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Old 02-17-2012, 08:44 AM   #11
divi2323
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Pretty sure your landlord won't like you planting a fruit bearing tree in his yard if you're a renter

Not that I rent but my back yard is bog enough for one tree. I'm more than willing to go this route but the wife would beat me with an Apple tree branch every time she got the incline.

My point is there's more to finding a crab Apple source that extends beyond planting your own.

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Old 02-19-2012, 01:35 AM   #12
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Cheap, grocery store frozen apple juice concentrate won't add the depth/flavor that you are looking for... but the more expensive "Organic" apple cider concentrate that you can find in health food stores and better top end grocery stores WILL!

Now... It won't make it into Cider apple cider - but it will make it a huge step better than what you get from grocery store juice.

Thanks

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Old 02-19-2012, 10:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDRMaille View Post
How about racking on top of apple schnapps or pucker? Anyone ever tried that?
I have some sitting on Apfelkorn right now but I've never tasted it.

There's simply no substitute for a good base of REAL apple cider. I've been doing some reading on Graff and it's variants and playing around in Beer Smith, and frankly I'm starting to think that picking the right ale yeast and a good selection of a SMALL quantity of specialty grains may be the only real way to add some complexity. Of course, that complexity is other flavors besides sweet, tart, sour apple varieties. And, I guess at that point it's more Apple Beer than Apple Cider or Apple Wine, but hey, if it's good it's good.

There are so many things someone could try that I've stumbled on in research.

* There's dry hopping with a small amount of dry hops. I know there is one commercially available hard cider that is dry hopped...but again, that's a full blown cider.
* There's aging with Oak Cubes. I'm tempted to do this with some french oak cubes that have been soaked in Apfelkorn (why not, cider in France is aged in the left over oak barrels that calvados is aged in).
* There's Graff, which is mostly store bought apple juice or apple cider added to a small batch of malted wort and a very small quantity of hops boiled for 30 minutes (and, in playing with beersmith, if it's a hop with low aau 30 minutes vs 60 minutes doesn't really make a difference). The juice is added after the boil of course.
* There's more malted beer done with Apple Juice added after the boil making up 20% or so of the "grain bill" so-to-speak. This is the option that interests me the most. But at the same time, I guess at that point you're getting more into a "fruit beer" with no real official style.

It goes back to creating the taste that we want.

Also, I still doubt how useful adding acid is to brew done with store bought juice. The apples here in the U.S. that go into apple juice are already acidic, which is what "tart" is. That's not necessarily the case in other parts of the world. But here in the U.S., adding acid just seems like it's going to serve either zero purpose, or serve to just make the flavor profile further lopsided.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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On adding acid... You will understand once you age out some of your home made store juice cider a little longer... The first month, it tastes awesome... As it ages - the tartness dissipates until it's pretty darn bland at 6-months....

If you start out with a blend that's *Really* sour and bitter - it ages out to taste pretty darn good as time goes on....

As you can see - you gotta decide on what you want... Quick drinking ciders are better off just left as fermented fresh pressed juice without too much additives.... Longer aging ciders are better made with the more sour/bitter and higher sugar content "Cider" apples and/or other additives to add intensity and interest to the flavor as they age out...

Thanks

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Old 02-20-2012, 06:00 PM   #15
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try the juice concentrate when back sweetening and head out the the smoking/grilling section of the hardware store and pick up some apple wood chips. I like to throw them in the oven at 200 for a while to "toast" them and then soak them in just enough vodka to cover and throw into the primary once the fermentation dies down. I leave them in until the yeast settles out.

Or buy the trees and wait 5 years or so . . .

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