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Old 12-01-2010, 12:09 AM   #1
Veinman
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Default Apple Champagne

I made a batch of Apfelwein a little while ago. The recipe was the standard Apfelwein recipe of Ed's with Apple Juice, Sugar and Champagne Yeast to an OG of 1068. I let it ferment down to 1017 and bottled and then I used Papper's pasteurization technique to stop fermentation when it read 1014.

It's been in the bottles 2 weeks now and seems very carbed. When I drink it it reminds me of a "light apple champagne" it is fruity and sweet with a bit of a "wine" kick, the carbonation I estimate to be around 3.0 volumes and it pours a lot like champagne with lots of bubbles especially into a flute or tall thin glass, I imagine it will only get better.

Anyways the point of this thread is that I was thinking of doing a full strength (12-15%) "Apple Champagne" starting it soon, giving it a year to age and having it ready in time for next Christmas and New Years. Search wasn't a great help as I got lots of Apfelwein with champagne yeast threads. From what I understand one problem is that Apple Juice doesn't have nearly as much sugar as grape juice, the stuff I use has an OG of 1052 whereas grapes are 1075+ I think. I figure I will either end up adding a bunch of sugar or could add some frozen apple juice concentrate to keep the apple flavor while upping the OG. So here's a starting recipe:

5 gallons of pasteurized Apple Juice not from concentrate
6-8 cans of Apple Juice concentrate
Enough corn sugar to bump it to 1.100 (Figure FG of around 1.00-.995)
Pectin Enzyme
Yeast Nutrient
Champagne Yeast

Let it ferment for 6 weeks then rack to secondary to bulk age for a long time. When bottling add enough juice and sugar to backsweeten to 1015 then pasteurize when a test bottle reads 1011. Give 6 more months of aging and drink. I want to bottle it in standard clear beer bottles and give away as gifts next christmas. So wine makers how does this look?



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Old 12-01-2010, 02:48 AM   #2
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You can always back sweeten it with some plain maple syrup. Looks good otherwise.



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Old 12-03-2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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You're okay with the yeast in the bottle, right? With real champagne they work the yeast down to the cork, freeze it, pop the cork (and frozen yeast out), then top off with still wine and re-seal it. Takes a year or so, IIRC.

So, if you don't want yeast you'll have to riddle it and freeze it, or carb it from a keg.

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Old 12-03-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Justibone View Post
You're okay with the yeast in the bottle, right? With real champagne they work the yeast down to the cork, freeze it, pop the cork (and frozen yeast out), then top off with still wine and re-seal it. Takes a year or so, IIRC.

So, if you don't want yeast you'll have to riddle it and freeze it, or carb it from a keg.
Yeah I'm OK with yeast going to carb it in bottles and pour just like a bottle conditioned beer. I read up on the champagne process and it seems like too much work just to make pouring easier and clearer.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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After several months this is looking very clear and ready to bottle. I pulled a sample and added some priming sugar to it and then put it in a plastic bottle and capped it to see if their was enough yeast left in suspension to carb it. After a month the bottle is still flat so I figure I have to add more yeast. What would be the best way to do this? I was thinking of re-hydrating a pack of champagne yeast and adding it with the sugar and juice at bottling time, is this a good method or is their a better one?

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Old 05-04-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veinman View Post
After several months this is looking very clear and ready to bottle. I pulled a sample and added some priming sugar to it and then put it in a plastic bottle and capped it to see if their was enough yeast left in suspension to carb it. After a month the bottle is still flat so I figure I have to add more yeast. What would be the best way to do this? I was thinking of re-hydrating a pack of champagne yeast and adding it with the sugar and juice at bottling time, is this a good method or is their a better one?
I am no expert by any stretch but is it possible that you are at the alcohol limit of the yeast? if so will pitching more even work?
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:02 AM   #7
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What yeast did you use? If you are using a dry yeast add a few 'pellets' to the bottle and see.

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Old 05-05-2011, 05:20 AM   #8
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I used EV-1118 Champagne Yeast. The Wine is at 13.1% ABV so the yeast is not at its limit. I let it ferment to 1.000 and sit for another month and then it was racked 2 extra times and I suspect I left most of the yeast behind when racking.
My only concern with re-pitching is I need to make sure the yeast is acclimitized so that it will ferment the priming sugar without dying in the high alcohol environment. I think I'm going to rehydrate some more champagne yeast and mix it in well with the sugar and juice I'm using to backsweeten and hope for the best if it doesn't carbonate at least I'll still have some delicious still wine.

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Old 05-05-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
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I think your plan should work, Veinman.

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Old 06-23-2013, 09:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veinman View Post
I used EV-1118 Champagne Yeast. The Wine is at 13.1% ABV so the yeast is not at its limit. I let it ferment to 1.000 and sit for another month and then it was racked 2 extra times and I suspect I left most of the yeast behind when racking.
My only concern with re-pitching is I need to make sure the yeast is acclimitized so that it will ferment the priming sugar without dying in the high alcohol environment. I think I'm going to rehydrate some more champagne yeast and mix it in well with the sugar and juice I'm using to backsweeten and hope for the best if it doesn't carbonate at least I'll still have some delicious still wine.
I know this is an old thread but I'm really keen to know how this turned out as I am wanting to do the same. Did re pitching the yeast work??


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