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Old 07-24-2013, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default What fruits work best in a dry cider?

Been brewing beer for a while now and I'm starting to play with ciders just using store-bought AJ.

I'm currently doing a double batch of EdWort apfelwein and want to use fruit/fruit juice in one carboy. I know I should use whatever fruit I like, but I'd like to get some opinions from others. I'm planning on adding some pomegranate juice after initial fermentation. What do you think would go well with this, and how long (estimated) do I need to let the cider rest on the fruit?

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Old 07-24-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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Racking it onto fruit can cause some haze. u could always back sweeten with pomegranate juice, that way u can add as much or as little as u like. That would give u the most control over it.

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Old 07-25-2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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Elderberries are a good addition, you could even add dried elderberries available at most HBS, one of our local wineries makes an elderberry apple wine, not a lot of elderberries in it, its more of a Rose. WVMJ

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Old 07-25-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratzie View Post
Racking it onto fruit can cause some haze. u could always back sweeten with pomegranate juice, that way u can add as much or as little as u like. That would give u the most control over it.
Good thought, but I'm not planning to use it to sweeten; just add flavor. I know keeping it dry (<1.000) can strip a lot of flavor out so I was curious which fruits were more stable in that regard. Sorry I didn't mention it's a dry cider in the OP.

I'm not too worried about haze, either. I'm the only one that'll be drinking it most likely lol.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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Perhaps raspberries? Let it sit in secondary for 2 - 3 weeks.

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Old 07-25-2013, 07:26 PM   #6
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Blueberry Pomegranate seems to be a popular mix, maybe try blueberries in secondary for a couple weeks and then add pomegranate juice at bottling time.

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Old 07-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
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I gotcha, thats the most common reason but I get what ur asking now. I'd recommend blueberries, raspberries or blackberries. Pomegrante would prob work too but keep the pulp out of the carboy as best u can and just use the seeds/beads or whatever they are called. Just be advised that the flavor profile will vary depending on the fruit, freshness and sugar content. Meaning the batch u make this time may differ from the next batch even if u use the same amount of fruit and keep it on top of the fruit for the same period of time.

Also, for something like this i'd approach it the same way as if it were beer. Take the fruit and then freeze it overnight (this will perforate the cell walls and make the juices more readily accesible). The next day, put it in a sauce pan or pot and filling it with water just to cover. Bring to a light boil and turn down to simmer for about five minutes. Cool that, pour it in your carboy and then rack the cider ontop of that for a few days. This will sterize and kill any wild yeast and/or bacteria that might be on the fruit. This is especially important with cider beause of the ease at which it can spoil and get a strong vinegar flavor. Its not necessary with bottled juices and concentrates because its already pasteurized when you buy it.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking the blue/blackberry route, although I'm partial to black if I can find them at a decent price.

On a sidenote, does anyone have experience with the stovetop pasteurization technique? It sounds a little scary to me but I think a little sweetness in the fruit apfelwein could be nice. Also wanting to carbonate it in bottles. Thoughts?

EDIT: for sweetness I was thinking the pom juice @ bottling as suggested by Mike.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:46 PM   #9
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All kidding aside, wear gloves and glasses for eye protection. It shouldn't come to the point where its needed unless u drastically over carb, but its always a good to play the better safe then sorry card. Def use a kettle that is big enough to put a lid on top as well.

Also, i can't find the link but there was a second forum in the sticked thread about pasteurizing... the one guy said he had MUCH better success with little to no bottle bomb issues when he filled his sink up with as high temp water as his water heater was set to. He'd then add the room temp bottles to the sink filled with water to get their temperature raised as high as he could manage PRIOR to adding them to the boiling water. I can't remember the exact number but i think that within 4-5 batches, he only had 1 or two bombs. Out 8-10 cases of cider, thats damn impressive with something as simple as preheating the bottles.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratzie View Post
All kidding aside, wear gloves and glasses for eye protection. It shouldn't come to the point where its needed unless u drastically over carb, but its always a good to play the better safe then sorry card. Def use a kettle that is big enough to put a lid on top as well.

Also, i can't find the link but there was a second forum in the sticked thread about pasteurizing... the one guy said he had MUCH better success with little to no bottle bomb issues when he filled his sink up with as high temp water as his water heater was set to. He'd then add the room temp bottles to the sink filled with water to get their temperature raised as high as he could manage PRIOR to adding them to the boiling water. I can't remember the exact number but i think that within 4-5 batches, he only had 1 or two bombs. Out 8-10 cases of cider, thats damn impressive with something as simple as preheating the bottles.
Great call on preheating. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind, but it makes perfect sense. I use a keggle for brewing, so I suppose I could use that for containment purposes.
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