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Apple Ale Recipe - Advice Needed

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h4mmy86

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Hey yo,

So I have one gallon of dry still cider around 7% abv in my fridge that I'd like to infuse with a light ale to be brewed next week. I'm thinking a simple SMASH recipe using pale ale malt and cascade (or maybe centennial?), mash low (149* or so) and shoot for a similar abv, keep the IBUs low with a small bittering addition (as to not overpower the apple aroma), and ferment with a clean American ale yeast like US05.

I'm wondering how much ale I should brew to not over dilute the cider. I imagine 4 gallons ale + 1 gallon cider might be a little weak on the apple so maybe 3 gallons of ale?

What IBUs would you aim for to achieve balance?

What about back sweetening a little just to amp the apple qualities? Maybe a half gallon of unfermented apple juice straight in at kegging?

I'm just spit balling ideas here. What do you think?

Cheers :mug:
 

RonPopeil

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Do a 2 gal batch. Use pils so the apple stands out. I would consider english yeasts like wlp002 to compliment the apple flavor as well.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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I'm trying to make do with what I have on hand. I have some Windsor yeast I could use. I also have pale ale malt and regular 2 row base I could use. In the hop department I have cascade, Centennial, and nugget.
 

RonPopeil

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Windsor would work for what I had in mind. I would do the pale malt and a bit of cascade or centennial. Not much.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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bumpski

So, researching a good apple ale is harder than I would have expected, I'm overwhelmed with people looking to make Redd's or some winecooler tasting crap like that. I'm beginning to think I should be researching graff.

ANYWAY, here is my plan after searching a bit...

Forget the hard cider I have in the fridge (well, not forget it completely, I'll just drink it still), I'm starting fresh with more apple juice. I'll do a 3 gallon SMASH brew with pale ale malt and cascade. Mash at a lower temp and shoot for around 6-7% abv. Make one flavor hop addition aiming for >30 IBUs. Once brewed and in the fermenter I'll top it up with one gallon of apple juice and leave this to ferment. At kegging I'll add one gallon of juice to the keg for sweetness, flavor and aroma.

Thoughts?
 

RonPopeil

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Generally, apple juice is around 1.050 OG. That should give you some idea of what you'll end up with.

IMO, if you brew something around 1.060 and add juice you should be mid 1.050's. Expect to finish dry because of the lower mash and simple sugar addition (juice) and you'll end up around 5%. This is bad science and someone will slap my knuckles but for every 1% of ABV you want over this just add .010 to your OG. Expect to finish around 1.010 +/- two points.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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Yeah, that's also what I generally assume apple juice gravity to be.I plugged some stuff into Beersmith and I'm figuring I'll brew 3 gallons of wort at about 1.070 diluted with 1 gallon of juice should bring it down to about 1.065 and that diluted with 1 gallon of juice at kegging should balance the final product out to about 5% abv
 

oldstyle69

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you could always use concentrate syrup to sweeten...the trick of freezing the juice, then just loosen the cap and let it slowly thaw up side down...what drips in to your juice catcher is concentrate...or something like that...i wish i had added more to mine. but its still good.
 

WayFrae

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you could always use concentrate syrup to sweeten...the trick of freezing the juice, then just loosen the cap and let it slowly thaw up side down...what drips in to your juice catcher is concentrate...or something like that...i wish i had added more to mine. but its still good.
Isn't it easier to just buy frozen apple juice concentrate?
 

oldstyle69

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depends on what you have available. some people dont want to add preservatives in to the beer and cant find organic concentrate.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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I'll consider the juice concentrate. I've done that with cider before and had good results. I'm just planning on using juice because I already have it on hand.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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...but let's say I do use concentrate. How would you guys recommend I make up for the >1 gallon of volume I'd lose by not adding the juice at kegging? By making more wort or adding more juice into the fermenter?
 

WayFrae

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I would say either adding more juice and wort to the fermenter or just having 1 gallon less. I feel like adding concentrate will give you a stronger apple flavor but I have never made a graff so I am just talking out of my a$$.
 
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h4mmy86

h4mmy86

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I've had good results with both frozen concentrate and regular juice when back sweetening. The only real benefit I've notice with concentrate is it displaces less volume therefore less dilution, but if you plan ahead and are prepared for the extra volume, I prefer the end result of juice.
 
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