Originally Posted by mdpickle
Hi All, Im posting from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
I am pretty much brand new to brewing. Just a few baisc beer and wine kits but looking to experiment now that i'm into it. I have stumbled across this recipe and it looks fantastic. What I would like to do is to make something that is a medium-dry finish, and I plan on carbonating it to make it more of a cider. I have read many pages and there seems to be a wide variety of ways to do this so I have some questions for those who are the veterans of brewing this product.
1. Judging from the posts, the montrachet brews very dry. I am looking for a medium to dry finish that still packs the high ABV. Any suggestions?
2. I'm seeing that aging is key to a really great product. Would it be better to let it age in a carboy or in bottles?
3. Has anyone messed around with pressing their own juice from fresh apples? Ive seen in some posts that this might not give you as much ABV. Any way to boost this up?
Any help would be awesome. Thanks
1. Yes. Ferment it dry, then sweeten to taste just before bottling. Keep some in a plastic bottle of about the same volume as the glass bottles. When the plastic bottle is hard, pasteurize the glass bottles in a pot on your stove.
The amount of sugar you lose to co2 is actually very small, so you don't need to compensate for the lost sugar in your sweetening.
The presence of potassium sorbate does not necessarily prevent fermentation, it's effectiveness depends on the PH of the liquid and a couple other things. It also does not kill yeast, it blocks yeast reproduction. Pasteurization will definitely halt the fermentation,as it kills the yeast outright.
2. Aging in bulk is preferable, but IMO frequently over emphasized.
3. No, but if you want to bump the finished ABV you can up the gravity with just regular table sugar. Remember though, the higher the gravity the longer you are going to want to age the final product. If you add a lot of sugar, you also can run into more serious nutrient shortfalls. So, a tsp or so of yeast nutrient per gallon would be a good idea. You could also up the gravity with apple juice concentrate.
If you are going to press your own apples and want a clear finished product, make sure you use pectin enzyme. Otherwise the pectin will suspend particles in the brew and make it cloudy. They also need to be cold pressed apples, hot pressing apples sometimes sets the pectin and will give you something vaguely resembling apple jelly.