Hi all, some of you may have been following the Caramel Apple Cider thread which I was posting in. Long story short, I have had nothing but a success with this and thought you might want to know how I did it.
For a 1 gal batch:
4 cups raw sugar (I would believe that the sugar is interchangeable, doesn't matter if it is white or brown)
250 ml honey
1 gal Apple Juice/Cider (preservative free)
Any standard wine/champagne yeast.
1. Add 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup apple juice to a pan. Caramelise on medium heat for around 14 mins. NOTE: If you want this to be a clear cider, substitute JUICE for WATER.
2. Once sugar is caramelised, add to fermenter.
3. Pour half of your juice into the fermenter and SHAKE.
4. Add the rest of your juice.
5. Pitch yeast.
6. Ferment till dry, and yeast clears (see notes).
7. Add honey and sugar to a pan and caramelise to taste. (I used 15mins).
8. Add honey mixture to a separate fermenter and add half of your cider.
9. MIX, MIX, MIX, MIX. I ended up mixing for almost half an hour to get it all to homogenise. Be wary that your cider may still be releasing CO2, so release the pressure often.
10. Bottle and pasteurise.
The sugar mixture will take a long while to mix in both times. It is more important to mix in the sugar at the latter part of the recipe, as the yeast will eat the sugar not in solution during primary fermentation.
Ferment till dry and yeast clears. If you have used apple juice with your sugar mixture, your cider will not completely clear, I would suggest using a hydrometer and wait for stable readings.
Do NOT burn your honey or sugar. This will most likely ruin your pot, and will smell and taste awful. That being said, watch for splashes and remember that the sugar will continue to caramelise after you remove it from the heat.
Pappers_ pasteurisation thread which is stickied at the top of the forum. I do not know how this would go being dry, but the flavours are complemented as a sweet cider.
Finally, I did not take gravity measurements, but I would hesitate a guess of a final ABV at 9%. This is the single best cider I have made to date. It tastes like I am drinking apples dunked in caramel, with a honey aftertaste. It is SO smooth. I had a sample of it as I was mixing and ended up going through a whole 750 ml bottle. BE CAREFUL with this stuff, it's dangerous because it is so smooth, even straight out of primary.
Everyone, enjoy and feel free to ask questions so I can clarify anything you don't understand.