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Old 05-23-2012, 05:07 AM   #1
chwayock
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Default Help me make wife happy!

Ok, so I have 7 batches of beer under my belt. 6 have come out great and the 7th is a strawberry blonde just racked to secondary that is looking good. Wifey likes woodchuck and strongbow and just about anything fruity. I figure since she is prego and due late June, I'd keg her an apelweizen or something similar for when she can drink. And drink she will need with two young boys around and a little girl on the way.

So since the lhbs is closed on Tuesday, bastards, and me being away for the next five days, I didn't have any other choice then to use the yeast cake from my blonde ale which is a second generation harvested s-05 which I have used for 3 batches with good success.

Please critique my recipe. I can take it.

1. Boiled 12 oz brown sugar and 6 oz table sugar in 3-4 cups apple juice and cooled.

2. Added 18 quarts of bjs Apple juice from concentrate + aforementioned sugar and juice + 2 quarts of wymans blueberry juice on top of yeast cake.

3. Mixed and got an OG of 1.054.

4. Airlock on and placed in 70 degree basement.


Since wifey likes it sweet I don't want it to dry out. I'm planning on racking to secondary in a week or so. What do you'll think about adding some concentrate? Should I add it to the secondary or to the keg when I keg it?? Do you think I should force carb or add some corn sugar and let it carb and condition? I'd like it ready in 6 weeks or so.

Thanks for any help.

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:33 AM   #2
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Let it ferment all the way out. Backsweeten at kegging if you going to keep it cold...

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Old 05-23-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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what's an apelweizen?? apples and wheat? where's the wheat? where's the beef? if you are after a simple semi-sweet cider it seems fine, although i can't deal with oz and quarts and the like so i'll take your word on those. depending on how much alcohol you want i would beef up the gravity a bit with concentrate or sugar since you will dilute later (i can't get concentrate here, so for a draught cider i make a 10% base cider then dilute with fresh juice to 7.5%, which is a bit dangerous on tap), ferment to completion, cold crash in the primary (s05 takes ages to clear at room temp), rack to keg, sweeten to taste with concentrate or fresh juice, keep that sucker cold, force carb. best bet imo, but indeed others suggest stopping the fermentation at a chosen gravity, i prefer this method. s05 behaves nicely in the fridge but if you bottle any or leave the keg warm it's going to be off to the races. good luck

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Old 05-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Back sweeten with how much concentrate?

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Old 05-23-2012, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outstretched View Post
Let it ferment all the way out. Back sweeten at kegging if you going to keep it cold...

This is what I would also suggest. You can adjust the amount of sweetens before force carbonating, you may want to make it a bit sweeter than she likes, I have found the co2's added carbonic bite and produces a dryer to the pallet finished product.

In my experience 6 weeks is a bit on the short side but if it makes momma happy your in the clear. I would suggest you fill a couple of bottles and stash them away for you wife to consume to celebrate your child's first birthday.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:40 PM   #6
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Back sweeten with how much concentrate?
you have to do it by taste. everyone has a different level of sweet tooth-ness, and each cider is different due to acid and tannin level affecting perception of sweetness. just add it slowly, mix well, taste, add some more.

personally i find 6 weeks is fine for a semi-sweet cider. i make all my ciders from fresh pressed/juiced juice and mostly make dry and bottle conditioned ciders, and these need many months; i really despise young tasting cider, but i find semi-sweet cider is palatable much faster as long as i cold crash out the yeast. i'm sure it's different for everyone's system and individual tastes.
but if you are going to bottle some you will need to pasteurize it unless you have done something to inactivate the yeast, or else you're heading for bottle bombs. pasteurizing after filling from the keg is really easy and not at all dangerous, unlike pasteurizing during bottle conditioning, which can put your eye out pretty easily.
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