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Old 04-03-2008, 04:03 AM   #1
Chaos_Being
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Default Caramel apple cider

Like many others here I'd bet, I got my first experience in making cider by trying EdWort's Apfelwein recipe. It turned out really well, but I'm one who likes to experiment and try new things, so lately I've been thinking, "what next?" Thus, I want to try to make a sweeter, caramel-flavored cider for my next cider batch.

I already have an idea on how to do this, but to make sure, I've been reading through a LOT of cider threads to see what other people have tried (surprisingly, I found very little about this particular idea.) I saw a few mentions of using wheat malt, which reportedly turned out bad. I also saw a mention of someone using caramel syrup, which seemed to have worked fairly well, but the flavor did not last. I also saw it suggested once to steep crystal, and I found one report elsewhere of someone who did this with great results.

The latter is what I had initially thought of, and which after my research, I am going to stick with as my plan. I'm thinking of steeping some (~2lb) crystal malt (probably a blend of 20 for sweetness and light caramel taste, and 60 or 80 for a more pronounced caramel flavor) in 3-4 gallons of water, cooling that, and adding enough concentrate to go with that amount of water to bring it up to the gravity of normal juice. I'll top it off with bottled juice/cider. For yeast, I'll either use WLP300, or Danstar's Windsor Ale. I want to use an ale yeast to help prevent the cider from drying out, and with the unfermentable sugars from the crystal malt, I'm hoping that it will have a nice caramel, slightly sweet apple flavor (the lower ABV vs. Apfelwein should help this too.)

I don't have the equipment to keg yet, so I'm trying to work around the difficulties of making a sweet-ish, but bottle-conditioned cider. Adding a little lactose at bottling (milk and caramel...sounds good) isn't out of the question either, but seeing as how my wife is lactose intolerant, it isn't that great of an option. I've tried some splenda in my apfelwein, and didn't like the taste.

I'll probably be trying this fairly soon, as I clear up some carboy space (or even sooner, if I just use my Ale Pail.) If anyone here has tried anything similar (or simply has feedback,) I'd love to hear it

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Old 04-03-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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Only one suggestion, why not use all juice instead of water + concentrate? Other then that, I will wait to see other's responses because this sounds delicious, and just the thing to get SWMBO hooked on my hobbies!

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Old 04-04-2008, 01:38 PM   #3
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The main reason I was thinking of doing it that way was so I could steep the crystal in plain water, rather than heating up juice and having the deal with pectin haze. All juice would work too though I'd assume, I don't mind it if my drink is a little cloudy.

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Old 04-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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How about steeping your crystal in half a gallon of pure water, then add that to your carboy which is full of juice?

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Old 04-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #5
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Ok, I'm going to be doing this in the next week or so. I'm going to go with my plan of concentrate and cider, but in different proportions. I'm going to steep 1 pound of crystal 20, and 1 pound of crystal 60, in 2 gallons of water. I'll add enough concentrate to this to get it to "normal" juice concentration, and then top it off with 3 gallons of cider (I'm going to try Musselman's- they sell it at the grocery store near me, and it's the only cider- not juice- which does not have sorbate added to it.) I'll be fermenting this with WLP300 Hefe yeast.

I'm hoping this will turn out well!

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Old 04-11-2008, 01:38 AM   #6
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I got the crystal malt and the WLP300 today...now I'm just waiting on the delivery of a new 6g Better Bottle (I didn't want to use my ale pail- which I am going to start using to just store stuff in- and I didn't want to wait for my other 6g BB to get freed up.)

Updates next week!

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Old 04-11-2008, 09:17 AM   #7
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I'm a big noobie but will a hefe yeast settle out?

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Old 04-11-2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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"Hefe" is German for "yeast", it's meant to be used in beers that don't clear out too quickly so that you can make Hefeweizen with them.

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Old 04-11-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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I think I've read that the hefeweizen yeast will eventually settle out, but since most of my juice is going to be a cider which is already cloudy, I'm not betting on a clear beverage. So long as I can get the taste right, I won't really care

This will also give me the chance at a lot of easily harvested yeast, for some real hefeweizens that I want to brew in the near future...

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Old 04-15-2008, 06:34 AM   #10
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I think I am going to try a version of caramel apfelwein. I will overcarb the apfelwein (like a champaigne) and then add a tbsp or so of caramel sauce to the bottom of my flute or pint glass(depending on how shnukered I want to get) and do it almost like a champaigne coctail. that sounds really good!!!

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