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Old 08-20-2009, 01:20 AM   #1
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Default Hard Cider and Mulling Spices

I want to make another Apfelwein for this upcoming winter.

I have 4 boxes (25 bags in each = 100 bags) of Martinelli's Mulling Spices for apple juice or cider.

It takes 8 bags to flavor a 1/2 gallon. With the total amount I can make over 6 gals of hard cider.

Question...should I add the spices to the secondary or as I heat up the juice prior to fermenting?

If I used them in the secondary my concern is how long do I leave them in there before removing them?

I know not the squeeze the bags to eliminate unwanted tannins.

Any thoughts/opinions/recommendations?

Thanks.

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Old 08-20-2009, 09:17 PM   #2
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22 nibbles and no bites...at least there are curious people out there...

I'll figure it out on my own.

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:01 AM   #3
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Well, I've only tried cider with spices once.....it was my last time, unless yours turns out better then mine did. I can only tell you this... if you do spices, go way, way, lighter on them then you think it needs. I did a cider with a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger, cloves and cinnammon. It tasted out of this world when I mixed it up. I went to bed that night thinking I hit the jackpot with the way it was going to taste. Well, after it fermented it tasted pretty foul. The spices had an off flavor and were very overpowering. So...thats my only advice. If the recipe calls for so much....."this is only my opinion" I may go maybe up to 1/4 of that.....and thats pushing it. But.....let us know how it turns out.

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
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I TOTALLY understand the underuse of the spices...thanks.

I've been more concerned about tannins, but after reading the ingredients, I think I don't really have a concern here.

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:54 PM   #5
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Yeah, spices can get tricky.
The general cider recipes in here are awesome enough but adding a little pumpkin spice for aroma may just kick it up a notch.
Let us know how your concoction turns out.

Oh and all the holiday brews I do, the spices go in that last 5 minutes of the boil.

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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Thanks. I was hoping someone had already used some of these spices.

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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I know its doable, but haven't done it.

Personally, my recommendation would be to add the spices when you warm up the mug this winter. That way, if its terrible, you're only ruining one mug instead of an entire batch.

Just a thought.

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:54 PM   #8
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Ahh Gotcha.

I still say spices are spices and can get pretty big pretty fast.

If it were me and I wasn't sure on the "what or how" my thoughts would be the following:

Take the recommended dose and cut it in half.
Make a "tea" like any other late addition and add it to the secondary.
Let er sit for a few weeks and run a taste.
Need more? Add more.

If it turns out gnarly, give it a year.

Got the room to cut the batch in half and add some to the boil and on the other batch add to a secondary?

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:56 PM   #9
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Oh here's a blurb from a local homebrew website
Siciliano's Market
(Cider Making -> Spicing)

Quote:
Spices can also be employed in cider making. Try a blend of old world mulling spices, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves or anything else that sounds good to you. Create a tincture by soaking the spices in spirits like grain alcohol, brandy, rum, apple jack or apple brandy. After a few weeks of soaking, strain out the spices and blend into the fermenter itself or simmered in a mixture before the initial fermentation starts. Another way to use seasonal spices is to heat up your fermented beverage and add the spices directly to the mug you're sipping from.
The tincture idea is pretty smart. The high alcohol content will help to pull out the spices, and to a certain extent, sanitize them. It'll also be easier to strain the smaller amount of liquid. It'll also add a little punch.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:06 PM   #10
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Thanks guys.

I have about 100 bags (like tea bags) of spices so they'll be contained.

I guess a 1 gal experiment is in order...

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