Ritchies On The Rocks, Pear Cider Review

Discussion in 'Wine & Cider Kit Reviews' started by ScottM, May 20, 2012.

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  1. May 20, 2012 #1

    ScottM

    ScottM

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    This was my very first success and the kit that renewed my faith in homebrewing. I'm not going to say it's the best thing I have ever tried but it was a huge improvement on my previous attempts.

    The kit is extremely easy to follow and other than using bottled water I follwed it to the letter. When it came to priming I made the huge mistake of using Coopers carbonation drops (little candy sweet looking things) as they don't really have a measure for pint bottles (375 & 750 only). This left me with a reasonable drink with not a lot of fizz, nothing to do with the kit though.

    As I said, this kit was done pretty much to the letter. I set my immersion heater for 18 degrees and left it to it. Once finished I racked into the secondary and then bottled with the carbonation drops.

    The end result was a very clear cider with not a lot of fizz but plenty of flavour thanks to the flavour sachet. The smell was a little sulphuric to begin with and while it did get better it did remain right till the last bottle.

    Positives:

    Very simple to brew
    Sachet made a massive difference to flavour impact
    Lovely and clear


    Negatives

    Although the flavour was nice and strong it was clearly fake
    Sulphuric odour throughout batch regardless of time, although it did lessen
    Typical kit cider aftertaste, nothing terrible though.


    I would definitely recommend this kit. The flavour is very tasty. Much like the Magnum Cider that I reviewed it is a little bit alchopoppy but very refreshing and will be very enjoyable in the sun. My Wife gave this 2 thumbs up and given how fussy she is that really says a lot for how nice this cider is. I would choose this one over the magnum kit but I am curious to give the magnum pear a go to see how it compares, most likely identical.
     
  2. May 20, 2012 #2

    calumscott

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    Brewed this for the missus... I think you might hear that a lot on future reviews on this.

    The tin is a mix concentrated grape, apple and pear juice.

    They seem to have some kind of mental sweetner in with the yeast too. I did wonder why at the time it wasn't in the little flavour bomb sachet thing that goes in at the end but in hindsight I think it's a bit of a masterstroke - it means when you down your trial jar you go "hmmm... that might just work..."

    So I brewed it as per the instructions, to the letter, and it just kind of got on with it, nothing mad, nothing crazy, just a nice solid, business-like ferment.

    It got bottled with a 1tsp/500ml prime and that gave it a great fizz.

    After a couple of weeks in the bottle it's certainly drinkable - it's been relaxing for a few more weeks and I'll open another shortly. It's just got that last hint of "brewiness" about it, a little unrefined tone to it. It's not bad, its just "there"... I think it'll probably go in time though.

    So, if your missus says, "Can you brew me something like Kopparberg?", your answer is now, yes.

    It is really quite similar, that pear-drop ester flavour is there in abundance - I guess that's what the flavour bomb is.

    All in all - I think it'll help the barbeques "go off" this summer! :cheers:
     
  3. Jul 30, 2012 #3

    darrellm

    darrellm

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    I've brewed this twice now (Feb and April) and it's been in the bottles so long the yeast at the bottom has really solidified, leaving a clear pint when pouring. Bottled the lot with 3/4 tsp sugar per bottle, which has generated plenty of gas. Fermented right out both times, 1040 to 1000. Didn't bother moving it to another vessel, just chucked the little flavour sachet in at the end of the brew, gave it a stir, and left it a few hours before bottling - seemed to work and saved me some cleaning :D

    Goes down a treat with the missus (and everyone else), so much that she won't drink commercial pear ciders any more. Given a few away to seasoned cider drinkers and they can't believe it's a kit. Well exceeded my expectations, will definately be doing it again. I'm more an ale man but from the reactions I've got I'd give this 10/10. :thumb:
     
  4. Sep 14, 2012 #4

    Rwilts

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    I have been asked to do a Pear Cider and think i will give this one a go. Could anyone suggest best fermentables for this? I plane to brew in next few weeks and then put away until next summer. As a start i was thinking of 1kg light spray malt. Should i add some more fermentables? 500g brewing suger? :wha:
     
  5. Sep 14, 2012 #5

    ScottM

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    I wouldn't use spraymalt with a cider :sick:

    Best to use plain old sugar IMO. As I understand it cider yeast would prefer the fructose nature of white sugar :)
     
  6. Sep 14, 2012 #6

    Rwilts

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    Scottm,

    Thanks for reply. Saved me some malt and a ruined kit. Will use sugar.
     
  7. Sep 28, 2012 #7

    alank950

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    I think i wil give the Pear kit a try next going by the feedback here... :thumb:
     
  8. Oct 21, 2012 #8

    Antrog65

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    I bought this kit after reading a few reviews with the intention of leaving it a good length of time for the pear flavour to mature.

    Fermentation started quickly and was pretty much done and clear by a week later.

    I racked off, left it in the cold cellar overnight and bottled the next day.

    At this point I did a small experiment. I bottled 4 bottles before adding the flavouring, working on the assumption that if I liked it then the straight apple cider version would be ok to buy next time.
    The pear flavouring sachet is how people describe it - just like pear drops but times by a thousand! Hmmm not sure about this.
    A week in the warmth to fizz up the bottles then cellar bound.

    A week later and I cracked off the lid of an unflavoured cider, and was really impressed.
    Carbonation was good and the taste was just how I like my cider - lovely stuff.

    In for a penny I opened a pear flavoured one.

    Oh dear. Now, admittedly this is too early to drink but the flavour really wasn't good - very artificial and felt like the flavour was almost floating on the surface. So, first signs aren't that good though this was as I said going to be a long term job and will leave it til next year now.
    Will update
     
  9. Oct 21, 2012 #9

    BigDDunc

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    Don't the apple versions come with a flavour sachet too? I'd be surprised if they didn't. AFAIK the concentrate is a mix of apple and grape hence the apple flavour sachet too.
     
  10. Oct 21, 2012 #10

    ScottM

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    Bingo ;)
     
  11. Oct 22, 2012 #11

    Antrog65

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    Bang goes that theory then!
     
  12. Oct 22, 2012 #12

    calumscott

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    I get the impression that these "cider" kits (as you'll see from my review) are designed to appeal to the bulmers/magners/kopparberg drinker and as such hav actually been constructed in the same way that they are brewed.

    Remember that in the UK you only need 35% apple juice to call it "cider"...

    ...I have served my brew of this to unsuspecting people and had the response, "Oooh, kopparberg...". Much chuckling ensued...
     
  13. Nov 8, 2012 #13

    Antrog65

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    Had one last night and there's a massive difference to the first one i tried. The unpleasant chemical flavour has settled down and is a very acceptable drink, so even longer to mature should see these actually being drunk, rather than going down the plug hole :sulk:
     
  14. Nov 8, 2012 #14

    ScottM

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    Yeah I was the same. IIRC I gave mine a month in the bottle before getting started, may have been as little as 3 weeks though.

    Drinkable, alcopoppy with a clear artificial taste. Certainly not of the traditional cider variety but very much like the current popular ciders on the market.

    The artificial taste mellowed as the stash dropped and time went by. By the end I was really enjoying the stuff. Ok so it's not a traditional cider but as far as refreshing, sparkly, fruity, cidery brew is concerned it went down a treat :D

    Also, massive hit among the wimmenfolk :D
     
  15. Nov 17, 2012 #15

    Antrog65

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    Tasted another and I have to say these now are on a par with the shop bought stuff from Magners and the like. They just need time so be patient.
    I've gone from 'wouldn't touch again with a barge pole' to a 'will definitely do another'

    I'm now more than willing to do one of the other flavours in the range too.
     
  16. Nov 17, 2012 #16

    ScottM

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    I think you would love the mixed berry. Probably my most popular brew so far.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2013 #17

    alank950

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    Would it benefit this kit any by adding brewing sugar Dextrose Monohydrate (glucose) ,instead of cane sugar ..its supposed to give a much cleaner flavour..
     
  18. Jan 11, 2013 #18

    ScottM

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    IMO no. The "off" flavours produced when using cane sugar are usually fruity and would be quite complimentary to ciders/wines. It's only really an issue when you want a clean beer/ale.

    With regards to this kit there is very little point as the flavour sachet is quite strong, you won't notice any subtle flavour changes anyway :D
     
  19. Jan 11, 2013 #19

    alank950

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    Ever tried any strawberry kits?
     
  20. Jan 11, 2013 #20

    ScottM

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    Not on it's own, but the OTR mixed berry cider is my favourite kit. Lovely stuff IMO.
     

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