Crafting Delicious Cider with Mangrove Jack's Cider Kit
Gather Your Equipment
Before you begin, you'll need to gather some basic home brew equipment.
For an all-in-one, bundle check out our homebrew starter kit which includes all the essential items mentioned above.
Once you have your equipment, you can choose from a variety of Mangrove Jack's Craft Series Cider Kits to find the perfect flavour for your taste.
- Clean and sanitise your fermenter, lid and mixing paddle with a good home brew sanitiser such as VWP. (each sold separately).
- Remove the sachets from the 'dry' compartment of the pouch and set them aside for now.
- Pour the contents of the 'wet' compartment into your sanitised fermenter and squeeze out the remains.
- Add 3L of boiling water to the fermenter and then add 1 kg (2.2lb) of dextrose sugar or ordinary white granulated sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
- Top up to 23L with cold tap water and stir well.
Check the liquid temperature is between 18–28 °C if not then stand the fermenter in a bath of icy water to cool it down.
Add the contents of the Cider Yeast and Cider Sweetener sachets and stir to mix.
Note: Do not add the Cider Essence or Dry Hops (if included) at this point.
Add any other dry additives if included (but NOT the hops).
If you have a tea bag sachet, this can be added directly to the fermenter.
Sweetness style guide for cider:
Dry - Do not add the sweetener sachet
Off Dry - Add half of the sweetener sachet
Sweet - Add the full sweetener sachet
- Fit an airlock and grommet to the fermenter lid then secure the lid to the fermenter, making sure the seal is airtight.
Half-fill the airlock with water to protect the brew during fermentation.
- Leave to ferment at a constant warm temperature, between 20–25 °C for at least 6 days.
Cooler temperatures will extend fermentation time by several days; below 15 °C fermentation will stop altogether.
Use a heating pad to avoid freezing temperatures.
Fermenting above the recommended temperature will reduce the quality of your cider.
- If you have dry hops:
After 4 days, check the specific gravity (SG) using a hydrometer.
If the SG is 1.015 or below add the hop pellet sachet but DO NOT STIR (the hops will break up and disperse naturally).
If the SG is higher than 1.015, check again in 1 or 2 days until the SG is 1.015 or below before adding the hop pellets.
Replace the lid and leave it to continue fermenting with the hops.
NOTE: Dry hopping can result in small hop particles in the finished cider.
If this concerns you then you can dry hop in a hop bag.
Just be aware, this may result in less hop flavour and aroma in the finished cider.
Leave to ferment for a further 2 days or until the airlock has stopped bubbling, check the SG again using a hydrometer.
If fermentation is complete, the SG should be within two points of the SG in the table found online from the link at the start of these instructions, if not then leave it to ferment for a few days longer, before checking again.
If you do not have dry hops:
After the 6 days (or when the airlock stops bubbling), check the specific gravity (SG) using a hydrometer. If fermentation has finished the SG should be within two points of the SG in the table found online from the link at the start of these instructions, if not then leave to ferment for a few days longer, before checking again.
Important Warning - Never bottle until fermentation is complete, the only way to be completely sure fermentation has finished is by seeing exactly the same SG reading over a 48-hour period.
- Once fermentation is complete, add the Cider Essence into the fermenter and stir well with a sanitised spoon, refit the lid and airlock and leave to stand for 24 hours to allow the yeast to resettle before bottling.
- Clean and sanitise bottles and syphon tube before use. Use Mangrove Jack’s plastic PET or Glass Flip Top bottles. Reject any glass bottles which have the slightest chips, cracks or imperfections. Don’t use non-reusable bottles. Seal bottles and store in a warm place for 5 days before moving to a cool dark place to clear.
- Syphon your cider into bottles leaving 5 cm (2“) headspace (measure from the very top of the bottle). Before sealing bottles add Mangrove Jack’s Carbonation Drops (replaces priming sugar, one drop is equivalent to 1/2 a tsp of sugar). See instructions on the pack for recommended use. 11. Seal bottles and store in a warm place for 5 days before moving to a cool dark place to clear.
SERVING AND STORAGE
Your cider is ready to drink after 1 week in the bottle, but for a smoother cider leave somewhere cool and dark for an extra 2 weeks - serve chilled.
For clear cider, decant off into a serving jug before pouring and for cloudy cider, gently upend the bottle before serving.