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Scrow

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So, while I am worrying about my beer that I started yesterday, I thought I would start a batch of Apfelwine. I have a primary fermenter that I am using for my brew, a carboy for a secondary, and I thought I could grab another carboy just for wines/ciders, because as I understand it, the wine/cider can just be fermented in the carboy and then bottled.

1. Is this correct? Can I just start and finish it all in one container, then bottle it?

2. Is is the same as beer, in that you have to be very careful not allowing oxygen in?

3. How important is a blow-off for Apfelwine or other wines?

4. How does EdWort's taste? Like wine? Like juice or cider? I want something that will be tasty and maybe a little sweet. I am not a big wine guy, so I don't want to make it if it comes out tasting more or less like wine. I don't expect it to taste like apple juice either, just don't want it to taste like wine.

Thanks to everyone for putting up with my constant posting!
 

llazy_llama

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1. Is this correct? Can I just start and finish it all in one container, then bottle it?
Yes. The same goes for beer. Leave it in primary for a month or so, and it will clear up. As long as you have a bottling bucket, you sure can.
2. Is is the same as beer, in that you have to be very careful not allowing oxygen in?
Right again.

3. How important is a blow-off for Apfelwine or other wines?
For Apfelwein, not very important at all. My latest batch, I filled it right up to the neck of my carboy, and it swelled a bit, but didn't go further than halfway up the neck. Apfelwein doesn't have krausen like beer, just a few tiny bubbles.

4. How does EdWort's taste? Like wine? Like juice or cider? I want something that will be tasty and maybe a little sweet. I am not a big wine guy, so I don't want to make it if it comes out tasting more or less like wine. I don't expect it to taste like apple juice either, just don't want it to taste like wine.
Yeah, it tastes like a wine. If you want it to be more like a cider, you can carbonate it just like beer (EdWort recommends 3/4cup corn sugar), and even sweeten it at bottling time with a bit of Splenda. I'm not a wine guy either, but the Splenda trick works well for me.
 
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Scrow

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Hmm. Splenda because it won't react with yeast? I would like to try it out, but I want to make sure it has a distinct apple taste to it. Would hard cider be a better bet? The best I can gather is that you just mix apple cider with yeast and let it ferment.
 

llazy_llama

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Splenda is nonfermentable, and tastes a whole lot better than sweet-n-low. I've never heard of anyone who drank more than two glasses of Apfelwein who didn't like it. It really does have a nice apple flavor to it, moreso than Woodchuck Hard Cider IMHO. My suggestion would be to try out a few gallons. It's such an easy recipe with only apple juice, corn sugar, and yeast... Even if you don't like it, you're out maybe $7 on a 2.5 gallon batch.
 

Runyanka

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How much splenda would you guys recommend for sweetening? What about a single packet per bottle? half a packet per bottle?
 

llazy_llama

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That's up to the size of your bottle and your personal tastes. My most recent batch was sweetened at about 1/2 packet per 12oz bottle. I thought it was good, my wife though it was too sweet.
 

woollybugger2

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I'm going to have to make a batch of this stuff for my May fly fishing group camping trip.. ;)
 

MaynardX

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For your first batch, most ppl recommend not to sweeten the whole batch. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I have 5 gallons that will be ready to bottle on Monday! Can't wait!!!:ban: If it ends up being too dry for your taste buds, you can always add sugar to your glass to sweeten it up.
 

llazy_llama

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For your first batch, most ppl recommend not to sweeten the whole batch. I haven't tried it myself yet, but I have 5 gallons that will be ready to bottle on Monday! Can't wait!!!:ban: If it ends up being too dry for your taste buds, you can always add sugar to your glass to sweeten it up.
Yeah, you really don't want to go back-sweetening a whole batch until you're 100% sure you know what you're doing. It's like adding salt to your french fries. You can always add more if you want, but you can never add less once you've gone too far.
 

xxdcmast

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I just started drinking a few of my apfelwein that I made and they are pretty darn tasty. I would compare them somewhere in between a wine and a magners hard cider. Although I like them much better than a magners, to me magners has a kind of weird battery acid aftertaste I do not like.

I agree with the others make a batch and see if you like it. At first I wanted mine sweeter but now I drink it plain. You get used to it very fast.

A little trick I came up with for sweetening if you want. Make a simple syrup from brown sugar and use that to sweeten at drinking time. Just take equal parts water and brown sugar and cook together then put into a squeeze bottle you can add a little squirt to your drink when you pour into the glass.
 

Hang Glider

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4 oz sugar for carbing to 5 gallons = .8 oz per gallon, or about .4 oz for two litres.

Another back-sweetening ingredient - (tastes better than Splenda to me - ) Stevia. (Truvia, whatever). But caution - it seems to grow sweeter over time. Sweeten to less than you want, plop in fridge for a week, taste again...
 

Justibone

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I thought it was more like 8.5%?
I think if you use Edwort's recipe it is lower in alcohol, but if you use the frozen juice at 3 cans to a gallon, it's higher than that. We added even more sugar to it and used a wine yeast to kick it all the way up to 15%... yes, it's closer to schnapps than Edwort's Apfelwein.

I figured I changed it enough (even adding artificial coloring) that I wouldn't call it Apfelwein anymore... it's something else the way I made it. But it tastes fantastic!
 

impur

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Just give it a shot! I'm sure you can find someone to drink it, yah?

I'm at the same spot as you, my first batch of beer is in primary just about to finish its 2nd week, so i made some.

My first batch is fermenting away!! It bubbled up about halfway up the neck the first 2 days, then died back and is just making bubbles now.

 

Justibone

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Yeah, that's beautiful right there! When it clears up and you give it a taste, well, I think you'll be pleased. :)
 

schadelh

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Ed's apfelwein is definitely dry. If you wanted it sweeter you could use ale yeast (lower attenuation than wine yeast) although with ale yeast you might have to worry about krausen and a blow off tube (not sure if its the wort that makes the krausen, or the yeast).

I carbonated mine, and gave some to my folks just after they got back from France. They said it tasted almost exactly like the sparkling apple wine that they make in Normandy (no grapes there, but plenty of apples).

From what I have heard, if you want it sweet, pouring a glass and throwing in a splash of sprite or 7up works well
 

demonrichie

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i already tried my SG reading the other day(i couldnt wait)and even with it only bein at 1.020 from 1.068 it was good. that kinda leads to another question. i think my fermentation may be done earlier then the 4-8 weeks many ppl on here say. do you think that the fact that i pitched the same amount of yeast for a 5 gallon onto my 3 gallon batch sped it up that much? it has been sittin 75 not goin more then a degree either way. pitched may 13th if it helps
 

schadelh

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I don't think you are done yet. IIRC my apfelwein came out at ~0.99X. Don't get impatient, as you wait the wine will clarify, mine was in the carboy for around 10 weeks before I got to bottling it. As a bonus, extra wait time (bulk aging) will make it taste better, more apple-y.
 

demonrichie

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ya i kno itll go down to the .9s im just sayin that was 2 days ago when i was at1.020 thats over half in 5 days seemed a little quick to me thought it might be the extra yeast since im goin 2 gallons less then most who pitch a full pack
 

schadelh

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Mine fermented really fast. I didn't take any gravity readings until FG though. But while it was going, it looked like a yellow sprite or something, with CO2 bubbles rapidly and continuously climbing up the sides for about a week straight. After that, fermentation slowed significantly over the next week, and then started to (slowly) clarify.
 

demonrichie

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that sounds like mine but mine hasnt slowed down yet. i plan to age most of it im gonna experiment with it in 2 liter bottles doing some carbed some uncarbed some backsweetened some not and probably gonna age one for quite a few months just to see what my personal preference will be because of course everyone has a different taste for it
 

Justibone

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ya i kno itll go down to the .9s im just sayin that was 2 days ago when i was at1.020 thats over half in 5 days seemed a little quick to me thought it might be the extra yeast since im goin 2 gallons less then most who pitch a full pack
Mine took about 5 days to go from 1.020 to .998, IIRC. My brew book is at home. :eek:
 

impur

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that sounds like mine but mine hasnt slowed down yet. i plan to age most of it im gonna experiment with it in 2 liter bottles doing some carbed some uncarbed some backsweetened some not and probably gonna age one for quite a few months just to see what my personal preference will be because of course everyone has a different taste for it
I'm gonna experiment with mine too. Add some cinnamon to a few bottles, maybe some vanilla or something to others.
 

Zamial

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My families version of this is VERY dry. It really mellows out after a LOOONG time. We do a single stage primary and it sits in there for near 1 year+, then another year in the bottle is when I like it best. But some others perfer the "fresher" bottles. I am more of a beer/shot guy than a wine guy myself but do enjoy this wine in small doses.

I am going to add in with the cinnamon idea, we do a mulled version of this in the winter and for deer hunting.

I have also added 1/2 a shot of Jameson (Whiskey) or Korbel xtra smooth(Brandy) to a large wine glass of apfelwein, that also is a fun/tasty thing to do/try.
 

demonrichie

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I'm gonna experiment with mine too. Add some cinnamon to a few bottles, maybe some vanilla or something to others.
i was thinking about cinnamon too didnt think about vanilla though. it sounds good now that you say that i might have to try that.
 
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