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-   -   Caramel Apple Cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/caramel-apple-cider-15445/)

NurseNan 10-25-2006 01:21 AM

Caramel Apple Cider
I've just started a caramel apple cider, a 2ish gallon batch! I read threads that advised using caramel, but I couldn't really find any so instead I decided to get that sweet caramelly taste from wheat malt....similar color, texture and taste. I boiled the malt (about 3lbs) in 1/2 gal of soft apple cider (with a touch of vanilla extract), then added it to the balance of the cider in the carboy....pitched nottingham ale yeast at about 80F..........it smelled heavenly, can't wait to see the final product! I am concerned that it may not have the same mouthfeel as caramel, as there is no lactose (caramels contain milk). Could I round out the mouthfeel after secondary with some added lactose?

NurseNan 11-14-2006 10:03 PM

This project is going well. The OG was 1.100, now 1.016. It is, however, not clearing well. I'm guessing its because of the wheat malt? I'll leave it for another few weeks in secondary before rechecking the SG, to make sure its done. I then plan to add a couple of cans of apple concentrate to boost the apple flavor, and maybe add some caramel syrup to sweeten and make it more caramelly. I think the only way I'll be able to bottle this, though, will be to kill the yeast (the concentrate and syrup will restart fermentation, I'm sure).

Short of forced carbonation, is there any way I can make this sparkling?

Yuri_Rage 11-14-2006 10:22 PM

You might use some sugar free caramel syrup - the stuff that's intended as a coffee flavoring. That way you won't have to kill the yeast.

NurseNan 11-15-2006 10:51 AM

that's probably the best plan, provided it doesn't leave any off flavors.

missing 11-15-2006 03:18 PM

The reason that your cider hasn't cleared is partially because of the wheat malt. The other part is that you boiled some of the cider thus setting the pectin. This pectin haze will not go away unless you use some pectic enzyme to break it down. You might also consider using some hot sparkaloid if you are going for brillant.

That being said, crystal clear is pretty but to me taste is the most important part. Cloudy cider, so what? As long as it meets your desires then I wouldn't worry about it. Let us know how it turns out!

You can definitely add the lactose later to round it out. Since it is a non-fermentable sugar just boil it in a little water (about a 1/2 lb per gallon max - for me) and add it to your carboy. You will probably have to give it a few weeks to clear up afterwards.

Just some thoughts.

NurseNan 11-15-2006 09:12 PM

Clear cider is definitely not a priority. I'll be perfectly satisfied with something that tastes great. Right now, I'm looking at adding sugar free caramel syrup, and apple juice concentrate, after I've allowed it to clear up following the addition of lactose. If I bottle right after adding the AJ concentrate, it should even carbonate. MMMMMmm, I can't wait!

david_42 11-16-2006 02:35 PM


If I bottle right after adding the AJ concentrate, it should even carbonate.
This might be a recipe for bottle bombs, since you don't know how much sugar the concentrate contains. If you assume it's 90%, that would limit you to 5-6 oz & not give you much of a flavor boost. I'd add the concentrate (as much as you want), let it ferment out, sweeten to taste with lactose, then add priming sugar & bottle.

Alternately, you could get a whole bunch of champagne bottles.

NurseNan 11-16-2006 08:35 PM

Very true. Since I'm low on wine bottles, though, I was actually thinking of using swing tops or beer bottles. Maybe I'll add the concentrate one can at a time and let that ferment down, then use the caramel syrup as priming sugar, and lactose for the mouthfeel.

Yooper 11-16-2006 10:10 PM

Boy, this really sounds great. Let us know how it all turns out- I might want to give this a try!


NurseNan 02-05-2007 01:34 AM

Bump-cider is clearing well, though it took a lot of effort to get the flavor just right. I added too much caramel syrup, then had to add back more apple concentrate and water. My batch is now almost 4 gallons! It has aged past the hot alcohol bite. Will be bottling soon.

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