I just thought I'd share my eperience finishing our apfelwein.
Disclaimer: I'm buzzed as I write this ! My apfelwein is great stuff.
I brewed up my apfelwein on December 5th, using high quality Sunrype pure apple juice, no concentrate. I added 3 pounds of sugar to a 6 gallon bath and used EC1118 champagne yeast. The OG was 1.068. The finished gravity is 0.992 or so. I think its about 10% alcohol.
I fined my apfelwein with bentonite and racked it to a second Better Bottle. I added potassium sorbate to stabilize the yeast. It has cleared beautifully.
Tonight I stole a bit of apfelwein with a wine thief. (I topped up the BetterBottle with applejuice.)
Over diner we tried various combinations of apfelwein, apple juice and apple juice concentrate. Here are our comments.
1) Straight apfelwein. Very clean. It has a super clean taste. A bit tart. A bit dry. Strongish alcohol character. Still very good.
2) Apfelwein plus 1 or 2 TSP of thawed apple concentrate per 1/3 cup of apfelwein. Its good, but too tart and too much alcohol character.
2) Apfelwein plus 50% applejuice by volume. Very clean. Just a tiny bit dry. Alcohol character is moderated. My wife really likes this. If its 10% ABV before, it should be 6.66% after.
3) Apfelwein plus 50% applejuice + 1 TSP of thawed apple concentrate per 1/3 cup of apfelwein. Ultra smooth. Tastes nearly like apple juice, but with warmth ! This is a really good social drink. Like beer, but a little stronger alcohol wise, but very smooth and delicious. This is my favorite.
Actually my favorite wine is a slightly sweet Gwurtztaminer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gewürztraminer
) and this reminds me of it. But I am not a wine expert.
The aroma of the straight and finished products is very good too.
None of these samples were carbonated. I am unsure if I will carbonate this stuff or not. Its delicious as is. Very yummy.
At first I thought that fermenting it with so much sugar would wreck it. Now I am happy I did that because we can dilute it with a lot of other apple product and it still has a good kick and lots of apple flavor. Not only that, but we will get 33 litres of product from one simple brewing !
I think we are going to bottle this stuff several different ways. Some will be made into apple champagne. Some will be made into the dryer apple wine. Some will be made into the sweeter apple wine.
I am very pleased with how this turned out. Thank you Ed Wort for sharing your recipe.