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Old 01-03-2012, 08:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SteveHoward View Post
I find it humorous when people get so wound up over the definition of the word "Cider." The term is different in different contexts, and it isn't just the US that has changed it.
Ok going to approach this from a slightly different angle. After the time I have spent learking on the cider forum I should have known better than to try and define a cider... talk about whacking a hornets nest

If I gave you a description "fruit crushed to extract the juice and fermented with the natural yeast found on the skin of the fruit" What comes to mind?? If you thought making wine from fresh grapes you would be correct, if you thought making hard apple cider you would also be correct. For all intents and purposes you have made the exact same thing only with two different fruits. Other than the obvious flavor differences between a grape and an apple there are two other main difference between these two creations. The first is ABV as the grapes have a much higher sugar content and can ferment out more alcohol, and the second is residual non fermentable sweetness that can (if using certain techniques and apples) be created in a cider. The result is two things that are perceived as totally different and thus the reason cider has its own following and forum section.

All definitions aside, perception is the real key in this case. The only reason I brought up "cider" is because it is something perceived as different than wine, and I think the same could be said for a "wine cooler" If some one said to you "would you like some raspberry wine?" there is an image that comes to mind, dry, still, tart, smooth, and with a higher alcohol content than beer, or cider. Now with this picture in your mind of expecting a wine, and a wine cooler was set in front of you would it fit the bill??? probably not because the perception is different. On the flip side if some one said to you "would you like some raspberry cider?" there is again an image that comes to mind, sweet, carbonated, tart, smooth, a lower alcohol content than that of wine AND a dominant apple flavor with a hint of raspberry. Now with this picture in your mind of expecting a cider, and a raspberry only wine cooler was set in front of you would it fit the bill??? again probably not because the general perception of cider is apples.

I think a "wine cooler" is far closer to a cider than a wine, but the perception of apples in cider makes it not fit that category either.

now bak to my original question, have any of you made anything like this?? if so how did you do it and how did it turn out??? Thanks KevinM for your thoughts on wine cooler making.

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Yeah. When I said weaker, its referring to the lower abv. Nothing weaker in flavor since a lot of the flavor is coming from the juice flavorings.
Actually there's two method's that I've had so far in creating "wine coolers" without adding soda. In fact, I hate adding soda because it's the wrong sort of sweetness to me.
The first one was really a kit, but in essence it's to create a wine, fermented to dryness, then sweetened with a juice concentrate. It's in a keg, uncarbonated at the moment, but I have put some in 2 liter bottles to carbonate before. If you wanted to carbonate this without a co2 method, it'd be ferment to dryness/carbonate during this process or to carbonate after fermentation with added sugar. If you were using the juice to sweeten *AND* carbonate, you'd have to pasteurize.

The second method is the recipe method using wine. I add either juice and carbonated water, or better yet, carbonated juice or a mix of both carbonated water and carbonated juice to achieve the sweetness/strength I want. This of course because I have the co2 tank and can therefore carbonate any liquid I want. This would be slightly harder with out the equipment. I've cut wine with water/juice then carbonated before too.

But yeah, method 1 is exactly like cider. Method 2 is more traditional. (But these are being told to show that I don't like pop because the flavor hasn't worked for me.)
I am all about method 1, just like cider. I have made a Raspberry with fantastic success and I am currently working on a pomegranate.

I should also say that I am using the term "wine cooler" loosely What I am after is something with the quality of a cider (far superior IMHO to a store bought wine cooler) but made with out apple, so not cider. Like I said at the beginning of this post it is all about perception and the term wine cooler seams closer than anything else I could come up with.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:44 PM   #12
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I don't think I'm going to do method 1 again for a while. I'm stuck with 5 gallons of the stuff and I haven't really been drinking it. But that's just me. If I were someone who drank it more than I did wine, then I'd go for method 1. Because I infrequently want it. Usually in the summer months and I actually had two 6 gallon batches made for the past summer but only made it through half each keg.
If the people I knew liked wine coolers, then I'd keep going with process 1.

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Old 01-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #13
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I don't have a keg so for me method 1 involves bottle carbing and pasteurizing so the shelf life is much much longer.

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:26 PM   #14
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Ok going to approach this from a slightly different angle. After the time I have spent learking on the cider forum I should have known better than to try and define a cider... talk about whacking a hornets nest
Great job of explaining afterwards, though. The big problem with context sensitive words is how long it takes to define the context sometimes ... It's a shame that "cider" has become one of those words and referring to it by that name stirs such a hornet's nest ... I guess some folks have to defend the honor of the word, though
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #15
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It's a shame that "cider" has become one of those words and referring to it by that name stirs such a hornet's nest ... I guess some folks have to defend the honor of the word, though
I agree especialy when you look at this quote from the Wittenham Hill
Cider Pages

"The word 'cider' itself is supposed to be derived from Greek or even Hebrew sources and simply means 'strong drink'"
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #16
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Isn't cider made from lemonade? Or raisins?

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Old 03-03-2012, 02:50 AM   #17
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Isn't cider made from lemonade? Or raisins?
when some one says "cider" the common perception is apples
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:56 AM   #18
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My brother and i have been meandering through that territory for a bit now. It started out as apple juice and beer yeast.. then grape juice.. but a trip to walmart yielded lemonade and limeade (to be done together), fruit punch, and blueberry pomegranate

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Old 03-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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Maybe it is just me but depending of your age and understanding of the history of the wine cooler...the wine cooler is defined differently also. I associate 'wine cooler' with a malt based fruity sweet low alcohol content beverage in a single serve bottle. Wine with carbonated water or soda added is a spritzer. Whereas wine is wine, low alcohol content or a port-style, it is wine. If you are wanting to make a carbonated sweet wine on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum many would call that 'sweet sparkling'. But this is just my 2cents worth.

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Old 03-07-2012, 03:45 PM   #20
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Maybe it is just me but depending of your age and understanding of the history of the wine cooler...the wine cooler is defined differently also. I associate 'wine cooler' with a malt based fruity sweet low alcohol content beverage in a single serve bottle. Wine with carbonated water or soda added is a spritzer. Whereas wine is wine, low alcohol content or a port-style, it is wine. If you are wanting to make a carbonated sweet wine on the lower end of the alcohol spectrum many would call that 'sweet sparkling'. But this is just my 2cents worth.
I see where you are coming from, but I still think something made in the stile of a hard cider with a fruit other than apples is something different than wine. If people did not perceive it as something different than there wouldn't be the continued posts (about 1 every week to two weeks) on the cider forum saying "I want to make (peach, strawberry, pear, or any other fruit that is NOT apples) cider" and I am not talking about the people that are adding other fruits to their apple cider, I am talking about brews made with no apples. They see what they are making closer to cider than wine, and I agree with them. If cider is its own subcategory of wine and the only difference between a "winecooler" (again I use the term for lack of a better option) and hard cider is the fruit used than shouldn't a "winecooler" type beverage also be in a sub category of wine???
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