Caramel Apple Hard Cider
Caramel Apple Hard Cider
Ingredients, Part 1:
7 x 96 ounce bottles (5.25 gallons) Wegmans 100% Apple Juice, pasteurized, only vitamin C added
2 lbs. Dextrose
Ingredients, Part 2
5 campden tablets (Optional, see notes)
5 – 12 oz. cans of Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate, thawed to room temperature
12 oz. Caramel Syrup
Recipe for Caramel Syrup:
2 cups of water
2 cups of light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. At boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes (until volume is reduced to half). Let cool & bottle for future use.
Part 1 (Started 1/7/12):
Opened 1 bottle of apple juice, got a gravity reading of 1.050. Temp is 64 degrees.
In a 6 gallon carboy, pour in bottles 1 and 2 of apple juice.
Open bottles 3 and 4 of apple juice. Pour half of each bottle into carboy. Add 1 pound dextrose per bottle to the remaining amount of apple juice in bottles 3 and 4. Shake bottles to mix sugar and apple juice. Pour bottles 3 and 4 into carboy.
Pour bottles 4, 5, and 6 of apple juice into carboy. Take another sample for OG, got a reading of 1.064. Open Nottingham yeast, pour into carboy. Agitate carboy to mix in yeast. Pour bottle 7 of apple juice into carboy.
Part 2 (In about 14 days):
Check for target FG of 1.010 to 1.015
Rack cider into a 5 gallon carboy.
OPTION: If you want a still cider, add 5 crushed Campden tablets to the cider at this time. If you want a carbonated cider, skip this optional step.
Make the Caramel Syrup and wait 24 hours before proceeding.
After 24 hours, siphon cider into your bottling bucket. Add the Caramel Syrup and the 5 cans of apple juice concentrate while siphoning to aid in mixing. Bottle the cider and enjoy.
If you are carbing in the bottle, be aware that this will carb up fast (4 - 5 days) due to all the sugar. I highly recommend that you fill and cap a plastic pop or beer bottle first, and use that as a guide to tell you when it will be time to Stovetop Pasteurize the batch.
Picture is Caramel Apple Hard Cider in the foreground, after adding yeast. The Apfelwein is ageing in the background.
26 hours into it, not much activity in carboy. I haven't used Nottingham before, so I really don't know what to expect from it.
Temp is 62 degrees. Airlock activity is interesting, it appeared to be doing a "backsuck" earlier, now pressure appears to be increasing. If activity does not improve by the 48 hour mark, I'll try moving the carboy to a warmer room.
Picture below shows a thin ring of bubbles that appear to be increasing.
Ferment seems to be progressing. 40 hours in, the ferment is moving along. Getting slow activity in the airlock...
Just got back from a local Hard Cider Tasting / Contest. I took 1st place with this batch. :D
1st? Awesome job! Looks like I can't think of an excuse not to make it now!
Congrats, Mike! Did the judges provide any notes on the final product?
"Good crisp apple flavor"
People kept coming back to this one for more.
One lady was quite persistent in getting some to take home.
SHE: Can I buy some?"
ME: I don't have a liquor license, I can't sell any in NY legally, sorry."
SHE: "What do I have to do to get a bottle?"
ME: (joking) "Well, I didn't get to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, sooo, show your tits?"
SHE: (without hesitation) ( . Y . )
I gave her a 6-pack. So, I guess I got the Booby Prize as well! :D
Congrats on the win! I've used the Wegmans AJ before and the result was clean but a little thin in body. I now mostly use it to top off carboys when racking.
Stovetop Pasteurize the batch? I guess I'm not quite sure why you need to do this.
I'm new to brewing.
But the recipe looks amazing and I'd love to try it!
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