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Old 11-29-2010, 03:08 AM   #1
brewssuds
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Default Cranberry Apfelwein from Concentrate

I decided to try a Christmasy variation on the legendary Apfelwein:

Ingredients:

- 17 cans frozen apple juice concentrate (341 ml per can)
- 1 package fresh cranberries (340 g)
- 1 kg dextrose
- 2 packets Lalvin EC-1118 champagne yeast

Process:

- Allow apple juice concentrate to thaw at room temperature
- Rinse cranberries
- Put cranberries in pot and cover with about an inch of water
- Boil for 10 minutes
- Add 1 kg dextrose, 2 litres of water, and 4 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate
- bring to boil for 15 minutes
- While boiling, add remaining apple juice concentrate to sanitized carboy
- Add cranberry/dextrose/apple juice mixture to carboy
- Top up with cold water
- Pitch both packages of yeast directly into carboy (no starter) at 20 degrees C
- Add airlock

Notes:
- Fermentation started extremely quickly
- Next time, I'll use a proper primary instead of a carboy, due to the fact that the neck of the carboy kept getting clogged with cranberries/krausen and blowing off

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Old 11-29-2010, 05:16 AM   #2
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do keep us posted on how this turns out

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Old 12-22-2010, 04:50 AM   #3
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Update (bottled tonight):

For the first few days of fermentation, the color was a beautiful, brillant red, as if someone had cut into a living ruby and exposed its majesty for all to see. Over time, the color faded until what was left resembled a tincture of dilute iodine tainted with blood from a cut finger.

The final gravity hit 1.000 on the nose (the OG is lost to posterity due to an over-exuberant wife cleaning off a critical section on a whiteboard).

The taste was pleasant, if underwhelming; instead of the orgiastic blast of cranberry majesty that I was expecting, I was met with a palatable taste of apple tinged with a slight tartness. Next time, I think quadrupling the amount of cranberries is in order.

I primed with a cup of dextrose (23 L batch)... perhaps time and patience will work its magic... if perchance any of this elixir survives past New Year's Eve.

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Old 12-24-2010, 02:20 PM   #4
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Cranberries can be pretty great when added after fermentation. Even ocean spray has a pretty cool character to it when added to backsweeten just a little. This sounds pretty awesome though!

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Old 12-29-2010, 02:18 AM   #5
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Update II

Cracked open a bottle tonight (fairly premature, I know, but other stocks are dwindling and I'm a desperate man!). Nicely carbonated, but still has a ways to go. Not much cranberry flavour, but there is a hint of tartness that I don't get with a "normal" Apfelwein.

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