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Old 03-27-2011, 06:59 AM   #1
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Default Caramel Apple Cider success.

Hi all, some of you may have been following the Caramel Apple Cider thread which I was posting in. Long story short, I have had nothing but a success with this and thought you might want to know how I did it.

For a 1 gal batch:

Ingredients:
4 cups raw sugar (I would believe that the sugar is interchangeable, doesn't matter if it is white or brown)
250 ml honey
1 gal Apple Juice/Cider (preservative free)
Any standard wine/champagne yeast.

Method:
1. Add 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup apple juice to a pan. Caramelise on medium heat for around 14 mins. NOTE: If you want this to be a clear cider, substitute JUICE for WATER.
2. Once sugar is caramelised, add to fermenter.
3. Pour half of your juice into the fermenter and SHAKE.
4. Add the rest of your juice.
5. Pitch yeast.
6. Ferment till dry, and yeast clears (see notes).
7. Add honey and sugar to a pan and caramelise to taste. (I used 15mins).
8. Add honey mixture to a separate fermenter and add half of your cider.
9. MIX, MIX, MIX, MIX. I ended up mixing for almost half an hour to get it all to homogenise. Be wary that your cider may still be releasing CO2, so release the pressure often.
10. Bottle and pasteurise.

Notes (READ):
The sugar mixture will take a long while to mix in both times. It is more important to mix in the sugar at the latter part of the recipe, as the yeast will eat the sugar not in solution during primary fermentation.

Ferment till dry and yeast clears. If you have used apple juice with your sugar mixture, your cider will not completely clear, I would suggest using a hydrometer and wait for stable readings.

Do NOT burn your honey or sugar. This will most likely ruin your pot, and will smell and taste awful. That being said, watch for splashes and remember that the sugar will continue to caramelise after you remove it from the heat.

Essential Reading:
Pappers_ pasteurisation thread which is stickied at the top of the forum. I do not know how this would go being dry, but the flavours are complemented as a sweet cider.


Finally, I did not take gravity measurements, but I would hesitate a guess of a final ABV at 9%. This is the single best cider I have made to date. It tastes like I am drinking apples dunked in caramel, with a honey aftertaste. It is SO smooth. I had a sample of it as I was mixing and ended up going through a whole 750 ml bottle. BE CAREFUL with this stuff, it's dangerous because it is so smooth, even straight out of primary.

Everyone, enjoy and feel free to ask questions so I can clarify anything you don't understand.

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Old 03-27-2011, 02:44 PM   #2
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2 lbs of sugar, almost 0.5 lb of honey, and a gallon of apple juice. For 1 gallon that will give you an OG of around 1.150. If it ferments dry, you will end up somewhere around 20% alcohol. Since the yeast will quit before it gets to the end, you will end up with a sweet drink.

Have I understood what you have done correctly:

- You fermented 1 lb of sugar (2 cups) and 1 gallon of juice to dryness (that would have given you about 12% abv).
- You then add 1 lb of sugar and 0.5 lb of honey (an additional .060 gravity points. When you mix it all together, are you aerating it? (this is bad).
- So you essentially bottled with about 1.5 lbs of priming sugars in 1 gallon (versus about 1 oz which is normally required). And pasturized when you got to a decent carb level.

This is just a very sweet drink with alcohol.

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Old 03-28-2011, 07:24 AM   #3
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Those measurements aren't by any means accurate. I estimated and did it all to taste. It isn't carbed, and isn't that sweet. I don't know what to tell you!

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Old 03-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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For those who like caramel flavors, this looks really interesting, Oldmate!

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Old 03-29-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
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Thanks Pappers, exactly what I was thinking. People can refine it a bit, maybe make it workable as a dry cider or find an easier, simpler, tastier way which they can share back with us. All I am saying is that the boiling honey works as a viable substitute for artificial caramel sweeteners!

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Old 03-30-2011, 02:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
Thanks Pappers, exactly what I was thinking. People can refine it a bit, maybe make it workable as a dry cider or find an easier, simpler, tastier way which they can share back with us. All I am saying is that the boiling honey works as a viable substitute for artificial caramel sweeteners!
It sounds absolutely yummy. I might just have to give it a try!
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadWitch View Post
It sounds absolutely yummy. I might just have to give it a try!
I'll let you know how it ages out. It has such potential! I should also mention that the second addition of sugar is optional, I think the honey is what gives it the distinctive caramel taste (with a honey aftertaste). Maybe someone can try it with honey at both stages. As of now, I'm unsure if the addition of the first lot of caramelised sugar did anything for the taste..
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