the yeast cleans itself up.
If it was caused by an infection you may be stuck with the smell/taste.
 

ForresGeek

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I bottled a batch of the Magnum Strawberry Cider a week ago.

Just out of curiosity (or impatience), I tried a bottle last night. Tasted OK (a bit artificial) , carbonation was already pretty good. I also got a whiff of the eggy (sulphide ??) smell. :sick:

Will leave the remaining 38 bottles for a few weeks before trying another.
 

Diggerg

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Well tonight I cracked open the first bottle of this. I bottled it a month ago but still tastes like it's artificial. The wife likened it to white wine that's been in the fridge too long. Just hope it improves with age. If not will be pretty gutted as it's my first brew.
 

Diggerg

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Quick update. This had been sat in the shed for the last 2 weeks since I tried it last. Wow what a difference. No artifical taste and much easier to drink. Still a little dry for my wife's liking so if I did it again I would definitely backsweeten a bit. Still impressed though as it's my first brew.
 

Diggerg

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So nearly 2 weeks since last sampled and wow what a difference. It's been pretty cold in my shed the last week so think this may have helped to improve it.

If I was to do this kit again I would make up with half Apple juice and half water to the desired amount. See I'd that gives it s bit more body.
 

PJL

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I just thought I'd add a bit to an old post, I just bought one of those Magnum kits as it's all that was in the shop.
I usually get the Black Rock Cider kit here in NZ but they were all sold out.
I don't think I'll add any sugar to the kit as I usually add 1-2 3L bottles of preservative free apple juice which seems to give a lot nicer taste at the end, then add 1-1.5L at bottling time for carbonation. although this time i plan on trying pasteurizing as soon as there is enough carbonation to keep a bit more of the sweetness.
 

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