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Old 10-13-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
xumbi
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Default planning cider/apple experiment

Greetings!

It's cider/apple season in New England, and I'm looking for feedback on whether this is a good idea or not...

I'm planning to brew the Arrogant Bastard clone in the recipes section this weekend. I batch sparge, so first and second runnings would go towards the AB.

I am considering sparging a third time to create another beer. The amount of sparge water I haven't decided, since the more I use the lighter the beer will be. Right now I'm thinking 5 gallons, one gallon lost during boil, then add 1/2 to 1 gallon of fresh local cider while the wort is cooling, at 180F. I have read in a few places that you will lose a lot of the apple flavor if it is added to the boil, or even at flameout. This way I figure I kill off most of the wild yeast and/or baddies, but hopefully maintain some good apple flavor and aroma, while helping to boost my likely low OG (and cooling down the wort a bit faster, bonus!).

I am also considering peeling, de-coring and chopping up about five pounds of fresh apples and adding that to the wort at the same time as the cider. This would be just in hopes of adding apple aroma and flavor, I know I won't get much, if any, fermentable sugars.

For hops I have willamette, and I figure 15-20 IBU's would work. Based on my past efficiency calculations I figure this would come in at about 1.024-1.028, before adding the cider. A 3-4% ABV beer with slight tartness and apple aroma sounds really nice to me.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 10-13-2009, 02:43 PM   #2
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For me and my taste, cider is cider and beer is beer. Years ago I tried a combo and wasn't pleased, of course, your mileage and taste may vary! This is not the first I have heard ideas like this, perhaps some find success??


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Old 10-16-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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Well the experiment is officially underway.

I brewed up the AB clone last night, took 6 gallons from a third sparge for this beer. I peeled, de-cored and chopped up about two pounds of fresh local apples, tossed them in at about 170F as the wort was cooling. I also added one gallon of fresh local cider at the same time.

I ended up with a little over five gallons in the fermenter, with an OG of 1.030. The sample I took tasted very interesting. Not much apple aroma, but the tartness and flavor was definitely there.

I used S-04 yeast and I'm seeing some slow airlock activity this morning.

I can't wait to see how this turns out!

I will report back with the results.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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Another update for the curious...

I transferred this from primary to the keg last night. FG was 1.009 (~2.7% abv).

The taste was very promising, definite tartness and sourness, and the malt in the background rounded it out nicely. I would compare it to something like woodchuck's hard ciders.

I am really looking forward to see how this tastes after a week or two in the keg...
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
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Ladies and gentlemen, the final product!



This experiment far exceeded my expectations. For a beer made from the "leftover" malt of another beer, I couldn't be any happier.

The flavor is tart, sour, then slight bitterness and malt at the end. There is a bit of apple in the aroma, but not much. It's low ABV makes it extremely drinkable.

I highly recommend giving this a try! If I can get my hands on some more cider and apples before the season ends, I might just have to make another batch. I have a feeling this isn't going to last very long...


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