Howdy, I just racked to secondary a batch of cider that I intend on bottling, naturally carbonating, and spicing. Here is the base recipe that I have done:
Plan: ~7.5 ABV spiced cider. Rack to secondary and "dry spice" (dry hop with spices).
Juice: 512 FL OZ (4 US Gallons) organic apple juice no perservatives
Sugar: 1.5 lbs evaporated cane sugar.
Yeast: Packet of Danstar Nottingham
OG: temperature corrected: 1.075
On 11/21/2008 the airlock had stopped bubbling for about a week and a half. I took a gravity reading, and racked to secondary.
The SG was 1.003 temperature corrected.
Tasting notes: suprisingly sweet given the SG, very fruity with notes on top of the fresh apples of white peaches, appricots and passion fruit juice. Alcohol nicely hidden given the calculated abv, full and smooth bodied. It was so good I bottled one bottle.
Now my plan is to spice it using a dry hopping bag, and the same method. I plan on checking every other day to make sure none of the ingredients get out of hand.
for this cider is to naturally carbonate and bottle it. I want the spices to be a back note to add to the holiday spirit of things, and not to dominate the flavor. I very much want to make sure that this is not an astringent spice bomb.
Now after all that, to the point of my post:
What spices and how much should I use?
The spices I was thinking of:
1 large Cinnamon Stick (tasting every other day so it doesnt get out of control)
3 whole Nutmeg
1 Vanilla Bean
X? whole Cloves
X? Allspice berries (same amount as the clove)
Other Spices I have been thinking of:
dried Orange Peel
dried lemon peel
So what do you guys think I should do spices wise, and what amounts? I do plan on taking the cinnamon out once it reaches the correct level...I don't want this already good tasting cider to end up tasting like Big Red bubble gum. Remember I am trying to make a cider where the spices compliment, not dominate.
Thanks for reeading this long post