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Old 01-16-2007, 02:30 AM   #1
brewman !
Nov 2006
Posts: 1,428
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts

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 (ürztraminer) 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.
Getting back into brewing...

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Old 01-17-2007, 01:25 AM   #2
EdWort's Avatar
Jul 2006
Bee Cave, Texas
Posts: 11,912
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Welcome back after 6 years. I started back up last August after a 7 year sabbatical and my Apfelwein is what kick started me back into the hobby.

Interesting experimenting, how much potassium sorbate and benonite did you use?

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:52 AM   #3
brewman !
Nov 2006
Posts: 1,428
Liked 36 Times on 33 Posts

Thanks, Ed.

Potassium Sorbate: I used 3 teaspoons in a 6 gallon Better Bottle. (1/2 teaspoon per gallon) I put it in the bottom of the holding vessel when I rack. That mixes it pretty good. Some of the wine people say that if you add Potassium Sorbate you have to add some Potassium Metabisulphate or it will get a taste to it. I never have and I've never had an issue with off tastes.

Bentonite: I used a few teaspoons, I forget. I mix it with water and boil it in the microwave and then let it cool. I add it to a nearly full carboy and stir it. It takes the better part of a week to totally clear again.

I'll tell you that fining the apfelwein with bentonite made a big difference too. Made it super clean tasting. I was surprised by how much debris dropped out because it looked clear before I did it. Now its crystal clear. And the aroma is great too.

So we did more taste testing at dinner tonight. We decided we aren't going to carbonate any of it. We are going to drink it like wine. We are making peach champagne from another wine, so our champagne bottles are spoken for.

We are going to make the apfelwein into 3 different drinks. Remember that my apfelwein is about 10% alcohol, so its stronger than than most of yours.

Each of these recipes is good in its own right.

Ummm... don't ask me now I know this, but sweetened apfelwein on ice cream with raisins is SO GOOD ! Everything kind of melts together. Its like Baileys Irish cream, only better, if that is possible. A GREAT after diner treat.

Drink #1 Light and dry(er).

Tasting proportions. 1/3 cup of wine + 1/6 cup of applejuice + 1/2 tablespoon of concentrate

78 ml wine + 39 ml of apple juice + 7 ml of concentrate

For 7 litres of wine, this is 3.5L of apple juice and 628 ml of concentrate

11.125L of total volume
62.9% wine = balance of bottle is wine
31.4% juice = 235 ml of apple juice = 1 cup (a little under) per bottle.
5.6% concentrate = 42ml = 3 tablespoons per bottle

11.125L / 750ml = 15 bottles

Recipe #2 Light and sweet(er)

Tasting proportions: 1/3 cup of wine + 1/6 cup of applejuice + 1 table spoon of concentrate

7L of wine, 3.5L apple juice + 1256 ml of concentrate = 12.256 L total

1 cup of juice per bottle
84 mls of concentrate ! = 6 tablespoons per bottle.
rest is wine !
12.256/750 = 16 bottles

Drink #3 Strong and smooth

Tasting proportions: 1/3 cup of wine + 0 apple juice + 1.5 tablespoons of concentrate

126 ml of concentrate per bottle (1/2 cup) 1.884L of concentrate in total.
Rest is wine.

7L + 1.884L = 12 bottles.

Total batch is 15+ 16 + 12 = 43 bottles.


Apple juice = 7L
Concentrate = 628 + 1256 + 1884 = 3.768L of concentrate. 1 can is 355 ml, so 10.6 cans.

Check: Total volume is 22L + 7 L + 3.8L = 32.8 Litres. Bottles are 750 ml, so 44 bottles. Yep, it works.

Total cost for this will be $22 for applejuice to ferment + $7 of applejuice for mixing + $11 for applejuice for sweetening = $40. (Canadian dollars) Less than a dollar per bottle.

What an outstanding recipe this has turned out to be.
Getting back into brewing...

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Old 01-17-2007, 07:59 PM   #4
johnsma22's Avatar
Jun 2006
Taunton, MA
Posts: 1,964
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Thanks brewman for doing all this experimentation! It is going to make it a lot easier for all of us to make adjustments to the recipe to suite all of our different tastes. Well done!


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