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Old 11-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Default another take on EdWort's Apfelwein

After reading another thread from someone in the UK making a batch of party wine using canned fruit cocktail, I decided to combine the idea with that most amazing EdWort Apfelwein. The thought was to add a bit more fruit flavor to an already proven recipe.

Here are the ingredients:

Four gallons of apple juice; I found this fresh-pressed (not from concentrate) version at CostCo; $7.35 for two gallons, no preservatives.

One large can - 6 pounds 10 ounces - of fruit cocktail, also from CostCo.

Three pounds of honey.

One package of Pasteur Red active dry yeast (it is what I had on hand).

Place the fruit cocktail in a blender just enough to break it down. This then goes on the stove at 170 degrees for 20 minutes. The large can was thus turned into three quarts of fruit slurry. At the same time, I put three cups of water with the three pounds of honey and also pasteurized.

While waiting for the heated stuff, sanitized the carboy. Yea, I like to document in pictures!

All of this gets funneled into the carboy; I added the yeast halfway to ensure it gets mixed in thoroughly.

Result is just shy of the five gallon mark. Cap, airlock, and wait. I am fermenting at room temperature which is 65-68 degrees.

OG was 1.070; if it finishes like the last batch I did, .996, then close to 10% ABV. I understand that during the first few days of fermentation I need to shake the carboy to stir up the pulp which will no doubt settle to the bottom. My plan is to cold crash after a couple of months and then carbonate half and bottle the other half. Fingers Crossed!

Here are some pictures of the process.

apfelwineplusnov2010.jpg   apfelwineplusnov2010_2.jpg   apfelwineplusnov2010_3.jpg   apfelwineplusnov2010_4.jpg   apfelwineplusnov2010_5.jpg  

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:00 PM   #2
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I like the fruit cocktail idea but the brand I seen before was jacked up with preservatives. I would rack off fruit in ~7 days. It seems like what most recipes I ran across call for.


I just looked at other brands and no two are created alike. I should shop around more.

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Old 11-17-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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I like the fruit cocktail idea but the brand I seen before was jacked up with preservatives. I would rack off fruit in ~7 days. It seems like what most recipes I ran across call for.


I just looked at other brands and no two are created alike. I should shop around more.
This one, S&W, shows no preservatives in the label anyway; only the fruit and corn syrup. That said, to be on the safe side, I will rack to a secondary in a week.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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I don't know that this is really apfelwein... it's a cyser-melomel, I'd think.

Mead ferments more slowly than you'd expect, if you've done much wine. Even when it's mixed with other fermentables, something about the honey just slows the whole thing down, in my (limited) experience.

No pectic enzyme? I guess with the blender you got the juice out of the fruit, but clarity is going to be an issue. Also, is that bread yeast?? *shakes head* If you don't use wine yeast, it takes a lot longer to get wine due to flocculation issues. Not a problem if you are going to cold crash, I guess.


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Old 11-17-2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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I was thinking since the fruit was already so soft and small, you could have just dumped it in and been ok.

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Old 11-17-2010, 09:11 PM   #6
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I don't know that this is really apfelwein... it's a cyser-melomel, I'd think.

Mead ferments more slowly than you'd expect, if you've done much wine. Even when it's mixed with other fermentables, something about the honey just slows the whole thing down, in my (limited) experience.

No pectic enzyme? I guess with the blender you got the juice out of the fruit, but clarity is going to be an issue. Also, is that bread yeast?? *shakes head* If you don't use wine yeast, it takes a lot longer to get wine due to flocculation issues. Not a problem if you are going to cold crash, I guess.
Thank you for bringing up some very valid points. Let me walk through them with comment on what I had in mind.

First, the yeast. It is a red wine yeast: "Red Star® Pasteur RedTM (Davis 904), a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been derived from the collection of the Institute Pasteur in Paris. It is a strong, even fermenter that produces full bodied reds. This yeast encourages the development of varietal fruit flavors, balanced by complex aromas."

I had it on hand, and with the additional fruit giving more body, thought it would be a good choice.

The style comment is an interesting one. Where some may use sugar, corn sugar, or brown sugar in addition to the apple juice for fermentables, I decided on honey for purely subjective reasons. I have augmented other homebrews with a small portion of honey, and used it as priming sugar. I guess I am not sure why I decided on it except that I like using it.

Based on the sugar content of the apple juice, fermentables came in thus:

Apple Juice - 36%
Honey - 27%
Fruit - 27%
Corn Syrup from fruit cocktail - 9%

This is somewhat of a rough estimate using beercalculus.com and assuming one pound of corn syrup from the fruit cocktail.

Where does this put this, style-wise? I believe with beer, if no more than 25% fermentables are from non-malt sources, it is still considered beer.

I used the blender (and pasteurization for getting rid of possible bugs) method to extract as much of the fruit flavors as possible vs. whole fruit. It is interesting, to watch it ferment now, as the bits of fruit are churning away with the yeast.

I did a mead that was mostly honey, and yes, it needed to be stowed away for six months before it was ready. I am hoping to have a similar experience with this mixture as I did with EdWort's original; that is, an acceptable wine in 6-8 weeks, with the additional layers of flavor the other fruit bring to the equation.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:29 AM   #7
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TheWeeb - what sanitizer are you using? You leave the sany suds in there and just fill it up? It looks like it - not sure though.

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Old 11-18-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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Good, wine yeast is way better than bread yeast. Every brewer should use bread yeast once, just to realize how grateful they should be for good yeast!

I'd say with your above ratios it's a melomel. The vast majority of the fermentables come from fruit and apple (36+27=63%) plus honey (63+27=90%). If you add up the apple and honey only (27+36=63%) you don't quite hit 75%, so by your criteria it's not really a ceyser.

If you want more fruit flavor it is really almost better to add it in at the end, after stabilization. If you drank your Edwort's apfelwein dry then you know there wasn't much apple flavor in there, because as Yoop always says, "When the sugar's gone the fruit flavor changes."

Still, this sounds like it's going to be danged good! Me and my SWMBO would be glad to dispose of some of your brew were we in proximate quarters to it's dispensation.

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Old 11-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
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....as Yoop always says, "When the sugar's gone the fruit flavor changes."....
And I say "Never let it run dry".
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #10
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TheWeeb - what sanitizer are you using? You leave the sany suds in there and just fill it up? It looks like it - not sure though.
Haha, StarSan, and believe me, I had the same misgivings about leaving the foam in the fermentation vessel; then found this thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/stup...r-foam-127044/

Don't fear the foam!
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