Cider Recipe – Panda Beer

07 Sep

Panda beer in bottles

Time for a darker, richer cider! The Panda Beer has a more well-rounded flavor than the Shane Classic, owing mostly to the use of brown sugar and honey as sweeteners instead of white sugar. This basic recipe has repeatedly been the favorite at every cider tasting I’ve run, despite the fact that it has little relation to beer and even less to do with pandas. Try it out for yourself.

(If you’ve never brewed before, you may want to start with the equipment review, the review of possible ingredients, or the basic brewing procedures described here.)


  • 5 gallons Kirkland apple juice
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups honey
  • 2 Camden tablets (150 ppm)
  • 1 packet wine yeast (I like Lalvin D-47)
  • 2 Tbs. malic acid
  • 1 tsp. wine tannins
  • Dissolved in two cups of warm water and added right before bottling:
    • 2/3 cup priming sugar
    • ½ cup lactose
    • ½ cup maltodextrin
  • Honey is reluctant to dissolve in cold water, so I suggest heating up a couple of quarts of cider on the stove and stirring in the honey until it is a smooth mixture. Otherwise, follow standard brewing procedures.

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  1. popscube

    09/25/2010 at 5:01 pm

    Do you always mix two cups of water with your corn sugar before bottling, or can you just mix it right it?

  2. Drew

    09/26/2010 at 11:07 am

    Good question; it depends on what other sugars you’re adding. Priming sugar alone will dissolve pretty easily if you mix it straight into the cider. However, this recipe calls for lactose and maltodextrin, too, which do not dissolve well in cold liquids. If you’re adding anything besides straight corn sugar, I recommend dissolving them first as noted above.