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Old 11-12-2010, 04:00 AM   #1
nsw8148
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Default Have recently started making Apfelwein

Hey all, been around a while and stopped brewing a couple years ago. I recently found a recipe for Apfelwein on the web and starting brewing it. Further reading brought me back here and to that monstrous thread

I've made 6 5ga batches so far and have bottled 3 of them. I have 4 carboys

With each batch I have used at least 3ga in each of apple juice, sometimes adding different 100% juices to top it off.

I have also added more sugar and honey at times

When I bottle it, I set off to the side a 12 pack to be tried sometime in the future. I assume that it will get better over time, even in a bottle. I have moved away from 12oz bottles since they "disappear" too fast, and with my last batch started using 22oz bottles.

My first batch was ready about a month ago and I haven't carbed any of it since between me and my roommates, it gets consumed fairly quickly. I think it tastes great after just a month in the carboy and cant imagine waiting longer than that before bottling

I have a couple questions.
1. How important is it to use 100% juices with no additives?
2. How much sugar/honey is safe to add?

I have lurked here for a very long time and thank you for the information you have provided me.

And because I'm sure you care, heres some pictures of my Apfelwein setup. I keep one on the counter untill the smell settles down a bit and then I move it to the bedroom to sit for about 2 weeks




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Old 11-12-2010, 04:33 AM   #2
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I seen the dogs and for the question. On the additives, some are helpful. Most juices contain 130% vitamin C which in ascorbic acid. It lowers the ph and the yeast like it and it lowers bacteria count. The citric acid is good for the same reason. Some have potassium metabisulfite, which I had thinned out and used without a problem and I let it sit overnight uncovered. Stay away from 'cocktail' juices because they have preservatives that aren't helpful. Some of the juices will say on the back like 30% juice which is another problem. Other then that juice is juice is juice.

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Old 11-12-2010, 07:33 AM   #3
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Most preservatives will just give you off tastes, nothing to be too worried about. As for bumping up the the ABV with sugar, you should be able to get it up to about 1.120 and have it all ferment out with a distillers yeast. Most yeasts will only get to about 12% ABV give or take. Just add sugar to your desired ABV in your yeasts parameters!

I have to ask, what is that in your airlock? Bourbon or something?

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Old 11-12-2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
Most preservatives will just give you off tastes, nothing to be too worried about. As for bumping up the the ABV with sugar, you should be able to get it up to about 1.120 and have it all ferment out with a distillers yeast. Most yeasts will only get to about 12% ABV give or take. Just add sugar to your desired ABV in your yeasts parameters!

I have to ask, what is that in your airlock? Bourbon or something?
Its sailor jerrys, I didnt have any cheap vodka on hand to put in the airlock.


As for boosting the ABV, how much sugar would be too much for a 5 gallon batch? I've put as much as double the amount of dextrose called for and it has made the brew perfect for me
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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That depends on your definition of 'too much'. My definition of 'too much' is adding so much that you get a stuck fermentation and/or the yeast can't eat all of it up. Invest in a hydrometer

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Old 11-12-2010, 10:55 AM   #6
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You do need a hydrometer. Jacking the alcohol content up too high will make the yeast poop out, or stress out. If they poop out you get something too sweet and not fully fermented. If they stress out they make un-tasty side products.

If you want to push your yeast further, you can add more sugar as the fermentation goes along. I.e., let it ferment about halfway, add more sugar and a smidge of yeast nutrient, another halfway, add some more sugar and nutrient, etc. There are threads on how to do that... just search for "barleywine" or "high gravity beer" here in the forums. Also, champagne yeast can ferment to a much higher ABV% than regular wine yeast, but they do tend to "dry" out the wine.

If you really want to get elaborate, you can use freeze concentration to make "applejack", like they made back in Colonial America. Just search for freeze concentration here on the forums. (Since they didn't have specially bred yeast, their applejack was probably equivalent ABV% to our apple wine.) Freeze concentration is not considered distilling by the U.S. ATF, but laws may vary in your area, so it's worth a look before state cops surround your house, etc.

Also, if you want to store your apfelwein long-term, you will need to top off your carboys all the way in order to prevent oxygen exchange with the air in the airspace of the carboy.

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Old 11-13-2010, 02:01 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info guys!

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