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Apfelwein (hope I spelled that right)

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colin_rudolph

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So I've made some beer before, and right now I'm working on a batch of mead. In a few days I'm going to have an empty carboy (and some delicious wine!) and was looking at making a batch of EdWort's Apfelwein. I've never had it before, but I've drank hard cider before and loved it, I was just wondering what would happen if I followed EdWort's recipe but did not add the sugar or added less sugar? Would the Apfelwein turn out sweeter? What would the alcohol content be? Is it really dry if you add the sugar?
Fermentation should take about six weeks right? It seems to me that EdWort uses just a carboy in his recipe, could I put it in a primary for a few days and then rack to a carboy?
 
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If you don't increase the OG by adding sugar, it won't be apfelwein. It'll still be hard cider. You can estimate the ABV by measuring the specific gravity of the juice and assuming an FG of 1.000. The resulting cider may taste slightly sweeter, but because apple juice is quite fermentable, it will be fairly dry unless you backsweeten.
 
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colin_rudolph

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Alright, thanks Yuri Rage, so Apfelwein is stronger and drier than regular apple cider?
any difference in fermentation time for regular apple cider?
 
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colin_rudolph

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Alright, thanks, I'm thinking of just making a gallon of this stuff, seeing if I like it, and I do, I'll make more. So here's my cut down recipe, let me know if there's any problems please.

One Gallon 100% pure apple juice.
1 and a quarter cups of dextrose (or brown sugar? Any taste difference?)
one five gram packet of wine yeast, (any recommendations? could I use Ale yeast? any taste difference?)

Should this still take six weeks to ferment out? I've never made a gallon batch of anything before.
 

Crazytwoknobs

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Brown sugar made mine look really dark (still in carboy). My first batch used dextrose, was lighter in color, and tastes awesome.

The Apfelwein recipe used here most often uses Red Star Montrachet wine yeast. Should be like $.49 for a packet.
 

placervilledan

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I'm still learning, and the majority of my stuff has been one gallon batches (I think that it is cheaper to screw up a gallon of something than five). My experience says that some people's will take six weeks, some will take 8, and some will take ?????? I really only trust the SG readings for when something is done.
 
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colin_rudolph

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true that, Placervilledan, I'm making a batch of mead right now, brewed it on the 17th of December, recipe called for a three week ferment, it's only now starting to slow down, about 200 seconds between bubbles so I think I MIGHT be able to bottle this weekend. It's five gallons of pure deliciousness though, so I'm quite excited about it.
I might start this Cider this weekend too.
Anybody know what'll happen if I use Ale Yeast? Will that pose any problems/taste differences?
 
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My first batch was started with Cooper Brewing Yeast. I just moved it to the secondary after being in the primary for 12 days. I had to try it. It will had a good apple taste to it.

When I went to the wine/brew supply some one there had made cider. Asked about which yeast. He said that the champagne yeast reduced the apple flavor but the ale yeast keep it more fruity. So far it is fruity.
CiderRat
 

JavaBeans

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I keg everything, but when I make Apfelwein, I put in 2 cans of frozen apple juice into the keg before I rack into it. Then chill and carb immediately.

I expect if if stayed in there long enough, the stuff might try to ferment the new sugar, but it goes so fast I've never had time to find out.


PlacervilleDan - what state is your Placerville in? I lived in Placerville, CO for a year way back in 1992. I think while I was there, the population of Placerville was 54...
 
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colin_rudolph

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Thanks a lot guys, I've got a gallon carboy, my 100% pure juice, and some Champagne yeast, I've also got some Ale yeast, don't know what I'll use yet.
Anyways, my main question is, so this is all done right in the gallon jug? I don't put it in a primary for a few days first?
 
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colin_rudolph

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See my girlfriend and I are trying this out, and if we we like it, we'll make a five gallon batch, only problem is, she doesn't like dry drinks. I know Champagne Yeast ferments out quite dry, so maybe if I used some Ale yeast, like someone on here said, and brown sugar instead of dextrose it might come a bit sweeter eh?
 

NitrouStang96

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Yours will be fine, but someone else can chime in about dryness/sweetness, because this is my first batch and I don't know what to expect.

I have six 1gal glass jugs currently fermenting along just fine with pasteurized apple juice, about 6oz dextrose mixed in each, and 1 gram Montrachet wine yeast in each jug. I'm going to sweeten on bottling day with about 1.25oz lactose in each 1gal jug.
 
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colin_rudolph

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Awesome, glad to know I'm not the only one doing this for the first time, I think I'm going to get another 1 Gal. carboy tomorrow and do two batches, one with Ale yeast and one with Champagne yeast. This is probably a dumb question, but what is Lactose? I know it's in milk..where can I get it?
Any other way I can sweeten?
 

Tusch

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Lactose, when spoken of on a homebrew subject, is referring to lactose based sugar. It is a non fermentable sugar that allows you to sweeten your brew without needing to kill off the yeast and is an alternative to sweeteners like splenda.
 
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colin_rudolph

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Thanks..does Splenda give the brew a funny taste? I tried it once in my coffee and to be honest, I thought it tasted terrible.
Also, how does brown sugar taste in Cider? I've always used regular corn sugar in my beer, but some people on here talk about using Brown Sugar, any ideas?
 

Tusch

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Well Splenda is all about personal taste, it is going to be similar if not the same effect for brews as it does for anything else. Brown sugar can add a bit of a tart character, especially if you use dark brown sugar. I have used light brown sugar and it only adds the slightest tartness and I personally like that molasses flavor and tart.
 
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colin_rudolph

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Alright, here's my (as for now) final recipe, have at me with any critcisms or anything, will probably be making this in a few days. Adapted, with thanks, from EdWort's Apfelwein, which I still hope to make someday. This will be my test batch of Apple Cider. One Gallon:

One Gallon 100% pure apple juice.
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
one five gram packet of Muntons Ale Yeast.

Any ideas on final Alcohol content or taste - sweet? dry?
if you guys think this will taste like a mixture of horse asses and tiger piss, let me know.

Peace,
~Colin
 

placervilledan

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That sounds like a good recipe. I thought it would be a good idea to do the additional yeast at the same time, in another jug. It's cheap, and interesting to see how the two yeasts will ferment differently. Most people are suprised when they try a true "cider" for the first time. They are expecting something that is more like juice. To me, it has much more in common with wine or champagne. Still very good though. Without having a previous batch to compare your current one too, it will be hard for you to judge tartness, dryness, or any of that stuff. Which sounds like a good reason to make lots of experiments. My kids think I am an alchemist or something because I'm always putting different "things" in jugs that start to bubble and smell weird. :tank:

Java Beans:
I live in Placerville CA, near where the gold rush started.
 
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colin_rudolph

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Alright, thanks. So the Brown Sugar won't put too much of a tart taste into it?
I know you're not supposed to use table sugar in beer, but this is Cider
 

Crazytwoknobs

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colin_rudolph said:
Alright, here's my (as for now) final recipe, have at me with any critcisms or anything, will probably be making this in a few days. Adapted, with thanks, from EdWort's Apfelwein, which I still hope to make someday. This will be my test batch of Apple Cider. One Gallon:

One Gallon 100% pure apple juice.
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
one five gram packet of Muntons Ale Yeast.

Any ideas on final Alcohol content or taste - sweet? dry?
if you guys think this will taste like a mixture of horse asses and tiger piss, let me know.

Peace,
~Colin

I'd seriously try the Red Star Montrachet yeast first. My batch with Munton's turned out bleh.
 

beala

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I also tried to make a batch of cider with munton's. Granted, it was a completely different recipe (used honey and spices), but it turned out very yeasty and harsh. It's bottled and aging right now, so maybe it'll mellow out and end up being good, but it definitely wasn't ready in two months like apfelwein. Right now, that cider is pretty much undrinkable.
 
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Crazytwoknobs said:
I'd seriously try the Red Star Montrachet yeast first. My batch with Munton's turned out bleh.
I actually can't get any red star yeast where I live, I can get some lalvin yeasts though. I've got some Champange yeast here which is what the guy recommended. Will that work?
 

placervilledan

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I have used Lalvin EC-1118 in the past with favorable results. Other people don't like it that much though. Again, just chuck the stuff in there and see what happens. I was WAY too worried the first time I brewed cider about how everything was going to taste. I think that I talked to the LHBS so many times that their ears were bleeding when I finally put my batch in the carboy. The advice the guy finally gave me (I think he was tired of me at that point) was to go brew something, and then brew something else, and then something else, ;)
 
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