"Apple Pie A La Mode" Cider advice?

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DrJerm

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A friend of mine wants to make apple pie a la mode flavored cider. We are both beginners, and our researching efforts have left us with some questions.

Is it possible to make this cider thick and creamy? He's considering adding oatmeal (think thick oatmeal stout). I'm wondering about maltodextrin and lactose for body and creamy sweetness. Vanilla extract is also in question.

Any yeast recommendations? A champagne yeast has our interest for it's ability to get the ABV to around 18%. We like the idea of maxing out the yeast with sugar and ending up with a slightly sweet, flavorful, and high alcohol treat. Apple pie flavor is important.

Are we out of our minds?

Here is our recipe idea:

4 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple juice concentrate* (5 x 12 oz cans)
5 cups molasses
3 cups cane sugar
oat meal
vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
all spice?

*We suspect if we delay adding some of the concentrate until the yeast has nearly had it's fill, it would ensure some sweet apple flavors.

Thank you for any suggestions!
 

Mcduff

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Interesting! I really have no idea how this will turn out but it sounds like it would be fun to try. Have you considered doing some 1 gallon test batches? I would sure like to hear about your results.
 

gratus fermentatio

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Here is our recipe idea:

4 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple juice concentrate* (5 x 12 oz cans)
5 cups molasses
3 cups cane sugar
oat meal
vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
all spice?

*We suspect if we delay adding some of the concentrate until the yeast has nearly had it's fill, it would ensure some sweet apple flavors.

Thank you for any suggestions!

That's a LOT of molasses. I used 10 oz in a 6 gallon batch of cyser & it about overpowered the honey & apple. Unless you REALLY like molasses, you might want to keep it under 8oz.

I'd use flaked oats instead of actual oatmeal, flaked oats are already converted so you can just steep them instead of having to mash them.

I'd use whole/cracked spices in a sort of "teabag" so you can remove them when the desired level of spice flavour has been reached. I'd also use vanilla beans instead of extract.

Post your progress, I'm curious to see how it turns out. Regards, GF.
 

Fletch78

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10-4 on what gratis said.

Just use 5 cups Dark Brown Sugar which is just regular sugar with molassas mixed in instead of 5 cups of molasses, and even that will be pretty strong, along with the 3 cups of cane sugar.

Also, +2 on the teabag method. When you get that kind of ABV (almost 13% by my calculations) it's going to suck every little hint of flavor from those spices, and it's not going to taste good. If you wait until it's mostly done fermenting, dangle the spice bag into the fermenter from a piece of dental floss (cinammon flavored) or fishing string (Stren 6 lbs test) and it will only take a couple of hours for the alcohol to suck a giant amount of flavor from those spices.

What yeast are you going to use?
 

nickmpower

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I just tried some of my apple cider mixed with store bought pumpkin pie spice. Its amazing!!!!
 
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DrJerm

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Thanks for the tips, guys, it's a huuuge help to us!

What yeast are you going to use?

We're leaning towards pastuer champagne yeast, or EC-1118, whichever the brew shop carries. The idea of stepping the sugar until we burn the yeast out at 18% is appealing. Then we'd fine tune the final sweetness and flavors before bulk aging.

I've been considering beer yeasts, though it seems they top out before 12%. I'd like to know if starting with, say, a safeale S-04 then finishing with a champagne yeast would taste fuller than going with only champagne?

In some ways we are approaching this as a sort of dessert wine / liqueur / big hard sipping cider. I've had apple pie hooch that brings similar results with house guests & friends & such, but we are more interested in the craft of brewing - a creative and stimulating outlet that brings a nice reward at the end of the day! :mug:

From your input, it looks like we'll probably want to try several batches to hone in on it; and post the results for anyone interested.
 

Edcculus

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Hmm, a guy in my brew club makes an "apple pie" cider. I'll have to ask him what he does. I'm pretty sure its as simple as regular apple juice fermented with ale yeast, then backsweetened with apple juice concentrate plus some spices. He kegs, so kicking off fermentation again isn't a problem. If you bottle, I'm not sure this would be an option.
 

gratus fermentatio

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We're leaning towards pastuer champagne yeast, or EC-1118, whichever the brew shop carries. The idea of stepping the sugar until we burn the yeast out at 18% is appealing. Then we'd fine tune the final sweetness and flavors before bulk aging.

If you go for an 18% ABV, it's going to take a while to age out to the point where it doesn't taste like fuel. You could always use a yeast that peters out at 12-14% ABV & do the same back sweetening, that way it will age a little more quickly & likely taste better all around. Maybe use D-47 or 71B-1122. Here's a list of wine yeasts, have a look & see which one will work best for you: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/strains.asp If you really want to go high ABV, just be prepared to wait a long time to drink it.
Regards, GF.
 

Fletch78

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I've been reading alot about mead and wine lately, so this is based on sound advice, not personal experience:

Getting to 18% is going to require step feeding as you mentioned, but also lots of aeration, degassing, and nutritional supplements, and something to adjust the ph at some point. You should run this idea through the wine forum, perhaps post a link to this topic there.

And, as gratus said, a long time aging, easily years.
 
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DrJerm

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On Feb 16 we started a 5 gal batch:

2 ½ gal pasteurized apple juice
2 gal unpasteurized apple juice
2 x 12 oz cans apple juice concentrate
Liquid of 3 lbs rolled oats steeped for 55 min in apple juice & water
4 lbs golden brown sugar
2 lbs light brown sugar
2 c white sugar
½ tsp potassium metabisulfite
OG 1.112

24 hrs later we pitched Lalvin EC-1118 yeast.

At between 55˚ and 60˚ it is going strong at the moment.

We will step up the sugars with more apple juice concentrate soon.
 
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DrJerm

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Have you considered doing some 1 gallon test batches?

Yes, I decided I will start my own test batches - thanx to everyone’s comments. Any suggestions on this are welcome.

•5½ gal apple juice.
•½ gal apple juice concentrate.
•Brown sugar (as much as needed).
•1 lb. Flaked Oats, steeped.
•Vanilla beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.
•Thickeners & backsweeteners to taste: Maltodextrin, Lactose, Glycerine, Liqueur Thick.
•4 yeast strains: SafAle S-04, Lalvin D47, Lalvin 71B-1122, Red Star Montrachet.
•4 x 1 gal containers. (Ferment ≈72˚. Step up sugars until yeast peters out.)
•4 x ½ gal containers. (Ferment ≈65˚. Target ABV 8%.)
•½ tsp potassium metabisulfite

Mix apple juice, concentrate, enough brown sugar to achieve an OG of 1.064 (8% potential ABV), and metabisulfite. After 24 hrs, pour into the 8 containers. Create yeast starter with each yeast and divide among a 1 gal and a ½ gal container for each of the 4 yeasts. All 1 gal jugs ferment at 72˚ with steeped oats and sugar stepping until maxed out. All ½ gal jugs ferment at 65˚ until dry, then get steeped oats added for 1 week. Every batch gets racked to a secondary for minimum 2 weeks, then cold crashed. 1 gal maxed out batches get apple juice concentrate sweetened. ½ gal 8% batches get lactose / non-fermentable sweetened. Thickeners and spices will be used to taste on both sometime before bottling. No carbonation.

Many samples and notes will be made throughout the process.

Can the SafAle S-04 yeast start alright with an OG of 1.064 (8% ABV)?
 
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DrJerm

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Anyone think that heating (mulling) the juice before fermenting might result in a more authentic baked apple pie flavor? I understand that it tastes different, but does it tend to taste bad or all right?

(I'll be using Field Day unfiltered, pasteurized, organic apple juice.)
 

gratus fermentatio

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Anyone think that heating (mulling) the juice before fermenting might result in a more authentic baked apple pie flavor? I understand that it tastes different, but does it tend to taste bad or all right?

(I'll be using Field Day unfiltered, pasteurized, organic apple juice.)

You can actually heat juice without getting that "cooked" taste, but I honestly don't know at what temp the "cooked" taste is created. I do know if you boil/simmer the juice you will get that "cooked apple" flavour from it. You'll also set the pectins, which will make the end product cloudy. You might want to add some pectic enzyme to help break down the pectins, even then it might still be cloudy.

The difference in taste is similar (not exact) to the difference in taste between a fresh apple & a baked apple. I think "softer" kind of describes the "cooked" flavour. You might be able to add some "softness" to the flavour profile by doing a malo-lactic fermentation, or by using Lalvin 71B-1122 yeast, it metabolizes some of the malic acid in apple juice. At least with MLF or 71B you won't set the pectins, I'd still add some pectic enzyme though. Regards, GF.
 
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DrJerm

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My 8 test batches are in secondary at the moment. I hope to finish them this month and post results.

We bottled my buddy's 5 gal batch last month, so I can comment on that. In the days leading up to bottling, we added cinnamon, nutmeg, a vanilla bean, toasted almonds and toasted oats, leaving each one in until it tasted right to us (a couple hours to a couple days.) Taste wise it does resemble an apple pie with vanilla ice cream, though my 1st impression was honey bunches of oats cereal. It is med sweet, with a pronounced vanilla-almond-oat flavor, ample mouthfeel, and warm finish. It burns like a strong mixed drink though, with an ABV around 20%, so we set some aside for future years.

Thanks again to the home brew talk community for this tremendous resource!
 
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DrJerm

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Didn't notice any. I would guess that any oils would stay behind on the surface when racking to the bottling bucket.
 

AwesomeSquad

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A friend of mine wants to make apple pie a la mode flavored cider. We are both beginners, and our researching efforts have left us with some questions.

Is it possible to make this cider thick and creamy? He's considering adding oatmeal (think thick oatmeal stout). I'm wondering about maltodextrin and lactose for body and creamy sweetness. Vanilla extract is also in question.

Any yeast recommendations? A champagne yeast has our interest for it's ability to get the ABV to around 18%. We like the idea of maxing out the yeast with sugar and ending up with a slightly sweet, flavorful, and high alcohol treat. Apple pie flavor is important.

Are we out of our minds?

Here is our recipe idea:

4 gal apple juice
1/2 gal apple juice concentrate* (5 x 12 oz cans)
5 cups molasses
3 cups cane sugar
oat meal
vanilla
cinnamon
nutmeg
all spice?

*We suspect if we delay adding some of the concentrate until the yeast has nearly had it's fill, it would ensure some sweet apple flavors.

Thank you for any suggestions!

How did this turn out?
 
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