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Old 01-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #1
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Default Apple Ale?

I have some leftover pure apple juice (unpasteurized, lightly filtered) and I want to try making an ale out of some of it. Not hard cider with a bit of malt, but actually an apple beer, with hops and ale yeast and all.

beercalculus.com doesn't have an entry for apple juice so I'm not quite sure how much malt/AJ i will need to give me a beer in the 5-6% range. I haven't hydrometer'd the AJ yet.

I'm also undecided on what type of style would be most appropriate for an apple beer. I'm thinking something brown but I'm still debating. What type of hops would work? I'm thinking something not too strong or acidic.

The recipe database seems to be devoid of such ales. I'm probably going to try to cook up 4-5lbs of LME, add 2-3 gallons of AJ and top off with either water or more AJ depending on what my hydrometer tells me.

Any experiences or advice people could share?

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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Lambics have been made in apple variations for years. One of the best known is Unibroue's Ephemere, which isn't really a lambic, but follows from the same concept/traditions. Two Brothers brewery made an apple beer for their holiday offering this year, it was called Avalon and quite good. I think the challenge will be retaining the apple flavor, since most of your juice is likely to be fermentable. I'd go with something closer to an amber ale, personally - the slight roasty/chocolatey notes of a brown ale would clash with the sweeter apple flavor/aroma.

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sonetlumiere85 View Post
I think the challenge will be retaining the apple flavor, since most of your juice is likely to be fermentable.
I think you're right. Which yeast would you recommend to possibly mitigate that as much as possible?

I've been told in the cider forum that S04 might be a good choice to help retain as much fruity taste as possible.
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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Just thought I'd report back with my findings, as I went ahead and made what I call Apple Pale Ale.

I used a basic PA recipe as a base - I aimed for a 3 gallon batch. I simply topped up the 2 gallon difference with pure apple juice. Well not quite pure, it had some honey mixed in leftover from a previous experiment.

Primary'd for 4 weeks using Safale S-04 (OG=1.052 FG=1.010). Then straight to bottle.

On bottling day I tried a sip - Not too impressed, very tart and thin. I was worried that the 2/5 proportion of AJ was too much.

Now 2 weeks later I'm pleasantly surprised. It's definitely an ale, with a slight but obvious odor/flavor of apple coming from it. The AJ gives it a slight tartyness which I don't usually like but it works quite well. You get a nice apple'ish aftertaste as well.

It kind of reminds me of the black velvets we used to buy in bars.

I would definitely make this again. I was very impressed by the flavor and so were my friends!

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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i've been wanting to take the 3rd running from one of my all grain batches and add frozen apple juice concentrate. maybe boil the running first then add the frozen concentrate. Did you add hops?

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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Yes I did. I wanted to make a real beer which just happened to have some AJ as some fermentables.

According to my notes.. I used 1oz Halltertau for some reason, and 0.3oz Chinook for bittering which I had leftover from a previous experiment.

Not true to any PA style I've ever heard of but that was a given from the start

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Old 02-19-2009, 08:04 PM   #7
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I've had a tripel before that almost had an appley taste to it. I really like it. Would love to try something along those lines again.

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Old 02-19-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
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New Glarus makes an apple ale occasionally as their Unplugged beer. I emailed Dan Carey to see if he can help us.

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