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-   -   Apple wine/Hard Cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/apple-wine-hard-cider-50614/)

HarryBlueHands 01-09-2008 05:32 PM

Apple wine/Hard Cider
Hello friends,
Yes, I'm a newbie to this forum and to home brewing as well. I'm posting this to see if what I have done so far is correct. The following recipe was given to me by a local farmer. So here it goes...

I am making 18 gallons of apple wine (three 6 gallon carboys). Everything was sterilized ahead of time. In each carboy I added 5 gallons of untreated cider (3 gallons went into the freezer to be added at later point), 5 pounds of sugar (I added an extra pound and a half of brown sugar to one just for the hell of it), 1 champagne yeast packet, 2 teaspoons of pectic enzyme, 5 campden tablets, 7 1/2 teaspoons of acid blend.
The carboys were placed in a dark corner of the basement at 68/70 degrees with airlocks. The must has been fermenting for 16 days. I stir each one once a day. They seem to be fermenting nicely (every 5 to 6 seconds still). My plan is to make half into wine and the other into hard cider. I may also turn some of it into applejack by freeze distilling.

Does this sound like I'm on the right track?

How do I know it's time to rack?

How many times should I rack?

Do I add one gallon of cider to the must after first rack? second rack? right before bottling?

Is a hydrometer necessary?

When I plan to make it into hard cider is it really as simple as I was informed? One teaspoon of sugar in a 12 once bottle with 11 onces of apple wine once fermenting is complete?

How long does it take to turn into hard cider?

Has anyone used oak chips to age instead of barrells (I can't afford a barrell at this time)?
Are there any advantages/disadvantages to doing this?

Does anyone know of a good beginer website devoted to making apple wine/hard cider?

I apologize for the long post but I just don't have much time to do any real research between work and the kids.

c.n.budz 01-09-2008 05:35 PM

Here's a much easier way to do what you're trying


sirsloop 01-09-2008 05:53 PM

IDK if freeze distilling is worth it...


Tusch 01-09-2008 07:20 PM

Don't think he is distilling anything... He just put some in the freezer, most likely to back sweeten with later on I assume.

HarryBlueHands 01-09-2008 08:09 PM


Originally Posted by Tusch
Don't think he is distilling anything... He just put some in the freezer, most likely to back sweeten with later on I assume.

I've done it once with my first true batch (cider,sugar and yeast). It's called freeze distillation. I simply frozen the apple wine in three quarter full plastic milk containers. Once froze they were tipped upside down and after a day most of the applejack seperated from the ice. It definately jacked up the alchohol (pun intended). I have since learned if my freezer could drop to -30 it would have had a higher alchohol content. I don't think it'll be doing this again thou after reading the link sirsloop posted.

Nurmey 01-10-2008 12:06 AM

Another good reason for not distilling it is because it is very illegal in this country. It is also strongly discouraged from being discussed on this forum.

HarryBlueHands 01-10-2008 02:20 PM


Adolphus79 01-10-2008 06:18 PM

The other main problem with freeze distillation is the fusel alcohols that are left in the applejack. While it was THE method used during the colonial period, modern distillers use pot stills.
This being said... I... have a... friend... that once made some applejack the traditional way, and he didn't get any bad hangovers from it.

BTW, welcome to HBT, I know I pointed you over here from winemakingtalk.com... I'm always happy to see another Mainer! :tank:

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