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Old 01-31-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default Boiling down apple juice

Hi,

So I was going to make an apple wine that's a bit stronger, using apple juice concentrate to boost the gravity of the apple juice. But, apparently frozen apple juice concentrate is a thing of my childhood that no longer exists. The megamart has only one brand of it (which is loaded with preservatives) and Whole Foods doesn't have any frozen juices at all. There is plenty of "cran-apple" and nonsense like that (reminds me of this Brian Regan bit:

) but no plain juice.

So, my plan now is to boil down some apple juice to concentrate it to the proper OG (shooting for 1.090-ish). My question is, has anybody done this, and if so does boiling change the flavor or fermentability of the apple juice in any significant way?

I've been putting this off, hoping to find a secret cache of AJ concentrate, but my WL champagne yeast is going to expire in a couple of weeks so I have to get moving on it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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When you say the megamart brand is loaded with preservatives, which ones are you concerned about? Very common to see sulfite, sorbate and ascorbic acid in a concentrate or shelf stable product. And your ferment will take off just fine. Benzoate is the one to avoid.

As far as heat concentrating for purpose of fermenting I would not do it...too much of a cooked flavor. You would be better off freeze concentrating. Or better yet, use juice/cider, bump up the SG and backsweeten with a low, slow heat concentrated syrup or a freeze concentrated one.

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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I dont want any additives except ascorbic in the juice I use for my Apfelwine. Also I do indeed boil off one gallon with no issues.

My recipe is very easy...

6 gallons of all natural apple juice
Boil it until its 5 gallons
Pitch Montrachet yeast
Ferment 2 months
Add 10 raisins to bottles and fill

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Old 01-31-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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You could make your 6 gallons as planned then jack after your 2 month fermentation. You will get to the same point without the additional cooking.

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Old 01-31-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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Why the raisins?

If I want to start at 1.090 (to reach 13-15%) then I would probably have to reduce my apple juice down by nearly half as opposed to your 1/6.

I hadn't thought of freeze concentrating, but it seems like a lot of hassle. It would be interesting to try both methods and compare the results!

By preservatives I am talking about sulfites which I would rather not have. Ascorbic acid would have been fine. A lot of them even have added malic acid (I guess to make them more "apple-y") which would probably be a flavor disaster when it's used at a higher concentration than intended.

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Old 01-31-2013, 11:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocotaco View Post
Why the raisins?

If I want to start at 1.090 (to reach 13-15%) then I would probably have to reduce my apple juice down by nearly half as opposed to your 1/6.

I hadn't thought of freeze concentrating, but it seems like a lot of hassle. It would be interesting to try both methods and compare the results!

By preservatives I am talking about sulfites which I would rather not have. Ascorbic acid would have been fine. A lot of them even have added malic acid (I guess to make them more "apple-y") which would probably be a flavor disaster when it's used at a higher concentration than intended.
You can certainly skip added sulfites if you want. But remember that sulfites are produced in any fermentation, so even if you start with a no-sulfite added apple juice, you will have sulfites in your wine even if you don't add any. (There is no such thing as a sulfite-free wine, ever).

I would rather avoid the "cooked apple" flavor in my wine as well, so I'd just use the juice and then some table sugar to boost alcohol. Also, cooking can set the pectins (think apple jelly) so the wine may never clear and always have a pectin haze, in addition to the cooked flavor.

The difference between apple wine with uncooked apple juice and cooked is like the difference between a raw fresh apple and the apples in an apple pie. Some mind not mind that cooked flavor, but I dislike it.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocotaco View Post
Why the raisins?

If I want to start at 1.090 (to reach 13-15%) then I would probably have to reduce my apple juice down by nearly half as opposed to your 1/6.

I hadn't thought of freeze concentrating, but it seems like a lot of hassle. It would be interesting to try both methods and compare the results!

By preservatives I am talking about sulfites which I would rather not have. Ascorbic acid would have been fine. A lot of them even have added malic acid (I guess to make them more "apple-y") which would probably be a flavor disaster when it's used at a higher concentration than intended.
I add the raisins for slight carbonation, a little taste and treat at the end of the drink. I have no problem with settlement after I cold crash for a week then bottle.

Sounds like you will have to add sugar to reach your desired ABV.

I have to clarify something..I dont boild all 6 gallons. I boil 2 gallons down to one then add to unboiled juice. Theres no pectin haze at all, crystal clear.

I served it last month room temp with a cinnamon stick and a granny smith apple at a party....was very well received.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #8
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I added 4 lbs of cane sugar, 1/2 lb malto dextrin, 12 Fl oz of molasses, 3 cinn sticks, and 4 sticks of med toasted oak staves.

Og was 1.06 but I don't think the molasses and all the cane sugar have dissolved yet. I have head space for at least 4 more lbs of cane sugar. I am looking for high gravity as this is going in the whiskey barrel when the stout is bottled.

The Montrachet is lovely with a light krausen.

"It's as American as Apple Pie"

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Old 10-13-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocotaco View Post
Hi,

So I was going to make an apple wine that's a bit stronger, using apple juice concentrate to boost the gravity of the apple juice. But, apparently frozen apple juice concentrate is a thing of my childhood that no longer exists. The megamart has only one brand of it (which is loaded with preservatives) and Whole Foods doesn't have any frozen juices at all. There is plenty of "cran-apple" and nonsense like that (reminds me of this Brian Regan bit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAajpt9SyNM ) but no plain juice.

So, my plan now is to boil down some apple juice to concentrate it to the proper OG (shooting for 1.090-ish). My question is, has anybody done this, and if so does boiling change the flavor or fermentability of the apple juice in any significant way?

I've been putting this off, hoping to find a secret cache of AJ concentrate, but my WL champagne yeast is going to expire in a couple of weeks so I have to get moving on it.
Choco,

I did something similar yesterday. Did you ever get around to trying this? I had 6.5 gallons of organic apple juice from various brands, Fragile Planet, Wallula, Natural Direction and a couple others for variety. IMO organic juice is fuller and more aromatic, the stuff found in Costco seems like its harvested too early.

Anyway, I boiled down 3.5 gal to a thick syrup, mixed with the remaining juice (was in the fridge) and pitched a washed yeast slurry of Mangrove Jack's M02 cider yeast, hit it with O2 twice. OG was 1091 for about 3.4 gallons. Also used 2 tbsp pectin enzyme, 1/2 tsp nutrient, 1/2 tsp DAP. Its sitting at about 66*f right now.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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Nope, never did it but I'm interested to see how yours turns out! Please report back.

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