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Old 10-26-2008, 08:26 PM   #1
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Default Newell's Groundhog Cider (woodchuck amber clone)



(there is a dead giveaway to which one is mine. The other is Woodchuck)


(This recipe is for kegs. If you aren't using a keg, I added some ideas for making a still cider, because
whenever someone posts a recipe just for kegs, people without kegs want to know what they can do, but
I can't vouch for how this would turn out if not carbed.)

ABV- 7.2% (Woodchuck Amber is 5%)

Ingredients for Primary Fermentation:
4.5 gallons of apple juice containing no preservatives other than ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
(I made mine from concentrate because that was what was on sale at the time.)
Corn sugar or apple juice concentrate (enough to boost OG to desired ABV)
2.5 teaspoons yeast nutrient (optional)
1 tbsp pectic enzyme (optional)
Chamagne Yeast (I used red star)

Ingredients to back sweeten.
2.5 teaspoons of potassiam sorbate (don't add this until after fermentation is over)
7 cans of apple juice concentrate (I used old orchard in one batch and Meijer brand in the
second batch).

Fully aerate the apple juice. If using bottled cider, you can aerate by pouring a litte from each bottle
into the fermenter, then shake each bottle. I used concentrate, so once I had it all mixed with water,
I poured it from one pail to another until it was fully aerated.Take hydrometer reading and add enough
sugar or apple-juice concentrate to boost the OG to the ABV that you want. (I used corn sugar to get
my OG to 1.055. I mostly kept good notes but neglected to write down how much sugar I used, so
you'll need a hydrometer).Add the yeast nutriet and pectic enzyme if using it. (This recipe is mostly
built from EdWort's Apfelwien, but I see that Jack Keller uses both in these quantities when making
wine from apple-juice, so I threw it in). Transfer to carboy, pitch yeast, and attach airlock. I made this
ahead of time for my brother's wedding, so I let it go for 2 months, but it could be ready in 30 days.
(I know EdWorts Apfelwein does well in 30 days with montrachet yeast.) I did not use a secondary.

For kegging:
After primary fermentation has ceased (this finished at. 1.0 for me).
rack the cider into a standard 6.5 gallon ale pale, then add apple juice concentrate until you reach a
gravity of 1.029, (Note: this is the gravity of a flat woodchuck.)

Add you potassium sorbate, then keg and carbonate to your desired carbonation level. I prefer the
shake-the-hell-out-of-it method of force carbonation because I color outside the lines and run with
scissors, but a lot of people here will tell you that this method will kill Lassie or something (I wasn't
really listening because it works for me IMHO.)

Once you know how much concentrate you are going to need (sugar level could vary by brand), you
can just add all of this to the keg next time, then purge the o2 and shake to mix all the goodies, then
carbonate. You can get
some renewed fermentation, but this is minimal and not a big concern when kegging IMHO.

For a still cider:
You will need to add the cider, concentrate, and potassiam sorbate to a bucket, but add the concentrate
a little at a time because the amount of sugar used for cider that will be carbed will be cloyingly sweet
in a still cider. Then transfer this all into a carboy, afix an airlock and wait 3 days with no signs of renewed
fermentation before bottling, or you could be making bottle bombs (Note: I have never used the pottasiam
sorbate to make a still wine or cider, so tips from those familiar with this method would be helpful for those
that want to do try this. 3 days may be overkill. I don't know.)

Results: IMHO I came pretty close. I was not concerned with color,
but when I did a side by side taste test, I noticed the color between mine and woodchuck was spot on,
so I think they use some sort of concentrate to backsweeten, although I assume it has more tart apples
than mine did. WC has a slight tartness that mine was missing, reminiscent of granny smith. Mine also
has some esthers not detecteble in the WC, but I preferred these esthers to WC. Several people told me
that they detected a hint of apricots. I don't know when I last had an apricot, so I can't say, but there were
nice hints of other fruits. I took 2 cornies of this to my brother's wedding and it was a big hit. A few people
told me that they drank woodchuck frequently but preferred mine to woodchuck, but mine was on tap, so it's
not a fair comarison to bottled cider. It wasn't for everyone, but the people that liked it could not get enough.
Women really liked it, and I converted a few from the bud-light only crowd with small samples of it. I really
could have brout 2 more cornies because we went through the first keg in about an hour and a half, but the last
one lasted only 1/2 once the word spread (and this was when the drinking had started to slow because it was
heaviest for the first hour. (I tended the bar). It's really good with a dash of cinnamon in the cup just before
he pour. If you have never brewed for a big event, it's very rewarding, but you have to make crowd pleasers as
opposed to the stuff that we drink, because you'd be lucky if 5% or people like an IPA, at least in the boonies
where I was. I won't try to make this more like woodchuck because I prefer it with more character. I'm drinking
the last of the woodchuck now from when I bought a 6 pack to take a hydrometer reading of a flat sample, and
the bottle doesn't taste right to me. But I'm also biased in favor of anything from my basement.

NOTES: This will seem cloying until it is carbed. Carbonating has a strange
effect on sweetness perception, so what seems good flat will not be sweet enough when it's carbed and will have
a lot of carbonic bite IMHO. If you want to make this less sweet and carbonate it, do a test batch of 1/2 in 3
liter bottle and a carbonator cap until you find the level that you like.Make sure to force out all the air before
adding 02 or you'll oxygenate this while carbing it. Then do the math based on what you added to 1/2 gallon
to figure out how much to add to the main batch. (For example, if you made a five gallon batch so you had a 1/2
gallon test batch, you would take the amount of concentrate you added to 1/2 gallon and multiply that by nine.)

I used this same test batch method to decide on the recipe I used. I individually backsweeetned 4 test batches
of 1/2 gallon each before deciding on my method, anI I tried to backsweeten with dextrose, concentrate, and
combination of the two. If you want that apple-sweetness that WC has, then you gotta use concentrate. For
those wanting to bottle and carbonate and use an unfermentable sugar like splenda or dextrose, it won't have
that fresh apple taste, but give it a try and let us know.

There is some debate about whether comments "belong" in the recipe section. If that hasn't been resolved by
Admin, then I welcome your questions and comments here.
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:48 AM   #2
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7-7.5 cans of apple juice concentrate seems like a ton to back sweeten. I did Edwort's apfelwein and it finished right around 1.000 FG, and after adding potassium sorbate to kill the yeast, I back sweetened with 2 cans of concentrate and had a gravity of around 1.014. I did some google searching and I found that apple juice concentrate is around 1.350 SG. If I put this into beersmith, this is what I get:

original volume: 5 gal
dilute with .19 gal (two 12 oz cans of concentrate).
specific gravity of wort: 1.350
FG: 1.013.

If you use 7 cans of concentrate into 4.5 gal of juice that fermented to 1.000, beersmith puts the SG at 1.050! That's some super sweet cider, although maybe I'm misunderstanding your procedure somewhere.

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Old 10-27-2008, 01:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drunkatuw View Post
7-7.5 cans of apple juice concentrate seems like a ton to back sweeten. I did Edwort's apfelwein and it finished right around 1.000 FG, and after adding potassium sorbate to kill the yeast, I back sweetened with 2 cans of concentrate and had a gravity of around 1.014. I did some google searching and I found that apple juice concentrate is around 1.350 SG. If I put this into beersmith, this is what I get:

original volume: 5 gal
dilute with .19 gal (two 12 oz cans of concentrate).
specific gravity of wort: 1.350
FG: 1.013.

If you use 7 cans of concentrate into 4.5 gal of juice that fermented to 1.000, beersmith puts the SG at 1.050! That's some super sweet cider, although maybe I'm misunderstanding your procedure somewhere.
EDIT
I made a quick respsonse last night saying that WC was 1.055 flat, but I looked at my notes and it's 1.029 flat (which is also what I said in the recipe posted above. It was late, and I confused my OG for the batch with the the gravity of WC when I made the post. It should not come out as 1.050 as beer smith had it,. I have a gallon of this in a fermenter down stairs, so I'll double check that the right ratio will bring that to 1.029. And post my results again. I think the gravity you have for a 12 oz can of concentrate is much higher than what I was using. Just to make the juice to ferment, I added 12 cans of concentrate (each can makes 3 quarts) and then had to add corn sugar to hit 1.055. Thus, if I were to hit 1.050 like you had calculated, I would have to add about 12 cans to finished cider because it finished at 1.0. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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I have a question, lets say I want to end up with 4.5 gallons of cider, if I have to lose a half of gallon I do not care (I plan on carbing with my tap a draft). If the starting gravity of the cider I get is 1.050 and it ferments down to 1.000, how many gallons of cider should I start with and how much will I need to bring it up to 1.029 after fermentation to back sweeten?

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Old 09-19-2009, 04:26 PM   #5
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I have a packet of montrachet yeast. Do you think that would substitute for the champange yeast. Or would it effect the flavor?

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Old 01-23-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kkocher13 View Post
I have a packet of montrachet yeast. Do you think that would substitute for the champange yeast. Or would it effect the flavor?
It will effect the flavor, but it will be fine. I went with champagne yeast just because that's what woodchuck uses.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJC16 View Post
I have a question, lets say I want to end up with 4.5 gallons of cider, if I have to lose a half of gallon I do not care (I plan on carbing with my tap a draft). If the starting gravity of the cider I get is 1.050 and it ferments down to 1.000, how many gallons of cider should I start with and how much will I need to bring it up to 1.029 after fermentation to back sweeten?
I wouldn't over think the math on this. This is a backsweetened take-off from edwort's apfelwein (sp). Make more than you need, and drink the rest, whether it's backsweetened or carbed or neither, it's still good.
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Old 02-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #8
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Started this yesterday. 4.5 gallons of apple juice and 36oz. of frozen concentrate resulted in a 1058-1059. I'll post again when I get a final gravity.

-----------------------------------------
Final results:

Original Gravity = 1.059
Final Gravity = 1.008
ABV = 6.7% (Beersmith's Results)
Fermentation Time = 19 days

After adding potassium sorbate, I added 48 oz. of frozen concentrate.

Final final gravity = 1.029

I have it pressurized to 25# now for forced carbonation.

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Old 03-14-2010, 03:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewbasta View Post
Started this yesterday. 4.5 gallons of apple juice and 36oz. of frozen concentrate resulted in a 1058-1059. I'll post again when I get a final gravity.

-----------------------------------------
Final results:

Original Gravity = 1.059
Final Gravity = 1.008
ABV = 6.7% (Beersmith's Results)
Fermentation Time = 19 days

After adding potassium sorbate, I added 48 oz. of frozen concentrate.

Final final gravity = 1.029

I have it pressurized to 25# now for forced carbonation.
How did this turn out?
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:16 AM   #10
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Tastes almost exactly like Woodchuck Amber except the ABV is a bit higher. The first week or so it was a little more cloudy than Woodchuck, but it has settled out now. I used all Wal-Mart brand ingredients (Great Value stuff) and it only cost me about $17 for 5 gallons.

The fermentation is pretty intense the first couple of days, then it settles down. But it does take well over 2 weeks for full fermentation.

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