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Old 02-16-2010, 08:11 AM   #1
DrJerm
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Default "Apple Pie A La Mode" Cider advice?

A friend of mine wants to make apple pie a la mode flavored cider. We are both beginners, and our researching efforts have left us with some questions.

Is it possible to make this cider thick and creamy? He's considering adding oatmeal (think thick oatmeal stout). I'm wondering about maltodextrin and lactose for body and creamy sweetness. Vanilla extract is also in question.

Any yeast recommendations? A champagne yeast has our interest for it's ability to get the ABV to around 18%. We like the idea of maxing out the yeast with sugar and ending up with a slightly sweet, flavorful, and high alcohol treat. Apple pie flavor is important.

Are we out of our minds?

Here is our recipe idea:

4 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple juice concentrate* (5 x 12 oz cans)
5 cups molasses
3 cups cane sugar
oat meal
vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
all spice?

*We suspect if we delay adding some of the concentrate until the yeast has nearly had it's fill, it would ensure some sweet apple flavors.

Thank you for any suggestions!

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:31 AM   #2
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Interesting! I really have no idea how this will turn out but it sounds like it would be fun to try. Have you considered doing some 1 gallon test batches? I would sure like to hear about your results.

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Old 02-16-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJerm View Post

Here is our recipe idea:

4 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple juice concentrate* (5 x 12 oz cans)
5 cups molasses
3 cups cane sugar
oat meal
vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
all spice?

*We suspect if we delay adding some of the concentrate until the yeast has nearly had it's fill, it would ensure some sweet apple flavors.

Thank you for any suggestions!
That's a LOT of molasses. I used 10 oz in a 6 gallon batch of cyser & it about overpowered the honey & apple. Unless you REALLY like molasses, you might want to keep it under 8oz.

I'd use flaked oats instead of actual oatmeal, flaked oats are already converted so you can just steep them instead of having to mash them.

I'd use whole/cracked spices in a sort of "teabag" so you can remove them when the desired level of spice flavour has been reached. I'd also use vanilla beans instead of extract.

Post your progress, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Regards, GF.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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10-4 on what gratis said.

Just use 5 cups Dark Brown Sugar which is just regular sugar with molassas mixed in instead of 5 cups of molasses, and even that will be pretty strong, along with the 3 cups of cane sugar.

Also, +2 on the teabag method. When you get that kind of ABV (almost 13% by my calculations) it's going to suck every little hint of flavor from those spices, and it's not going to taste good. If you wait until it's mostly done fermenting, dangle the spice bag into the fermenter from a piece of dental floss (cinammon flavored) or fishing string (Stren 6 lbs test) and it will only take a couple of hours for the alcohol to suck a giant amount of flavor from those spices.

What yeast are you going to use?

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:27 PM   #5
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I just tried some of my apple cider mixed with store bought pumpkin pie spice. Its amazing!!!!

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:39 PM   #6
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this sounds interesting. i'd like to hear what you end up with on it.

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips, guys, it's a huuuge help to us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletch78 View Post

What yeast are you going to use?
We're leaning towards pastuer champagne yeast, or EC-1118, whichever the brew shop carries. The idea of stepping the sugar until we burn the yeast out at 18% is appealing. Then we'd fine tune the final sweetness and flavors before bulk aging.

I've been considering beer yeasts, though it seems they top out before 12%. I'd like to know if starting with, say, a safeale S-04 then finishing with a champagne yeast would taste fuller than going with only champagne?

In some ways we are approaching this as a sort of dessert wine / liqueur / big hard sipping cider. I've had apple pie hooch that brings similar results with house guests & friends & such, but we are more interested in the craft of brewing - a creative and stimulating outlet that brings a nice reward at the end of the day!

From your input, it looks like we'll probably want to try several batches to hone in on it; and post the results for anyone interested.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:03 AM   #8
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Hmm, a guy in my brew club makes an "apple pie" cider. I'll have to ask him what he does. I'm pretty sure its as simple as regular apple juice fermented with ale yeast, then backsweetened with apple juice concentrate plus some spices. He kegs, so kicking off fermentation again isn't a problem. If you bottle, I'm not sure this would be an option.

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Old 02-17-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJerm View Post
We're leaning towards pastuer champagne yeast, or EC-1118, whichever the brew shop carries. The idea of stepping the sugar until we burn the yeast out at 18% is appealing. Then we'd fine tune the final sweetness and flavors before bulk aging.
If you go for an 18% ABV, it's going to take a while to age out to the point where it doesn't taste like fuel. You could always use a yeast that peters out at 12-14% ABV & do the same back sweetening, that way it will age a little more quickly & likely taste better all around. Maybe use D-47 or 71B-1122. Here's a list of wine yeasts, have a look & see which one will work best for you: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp If you really want to go high ABV, just be prepared to wait a long time to drink it.
Regards, GF.
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #10
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I've been reading alot about mead and wine lately, so this is based on sound advice, not personal experience:

Getting to 18% is going to require step feeding as you mentioned, but also lots of aeration, degassing, and nutritional supplements, and something to adjust the ph at some point. You should run this idea through the wine forum, perhaps post a link to this topic there.

And, as gratus said, a long time aging, easily years.

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