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Old 08-17-2012, 04:59 AM   #1
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Default Cider Amber Ale (no water, only cider)

Ok so doing some searches here I found very few things on replacing the water with cider or juices. I've heard people saying they wouldn't mash or boil it so on. But I haven't really found anyone that has actually tried it. Maybe I missed something, If I did please let me know. But I had decided to try and make a beer with only apple cider a few years back. It was extract then and it came out delicious! Now I've moved on to all-grain and was wondering if I could do the same thing. I did a small test to see if you can mash with cider or not. The test was a BIAB set up, this is what I got.

*Apple Cider 1.045 @60F
*1 pound of 2-row infused at 154F with 1/2 gallon of Apple Cider
*added second 1/2 gallon of Apple Cider to bring temp back up
*mashed for 1 hour
*no sparge, no boil
*pre-boil OG 1.076 @60F

So I can only figure that you can mash with apple cider and still get a semi ok efficiency. Any thoughts on the subject? Might be doing a full 5 gallon brew this weekend so anything would be of help. Thanks again guys.

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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How did this turn out?

I ask because I made a 1 gal batch of cider last night, used cider instead of water to mash some specialty grains (crystal and wheat). I was hoping to increase the body and add a hint of caramel. Will also be adding some caramel sugar later on in fermentation.

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Old 11-14-2012, 09:16 PM   #3
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My thought if I were going to do it would be to mash like beer and add concentrate to it post boil. I dont know how well mashing in apple cider would work

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:30 PM   #4
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I can't imagine it could be too much different than water...it would be like using a decoction addition

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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Well i never got to brew it. Stupid bills and everything. It's still kicking around my to do list and i got a friend who's willing to back it. Maybe i'll give him a call.

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Old 11-15-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Apple cider is mostly.....wait for it......WATER. You aren't really REPLACING water with cider, you are basically just doing a fruit and sugar addition in the mash instead of in secondary. The end result is practically the same. However, if you aren't hopping this, I'm not sure you can call it a cider-infused beer. It's more like a malt-infused cider.

You probably should still get the wort up to 161F+ for about 10 minutes following the mash to sanatize it since you are adding unsanatized grain.

Very interested to see how this turns out. Keep us posted!!

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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My only real concern with something like this would be boiling the cider/wort. This will set the natural pectins in the cider and you could end up with a permanently hazy beverage. Not sure that it will affect the flavor, so it might not be that big a deal, but still something to consider.

FWIW I brewed up something similar a couple weeks ago. Basically I made a small batch of wort and combined it with a couple gallons of local cider in the fermenter. I'm excited about it, but it is still fermenting so only time will tell if it is any good or not. Recipe/process in on my beer blog (linked below in my sig) if anyone is interested.

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #8
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Well like I said earlier I have already done this beer as an extract. Boiled amd added hops so it is a beer type. From what i remember there wasn.t really a haze problem. Added enough pectin enzyme during fermentation and let it settle out long enough. Also my real question beginning with this was how much sugar could water hold and if a sugar infused water, aka cider could extract more sugar. My small experiment seemed to work to a degree.

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:30 PM   #9
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The pH of cider is far below optimal ranges for a normal mash. That seems to me to be the main concern going into this, but I do believe this is something I'll try relatively soon.

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