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Old 12-16-2006, 04:41 PM   #361
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I had a little bit of sulphur using Notthingham, but nothing major at all (helped that it was in the basement). Really only seemed to be around for a day or two.
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:30 PM   #362
brewman !
Nov 2006
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"Musy be a wine yeast thing." PLEASE ! Not all "wine yeasts" are the same. How would you feel if I said it "must be a beer yeast thing." ?

I'm into day 12 now. Still actively fermenting, but much slower now. No sulfur smells. No elephants in the room. I can't wait the try it !
Getting back into brewing...

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Old 12-16-2006, 05:50 PM   #363
Nov 2006
long island, ny, USA
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I had a minor sulphur smell at about day 3 but it only lasted 1 day......then it got sweet smelling and now it is a little bit beer-ish smelling. I used "Red Star Montrachet wine yeast" I pitched 5 days ago
Primary 1- Joe's Ancient Orange Mead
Primary 2- White Pyment
Primary 3-cherry wheat
secondaries- Kolsh & Cranberry/black raspberry melomel
bottled/kegged- Viking Thunder
On-Deck- Barv. Hefe & kiwi pear Sov/Blanc

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Old 12-16-2006, 07:33 PM   #364
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Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
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Ah yes, the smells of Apfelwein becoming liqued nectar. Soon, Grasshoppers, soon you will be enjoying

It's hard to beat a quick short glass of this after working in the garage to make room for the new (old) keg fridge.

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Old 12-16-2006, 10:00 PM   #365
Pirate Ale
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Sep 2006
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Since I am now at week 4 and getting really excited to keg this....

What pressure do you put on your kegs to condition? Do you force Carb?

What pressure do you serve at?

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Old 12-16-2006, 10:10 PM   #366
Sir Humpsalot
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Here is my contribution to this thread. If any of the posters on page one of this thread can copy and paste this to the front, that'd be great for any newcomers.

Now, without any further ado, here's a summary of what's contained in the first 37 pages of this thread.


How does it taste?
It ferments quite dry. Some people have tried different yeasts in order to achieve a sweeter taste. It may take you a few glasses to get a feel for the flavor. It is very reminiscent of a sort of apfelwein produced locally in Germany. There really is no comparable product in the United States. It's drier and less sweet than commercial hard ciders.

What is the difference between Apfelwein and hard cider?
EdWort says, “Most ciders are a bit sweeter. Ciders and Apfelwein are about 6% abv, but I like the little boost I give it with 2 pounds of Dextrose. It adds no body or flavor and still tastes like Possmann's Apfelwein, only it will kick your butt much quicker.”

Is this like Apfelmost / Apfel Korn?
No. Apfel Korn is a german liqeur made from wheat spirits. Apfelmost is spontaneously fermented with fresh-pressed apples or apple juice. It is probably similar, but the results may vary as a result of the spontaneous fermentation. Either way, Apfelmost is most certainly has a lower alcohol content since the initial gravity is not increased by the use of concentrate or corn sugar.

What’s the difference between apple juice and cider?
Cider is made by pressing apples. Juice is then filtered to remove all of the stuff that makes it cloudy.

Can I use apple cider instead?
Sure! You can use whatever you want. However, there is not enough information in this thread to give you any better details as to how it will turn out. I recommend starting a new thread or ask more experienced cider-makers.

What kind of Apple Juice should I use?
Ideally, you want to use 100% natural apple juice with no preservatives. The only acceptable preservative is ascorbic acid, which is a source of vitamin C and does not affect fermentation. Pasteurized juice is preferred, since it will have less bacteria.

How much will this recipe cost me?
5 gallons of Apfelwein can be made for between 20 and 25 dollars.

What else can you do with this recipe?

EdWort says, "this makes a great Grog in the winter time. Take a quart in a sauce pan, add some rum, turbinado sugar, and float a cinnamon stick in it and simmer for a while. Serve hot in mugs. It'll warm you right up."

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Old 12-16-2006, 10:11 PM   #367
Sir Humpsalot
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Breaking it up into three sections because I'm bumping up against the 10,000 character limit.


What other adjuncts can be added?
The following have been tried: cinnamon, clove, vanilla, molasses, honey. Basically, anything that you might find in an apple pie. but go easy on the adjuncts. You need surprisingly little to get the flavor. Remember, whatever you add is going to be sitting in the fermenter for many weeks- plenty of time for the flavor to come out.

What other kinds of yeast can I use?
Ale yeasts, champagne yeasts, and wine yeasts have all been tried. They all tend to finish dry, though Nottingham seems to maybe impart some degree of sweetness. Using brown sugar may do the same. The only apparent way to significantly sweeten the apfelwein without additives is to stop the fermentation early by using Campden tablets. In addition to Montrachet, other yeasts that have been used include Nottingham Ale Yeast (the_bird described his result as “wine-like” and about as sweet as a youngish sweet red wine; also SilkkyBrew); Wyeast #1098 (spyk’d); Wyeast London Ale (Orfy); SafAle s-04 (ChillHayze); Lalvin K1-V1116 (MidRex).

Apparently, Nottingham imparts a little bit more sweetness, or perhaps it's the brown sugar that does it. smg8041 made two identical batches, one with montrachet, the other with Nottingham and brown sugar (as was done by ‘the_byrd’), and he had this to say: “Now, I just bottled both of mine. The "Ed's Original" recipe was a nice lite dry wine wine taste. Has a little fizz to it, but otherwise flat. It was nice after the first glass. Cold was better. The other one, ‘The_Bird’ recipe was definitely sweeter and was very much like a light cider. That I have primed and awaiting carbonation. Now I have one sweet and one dry, something for everyone.”

Furthermore, “Brewman !” contributed the following information:
Just a comment about using Montrachet yeast.

"It is not recommended for grapes that have been dusted with sulfur, because of a tendency to produce hydrogen sulfide in the presence of higher concentrations of sulfur compounds."

Potassium Metabisulphite is commonly used as a preservative to prevent cut apples from browning as they are processed.

The Lalvin EC-1118 is recommend for ciders.

"The fermentation characteristics of the EC strain - extremely low production of foam, volatile acid and H2S - make this strain an excellent choice. This strain ferments well over a very wide temperature range, from 45º to 95º and demonstrates high osmotic and alcohol tolerance. Good flocculation and compact lees and a relatively neutral flavor and aroma contribution are also properties of the EC strain.
The EC strain is recommended for all types of wines, including sparkling, and late harvest wines and cider. It may also be used to restart stuck fermentations."

Can you sweeten it?
You can use Splenda or Lactose to sweeten it. These are both nonfermentable sugars. You can add them to the juice at the beginning, or you can boil some water or apple juice to sanitize it and then mix the sweetener in after the fermentation is complete. EdWort used an unspecified amount of Splenda and reported that no one could tell it was artificial sweetener. EdWort has also suggesting cutting the apfelwein with 7up. Another option is to use brown sugar in place of the corn sugar.

What about just adding more corn sugar or apple juice concentrate after the fermentation is complete?
This can be done if you use Campden tablets. These tablets will kill off the yeast and prevent the concentrate or sugar from being fermented. This will also prevent you from bottle conditioning the apfelwein- so no carbonation (unless you use CO2). You cannot just add more concentrate or sugar if you intend to naturally carbonate in the bottles. Failing to use Campden tablets and adding more sugar may result in overly vigorous carbonation resulting in either “gushers” or “bottle bombs”.

Can I use table sugar? Brown Sugar? Honey? Molasses?
Table sugar is known to impart a “cidery” flavor to beers. This may not be a problem with apfelwein. Brown sugar is regular sugar with some molasses, which will also impart some slight sweetness. Honey generally takes a longer time for the flavor to peak, so expect to wait an extra month or two before it is completely at its best.

Can I use a yeast cake from a prior batch of beer?
Sure. It will ferment just fine, but you will be adding beer flavors to your apfelwein. So think twice before you decide to do it. Do you really want your apfelwein to have a beer taste to it?

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Old 12-16-2006, 10:35 PM   #368
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thanks toot- saved a lot of reading!
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:29 AM   #369
Sir Humpsalot
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How long does it take to make a batch?
After you have the ingedients, sanitizing your equipment may take 45 minutes. After that, you can just mix the sugar with the juice, pour it in the carboy, and pitch the yeast. The whole process shouldn't take more than an hour and a half for an absolute newb. Experienced people can probably have it done easily in under an hour. Then, just wait 4-6 weeks for the fermentation and clearing to take place and begin bottling or kegging.

What if I want to carbonate the EdWort’s Apfelwein?
You can use a CO2 system to carbonate it. Most folks say 10-12psi is adequate for both carbing and also for dispensing. If you are using Campden tablets and fermentable sweeteners (juice or corn sugar), then CO2 is the only way to carbonate the beverage. If you are not sweetening it, or if you are using non-fermentable sweeteners, then you can bottle condition it by adding 1/2 of a cup of priming sugar before bottling. You can also leave it uncarbonated and just combine it with Club Soda, 7Up, or Tonic Water to get some bubbles.

Do you need a secondary fermentation?
No. Since you are using juice, there really is no significant amount of trub. Secondary fermentation won't hurt anything, but it's not necessary.

Do I need to make a yeast starter?
No. Just rehydrate the yeast. In fact, since this recipe is so fast and easy, if you start rehydrating just before you begin making the apfelwein, the yeast will be ready to go by the time you are ready for it.

What temperature should it ferment at?
65-75 degrees. Warmer temperatures result in a more vigorous fermentation, but are thought to also result in a more intense sulfur-smell which seems to be particular to the Montrachet yeast. This smell goes away in 1-3 days.

What’s the deal with the sulfur smell?
The sulfur smell goes away in 1-3 days and nobody has noted any off flavors as a result. Apparently, this is no big deal and is normal for the recipe. However, “Brewman !” did a little research and had the following things to say
OK, I did some research and I don't think the sulfur generation is normal or desireable.

The source, as far as I can tell, could be wild yeasts in the juice starting to ferment or the production of H2S from a combination of factors, most likely the wrong yeast, lack of racking, etc.

I make fruit wines as well as beer. My textbook for fruit wines is this:

I've never had an sulfur smell from any fruit wines that I've brewed.

As far as the wild yeasts go, on page 238, it states to add 80 to 100 ppm of sulfite to "kill wild yeasts prior to fermentation". I add sulphite crystals as directed to all the fruit wines I make.

One has to remember that fermenting wine musts is different than fermenting wort. Wort has just been boiled and it and the container is sterile. Fruits are exactly the opposite. They are simply washed and used. They are loaded with bacteria, organisms, etc. Never the less, I strongly suspect that the apple juice from the store is basically sterile.

I think the real problem is the fermentation conditions.

Page 267 says this:

"Hydrogen sulphide is created by wine yeast during fermentation and some strains such as Montrachet, produce more H2S than others. Generally the problem is not apparent until the secondary fermentation stage. During the secondary fermentation, the dead yeast cells build up in the sediment, and as they break down, their natural sulfur content is reduced to Hydrogen Sulphide. The heavier the deposit and the warmer the temperature - the greater the probability of hydrogen sulfide developing."

It goes on to say that if the smell stays in the wine for longer than a week, it changes to other substances and ruins the wine.


aeration, adding sulfur dioxide, adding copper sulfate. According to them, these are only make shift actions.


Use a different yeast. After INITIAL racking, don't leave the wine on the yeast more than 10 days. For these authors, initial fermentation is done when SG hits 1.020 or so and they rack to a secondary fermentor at that point.

They don't say it, but fermenting at a colder temperature will help as well.

All their apple wine recipes use a champagne yeast. (Bayanus Champagne.)
Do I need to aerate before pitching the yeast?
Not really. Since you aren’t boiling the juice, there should already be plenty of air in it.

What is it supposed to look like while fermenting?
After pitching the yeast, it will immediately turn cloudy. After about 24 hours, you should see a fraction of an inch of bubbles. They will start very tiny and grow larger until they are about the size of a quarter. After 2-3 days, they will disappear and there will only be occasional areas with small bubbles on the surface. It will be cloudy for the first 2-3 weeks and then the yeast will start to settle out and it will become very clear sometime around the 4th of 5th week.

What’s the starting and finishing gravity of this recipe?
It should be between 1.060 and 1.065, depending on how much sugar and concentrate you add. 1.062 seems to be a typical value. The Final gravity is usually between 0.990 and 0.995.

Will it age?
Yes. Probably for at least a year. Maybe longer. We’re not really sure.

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Old 12-17-2006, 02:19 AM   #370
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Well done Toot - you should get a job with Cliff notes
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