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Old 06-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
bpm2000
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Default Graff: substitute ingredients?

So I was going to try my hand at some graff, now having done a number of regular cider batches. I noticed it has some ingredients that need to be substituted, namely the malts.

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Clean fermenting yeast I have used Nottinham and Safale-05, both are good
.5 lbs of Crystal 60L If you use cheap store brand juice, I reccomend 120L. Cheap juice tends to turn out a tad tart and this will balance it.
1 oz of torrified wheat ( head retention, I've never used more than 2oz)
4 Gallons of apple juice.
1 gallon of water
2 lbs of DME ( I use 1 lb. amber and 1 lb. light DME)
0.5 oz of you favorite hops ( right around 6% AA, I have used 18.5% AA summit hops before and it took a month after kegging for strong bitterness to blend nicely)
I'm guessing the DME can be replaced by Briess sorghum syrup, and I can always just scrap the torrified wheat as the head isn't too important. It would be nice if there was a suitable substitute though. I am unsure how I am going to sub the Crystal malt though - what can I use?

edit: from further reading, it seems the crystal malt is for body, color, and flavor/sweetness. Can I sub something like maltodextrin or a dark sugar (candi, muscovado) as a sub perhaps? I am not too concerned about nailing the original graff flavor, as I have never had it, and the sorghum is already going to change the profile quite a bit I imagine. I just want a decent substitute/approximation with the benefits of the graff over cider.
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Last edited by bpm2000; 06-27-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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I think the idea was that the yeast doesn't ferment the graff quite as dry as the cider, because of the complex sugars in the malt ingredients that the yeast cannot digest, the sucrose prob wont work but the maltodextrin might.

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Old 06-28-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Clean fermenting yeast I have used Nottinham and Safale-05, both are good
.5 lbs of Crystal 60L If you use cheap store brand juice, I reccomend 120L. Cheap juice tends to turn out a tad tart and this will balance it.
1 oz of torrified wheat ( head retention, I've never used more than 2oz)
4 Gallons of apple juice.
1 gallon of water
2 lbs of DME ( I use 1 lb. amber and 1 lb. light DME)
0.5 oz of you favorite hops ( right around 6% AA, I have used 18.5% AA summit hops before and it took a month after kegging for strong bitterness to blend nicely
Personally, if I were making graff (which someday I might, but right now, I'm thinking I might just pour 1 bottle of apfelwein and 1 bottle of beer into a big glass, drink, repeat), I'd say use the 2 lbs of Sorghum Extract, which is probably going to give you a pretty close color approximation to 1 lb amber 1 lb light, then I'd use maybe a half pound of candi sugar (as dark as I'm willing to make on my stove, and I'd probably wait until after fermentation to decide on how much maltodextrin to use, but probably only a couple ounces, if any.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:26 AM   #4
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I did something similar. I was really lazy though and just replaced all of the malt extract with 3.3 pounds of sorghum. It's what they had at my LHBS. I also put a little more hops in it because....meh, just because. It's still fermenting but It should be coming out soon. I think I am bottling next week.

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorklord View Post
Personally, if I were making graff (which someday I might, but right now, I'm thinking I might just pour 1 bottle of apfelwein and 1 bottle of beer into a big glass, drink, repeat), I'd say use the 2 lbs of Sorghum Extract, which is probably going to give you a pretty close color approximation to 1 lb amber 1 lb light, then I'd use maybe a half pound of candi sugar (as dark as I'm willing to make on my stove, and I'd probably wait until after fermentation to decide on how much maltodextrin to use, but probably only a couple ounces, if any.
If I were doing this, I would use 1lb Sorghum, 2lb Amber Candi Sugar and be done with it.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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I have a batch fermenting now....Well it hit FG last week (1.010)....So now i'm just kinda letting it chill before I keg it....It was in primary for almost 3 weeks, then I put it in secondary because I needed the 6.5 gal carboy so My wife could transfer her wine to secondary.

I will probably keg it this weekend and see how it goes....

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Old 06-29-2011, 12:29 AM   #7
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I'm glad bpm started this thread. I have actually been pondering this idea for a few weeks now.

Replacing sorghum for the malt extract I'm sure is where any gluten-free brewer would start, and I like the idea that DKernsher suggested of using amber candi syrup for color and sweetness. I was thinking about trying to roast some gluten free oats to replace the crystal to add some color but I don't know how much, if anything good, this would do for flavor. I know there are some other threads where guys are roasting millet or quinoa for color, but I have yet to experiment with any of this myself.

As for the torrified wheat, I'm not even entirely certain what that does, but I've read from some sources that it's almost like puffed wheat. I wonder what running some millet or quinoa through an air popcorn popper would do to the color or flavor addition to the beer or graff? I think most air poppers can only handle about a half cup of corn kernels, so that idea might not be practical for the quantity of millet or quinoa that would be necessary for a 5 gallon batch.

Aw, heck... I'm just a novice brewer anyway. Maybe someone with more experience than I have can weigh in on whether or not this would be worth trying?

I really want to try to make a gluten-free graff eventually, maybe even try to make 4 or 5 small (1gal) batches with slight variations, but I probably won't be able to devote the time to this for another month or two. Oh, and I could probably make a 1-gal batch of regular graff by Brandon O's recipe at the same time to compare.

Good luck with whatever you try, and I'll try to remember to post any results I find when I get around to trying this...

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Old 07-12-2011, 03:55 PM   #8
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Well Its a pretty quick cider, and I've made it twice and tinkered with he recipe. I would just start out with what you know you can subsitute, and make a batch and see how you like it, then you can tinker if you like it enough for a second batch.
The torrified wheat is purely for head retention, and wont really do too much if left out. The biggest idea behind the recipe is that most ciders above 5% or 6% develop many off flavors and smells because theres not enough complex sugars in the apple juice for the yeast to be content. Most ciders otherwise have to be aged for 5 months or so, or have something else int here to balance or overpower the off flavors, but then you can easily overpower the apple. If you Think the sorghum will keep it happy then within 4 or five weeks after pitching you can have a great cider, then just see if you want to add to it from there.
If you can rent the book The Homebrewers garden from a library, or buy it it has an amazing amount of knowledge for malting your own grains, everything from malt to sorghum to amaranth, and a huge list of traditional and non traditional herbs.

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Old 07-12-2011, 10:57 PM   #9
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Would love to hear how the recent batches turned out when you crack em cruckin and sly.

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Originally Posted by dorklord View Post
Personally, if I were making graff (which someday I might, but right now, I'm thinking I might just pour 1 bottle of apfelwein and 1 bottle of beer into a big glass, drink, repeat), I'd say use the 2 lbs of Sorghum Extract, which is probably going to give you a pretty close color approximation to 1 lb amber 1 lb light, then I'd use maybe a half pound of candi sugar (as dark as I'm willing to make on my stove, and I'd probably wait until after fermentation to decide on how much maltodextrin to use, but probably only a couple ounces, if any.
I think this is the way I will approach it the first time around, thanks.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:04 PM   #10
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I just popped one of mine open. I think it's pretty good, I made a batch of cider with the same apple juice I compared them. This has quite a bit more body. It's cloudy and a bit, sour? Not really sure. I think it's the sorghum that I'm tasting. It's still good. I used 2 oz of fuggle. 1 at 60, .5 at 30, and .5 at 5. S-04 and 3.3 lb of sorghum extract. I'd make it again but I'd use much better apple juice.

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