Cider kits vs juice and yeast

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AaronHartwell

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I'm curious to see what people who've used both, think of the juice that comes in the Brewer's Best Kit and Mangrove Jack Kit vs. using store bought apple juice in terms of the final product. If I look at Walmart prices on something like Musselman, buying 5 gallons of that and a packet of cider yeast puts you at about the same price point as a simple Apple Brewer's Best Kit. When I use a kit I throw away the artificial sweetener and the artificial flavorings so I'm really just using the juice concentrate. Granted, when I use a kit I have to buy corn sugar and I usually also buy bottled water.

Has anyone done both and have a strong preference one way or the other in terms of final results, not so much the cost.

Aaron
 

CKuhns

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I prefer store bought Musselmans over the kits. Just seems to produce a better cider. Prefer not to add corn syrup or sugar just dilutes the apple flavor.

On a side note, even better i buy frozen apple juice concentrate then just add water to my target OG.
 
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AaronHartwell

AaronHartwell

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Thanks CKuhns. Good to hear someone's tried both and has an opinion on it! With the Brewer's Best kits that call for 2 lbs corn sugar, my OG is always right around 1.050 which I think is consistent with store bought juice that I've measured so for sure no sugar needed.
I like frozen apple concentrate as well but I've only used it to backsweeten and bring back some of the apple flavor that seemed to be lost during fermentation.
 

CKuhns

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Yep, most apple juice is right near 1.050. I target 1.065 using FAJC just because i like the extra kick and the apple flavor is a little more pronounced.
 
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AaronHartwell

AaronHartwell

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Just wondering why you would choose to use bottled water? Advantages vs tap water?
It's a good question. Based on my reading and personal experiences living in different states I've found that municipal tap water varies from location to location both in terms of mineral content and taste. It's also the case that municipal tap water has chlorine / chloramine which I've read can interview with yeast production. So I use bottled water to avoid both things. Honestly where we live now the water tastes amazing, I can't tell it from the spring water I buy, and it's got relatively low chlorine in it which I could treat with a few drops of chlorine remover so I probably could get away with the tap water. But the bottled water is pretty cheap so I stick with that. :)
 

CKuhns

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Bottled spring water or non-treated well water.

Same every time and brings the micronutrients your yeast prefer. Just my preference.

Municipal will almost always have chemicals added that impact yeast and distilled or boiled water tastes flat.
 
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