Step one

Clean and sterilise your fermentation bin, lid and mixing paddle with a proprietary brand of cleaner steriliser ensuring you rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Stand the cans or pouches in hot water for 15 minutes to soften the extract.

Pour the malt extract into your sterilised fermentation bin, rinse out any remains using warm water and add to the fermentation bin.

Boil 3ltr of water, add to the fermenter. If needed Add 1kg of dextrose brewing sugar or for improved results and 1kg of beer enhancer and stir until dissolved. (Do not use beer enhancer if making gluten free beer).

Top up to 23ltr with cold tap water and stir well. Check liquid temperature is below 25C then add the contents of the beer yeast sachet and stir gently.

If required on the instructions fit and airlock to the lid of the fermentation bin then secure lid to the bin, making sure the seal is air-tight. Half fill the airlock with water to protect the brew during fermentation.

Step two

Place fermentation bin on a washable surface, is it quite normal for some foaming during the first 2 days of fermentation. Ensure it is kept at a constant warm temperature between 20-25C for at least 8 days (see below for when to keg or bottle your beer).

Good temperature control is important for beer quality and timely fermentation. Below 20C, fermentation time will be much longer than 8 days, below 15C, fermentation will stop all together. Use a heat pad if below 20C. Above 25C beer quality will be reduced (especially for lagers)

Step three

For kegging your beer, after 8 days, siphon the beer off the sediment into a sterilised keg/barrel. Add 160g of sugar for lagers and 100g for ales and bitters then leave in a warm place for secondary fermentation for 5 days. Then transfer to a cool place for 7 days to clear. See serving and storage below.

These kits use a complex malt extract that can take longer to ferment out. Leave at least 8 days to ferment or longer if below 20C. Ensure airlock is not bubbling and that S.G reading is stable for 48 hours.

Step one

Clean and sterilise your fermentation bin, lid and mixing paddle with a proprietary brand of cleaner steriliser ensuring you rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Unfasten the bag of wine concentrate and empty into your sterilised fermenting bin, rinsing out the residue into the fermenter, with a little warm water.

Where sugar is called for, add this at this stage, the quantity varying according to the particular kit. Add 3 litres of hot water and stir the mix using the sterilised spoon to ensure the concentrate is completely dissolved.

Top up the fermenter with cold water to make 23 litres (5 gallons) and stir to ensure an even mix. If you have a thermometer, check the temperature to ensure it is between 18°C and 25°C and using the sterilised hydrometer, take a reading and note the Specific Gravity (SG).

Step two

Open the yeast sachet and sprinkle the yeast directly across the top of the wine, without stirring it in. You may also have some other additives to put into the wine at this stage, depending upon the requirements of the particular kit.

Put the lid on the fermenter with the bung and airlock, filling the airlock half way with clean water and place it in a room with a reasonably constant temperature, ideally between 20°C and 25°C. Fermentation will get under way within 24 hours, but you should leave the wine to ferment for between 10 and 15 days. A better-quality wine can result from keeping the temperature consistently nearer the 20°C level.

At the end of initial fermentation, any flavouring can be added followed by stirring and leaving for an hour. Add any stabilising sachet to the wine and shake/stir well for 30 seconds. In order to reduce the amount of sediment, you can now rack the wine by transferring to a second sterilised fermenter, using the syphon tube and avoiding as much sediment as possible. If you agitate the wine several times you will release carbon dioxide gas to help improve the clarity of the wine.

Step three

Once your wine has cleared, siphon into clean and sterilised wine bottles leaving a gap of about 4 cm (1 1/2″) at the top. Cork the bottle and apply your shrink caps and labels before placing in a cool dry store for at least 2 to 3 few weeks – the longer the wine is kept, the better it will taste.

Step one

Clean and sterilise your fermentation bin, lid and mixing paddle with a proprietary brand of cleaner steriliser ensuring you rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Check the ripeness of the apples The apple should come away quickly from the tree, and you will usually see indications of some windfall apples at the base of the tree. Clean the apples and then chop them ready for the fruit press.

Place the chopped or pulped apples into a straining bag and then place this into the fruit press. Fill the fruit press with approximately 3/4 of the total volume. The fruit press is used to extract the juice from the fruit. Turn the handle on the cider press until it’s adding top pressure to the apples in the straining bag. Once you see the apple juice start to flow out of the base of the press, you can stop turning the press. When the flow stops, you can turn the spindle again and repeat until you extract all the juice from the apples.

Step two

Add a Campden tablet to the collection vessel for every 4.5 litres of juice. This helps prevent oxidation and also to subdue the wild yeasts & bacteria that are naturally on the apple skins. The addition of a Campden tablet stabilises the apple juice, preparing it for the addition of yeast. Leave for 24 hours.

Checking the pH of the apple juice. It is also essential to have a suitable pH range for the yeast to perform to optimum fermentation ability. The target pH range for cider is 3.2 – 3.8. If you need to increase the acidity, you can use Malic Acid (the acid found naturally in apples) & if you need to decrease the acidity, you can use Precipitated chalk.

Adjust the flavour of your cider. You may wish to add some tannins. They produce bitterness that gives ciders some of their flavours. Tannin is a natural preservative. Bittersweet apples contain the most tannins than desert apples with the least. Tannin will help with flavour, body & mouthfeel. Pectolase is also added at the start to improve the taste, extract more flavours, and create a clear cider. Without it, you will produce a hazy cider. (1 tsp per 5 litres will suffice)

Adjusting the strength, you can add brewing sugar at this stage if you want to increase the cider’s strength. Don’t overdo it here, as the balance is key to producing an enjoyable product. We would suggest a starting gravity of 1050. If you start at 1050 and it finishes fermenting at 1010, that will give you approximately a strength of 5.25% abv.

Add the yeast – We recommend you use good quality yeast; Mangrove Jacks Cider yeast is a great choice as it is low ester producing. A single sachet will suffice for up to 5 Gallons or 25 litres.

Ensure the vessel is sealed correctly, half-fill the bubbler airlock with water. You should ferment at between 20-22 degrees. Fermentation will vary depending on certain variables, but you can identify when fermentation is complete as activity in the airlock will cease, and the hydrometer reading will remain stable. The average fermentation time is 10 to 14 days.

Step three

For bottling your cider syphon the cider into clean sterilised bottles (or into a keg). Use bottles with swing tops, beer bottles with crown caps or PET bottles with screw caps.

Add 1 level teaspoon of sugar or 1 carbonation drop per 500ml bottle or 1 rounded teaspoon / 2 drops to a 750ml bottle. Be careful not to add too much or your bottles could explode.

Seal bottles with crown caps, swing tops or PET screw caps designed to hold pressure and transfer to a warm place for at least one week for secondary fermentation.

For kegging your cider transfer to the keg, add 60g of sugar and seal your keg.

Store the cider for 5 days at between 20-30C to allow the secondary fermentation (i.e. making the CO2) to take place. Then move to a cool place for clearing.

Leave the bottles in a cool place until your cider is clear which can take at least another week. That’s it, Enjoy your cider!

Recommended products

Step one

Clean and sterilise your fermentation bin, lid and mixing paddle with a proprietary brand of cleaner steriliser ensuring you rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Make an 8 L (2.1 US Gal) wash by mixing water, sugar, carbon and yeast in the fermenter as per the instructions on the yeast packet and allow to ferment for 7-10 days.

Step two

Put the fermented wash into your still and turn on. For an Air still you will get approx 700 ml of 60% ABV per run. For a T500 you will get 5 litres at 93% ABV for the whole run. Dilute alcohol from either 60% or 93% to 40% by adding water and using an alcohol hydrometer to verify the strength, finally filter the alcohol by using a carbon-based filter. The carbon cartridge is constructed from a specially formulated blend of carbons designed to deliver optimal performance. This blend of carbons has been selected with pore sizes ideal for removing impurities in distilled spirit or unwanted chemicals from water and is fast, clean and easy to use and will give you a much cleaner spirit.

Step three

Flavour your alcohol by adding your favourite Still Spirits spirit or liqueur flavouring noting the instructions on the side or back of the bottle or packet.

Reasons To Brew

People have been making wine for thousands of years, the process has not fundamentally changed since then, but thankfully as you would expect, the equipment and the ingredients have considerably improved. The Anglo-Saxons were making a form of beer in 950 AD, and modern beer as we would know it appeared in the fifteenth century. Beer making nowadays can be as scientific or as simple as you want and you will find that with both wine making and beer making you will only be limited by your own imagination. We hope we will be able to stimulate your imagination and offer you a new approach to brewing.

Where to Find Us

We are easily located just off the Black Cat roundabout on the A1 close to Bedford. Come and visit us - we would love to welcome you to our store.

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