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Old 12-11-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
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Default Attempting an "Apple Ale" - suggestions?

Hey all,

Haven't been on here much on account of a baby due in 4 weeks... *eep!*

But I'm trying to plan ahead (as I have been all year) for the annual Mopar Car Show in July. For the past two years I've presented a homebrewed beer, complete with labels and "story," to our club members. I can't dissapoint in 2013!

I wanted to make a cider, but I should have started it 6 months ago to have it nice and "mature" in time... So I thought about experimenting with an apple ale - kinda like a "Strawberry Blonde" but - of course - with apple!

Here's what I came up with. I'm going for something light, drinkable, and refreshing, considering that last year it was 114 degrees during lunch time at the fairgrounds!

5 gallon batch:
7 lb Pale Malt 2-Row US
1 lb Crystal 20
1 lb flaked Wheat (for head retention)
1 can concentrated apple juice
1 oz Citra (leaf) boiled for 15 minutes

Yeast: White Labs San Francisco Lager (I LOVE this yeast) - ferment 3 weeks at 64 degrees

Bottle with corn sugar OR DME with apple extract "to taste" (this will require some experimentation).

Also considering making a test batch with a cinnamon stick or two dropped into the primary for the last week.

This is a "Fruit Beer", so Beersmith goes blank on the target ranges. Therefore I used a "blonde ale" to setup my basic profile, then switched it to a Fruit Beer.

It'll definitely be "different" which is what I'm going for. Even my initial reaction is "yuck" to an apple beer, but I'm trying to really bring out the right flavors to make it work - caramel is right at home with apples, the lager yeast will give it that crisp apple-juice feel, and Citra (at least according to Beersmith) will impart a citrus and tropical fruit flavoring and aroma.

I MIGHT just be able to pull it off. Thoughts?



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Old 12-11-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Hmm, well poo! I guess I'll give it a shot as-is! Heading to LHBS in 20 minutes. Wish me luck!



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Old 12-11-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Sorry I didn't see this sooner. I have an Apple Wheat recipe posted here (just click on my drop down) that has always been a hit for me.

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link!!! I want to go more of a lager'ish with this beer than a wheat, but I really like what you did there. The San Francisco Lager yeast is absolutely hands-down my favorite yeast that I've used to date, and I'm really anxious to try a fruit lager verses the usual fruit wheat. (And since it'll work in my 65-degree basement, it's much easier for me to work with.)

I think I'll follow your lead with the fresh apples instead of concentrate and extract. Price would be the same if not cheaper, and flavor will obviously be more natural.

I'll let you know how mine turns out!

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Old 12-12-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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My friend and I made a very similar recipe a few months ago. I don't have the %'s on hand, but it was 2-row, a light crystal, carapils, and honey malt. We bittered with brewers gold, and finished with Willamette. We did 4 gallons into the fermenter and added a gallon of apple juice. It turned out very crisp and clean, and the apple shows through just enough to know it's there.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:17 PM   #6
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I made an Apple Pie Amber Ale once. It was a few years ago and I took lousy notes on that particular beer. But I do remember that...
- I used two cans of Apple Juice concentrate, thawed completely to room temp., and added into the primary after most of the fermentation had finished (but while it still had plenty of yeast to work with).
- I did use Mulling Spices in the boil, I think it was at :10 or :05 minutes remaining.
- I went for a very light-caramel-toffee flavored malt profile, I probably used a lot of Caramel 40 and Honey Malt, knowing the recipes I made at that time.
- I seem to remember using US-05.

My version was not as apple-forward as I would have hoped. I remember it being a little watery, and not as apple-y as I had hoped.

The other night, I had a bottle of New Glarus Apple Ale, and all that I can tell you is, THAT IS SERIOUSLY GOOD BEER, MAN. If you can come close to that beer, you will be in a very happy place.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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If you use US-04 at high temps you should get a lot of apple/cider flavor.

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Old 05-23-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanThomas View Post
If you use US-04 at high temps you should get a lot of apple/cider flavor.
Can anyone chime in here and tell me what these temps might be? I'm brewing this tonight and have US-04 ready to go...
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Anything over 65 F and you'll start to get nice strong fruit flavors. I wouldn't go to far past 70, it can get a little rough past that.

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Old 05-23-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
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Oh, gotcha... I hear "high temps" and I'm thinking 75-80... 65 I can do.

Thanks!



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