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Caramel Apple Hard Cider

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UpstateMike

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Caramel Apple Hard Cider

Ingredients, Part 1:
7 x 96 ounce bottles (5.25 gallons) Wegmans 100% Apple Juice, pasteurized, only vitamin C added
2 lbs. Dextrose
Nottingham Yeast

Ingredients, Part 2
5 campden tablets (Optional, see notes)
5 – 12 oz. cans of Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate, thawed to room temperature
12 oz. Caramel Syrup

Recipe for Caramel Syrup:
2 cups of water
2 cups of light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. At boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes (until volume is reduced to half). Let cool & bottle for future use.

Part 1 (Started 1/7/12):
Opened 1 bottle of apple juice, got a gravity reading of 1.050. Temp is 64 degrees.

In a 6 gallon carboy, pour in bottles 1 and 2 of apple juice.

Open bottles 3 and 4 of apple juice. Pour half of each bottle into carboy. Add 1 pound dextrose per bottle to the remaining amount of apple juice in bottles 3 and 4. Shake bottles to mix sugar and apple juice. Pour bottles 3 and 4 into carboy.

Pour bottles 4, 5, and 6 of apple juice into carboy. Take another sample for OG, got a reading of 1.064. Open Nottingham yeast, pour into carboy. Agitate carboy to mix in yeast. Pour bottle 7 of apple juice into carboy.


Part 2 (In about 14 days):
Check for target FG of 1.010 to 1.015

Rack cider into a 5 gallon carboy.
OPTION: If you want a still cider, add 5 crushed Campden tablets to the cider at this time. If you want a carbonated cider, skip this optional step.
Make the Caramel Syrup and wait 24 hours before proceeding.

After 24 hours, siphon cider into your bottling bucket. Add the Caramel Syrup and the 5 cans of apple juice concentrate while siphoning to aid in mixing. Bottle the cider and enjoy.

If you are carbing in the bottle, be aware that this will carb up fast (4 - 5 days) due to all the sugar. I highly recommend that you fill and cap a plastic pop or beer bottle first, and use that as a guide to tell you when it will be time to Stovetop Pasteurize the batch.

Picture is Caramel Apple Hard Cider in the foreground, after adding yeast. The Apfelwein is ageing in the background.


 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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26 hours into it, not much activity in carboy. I haven't used Nottingham before, so I really don't know what to expect from it.

Temp is 62 degrees. Airlock activity is interesting, it appeared to be doing a "backsuck" earlier, now pressure appears to be increasing. If activity does not improve by the 48 hour mark, I'll try moving the carboy to a warmer room.

Picture below shows a thin ring of bubbles that appear to be increasing.

 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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Ferment seems to be progressing. 40 hours in, the ferment is moving along. Getting slow activity in the airlock...



 

NineMilBill

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1st? Awesome job! Looks like I can't think of an excuse not to make it now!

Shucks!
 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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Congrats, Mike! Did the judges provide any notes on the final product?
"Tastes like an apple pie"
"Wonderful aroma"
"Good crisp apple flavor"
"Beautiful color"

People kept coming back to this one for more.

One lady was quite persistent in getting some to take home.
SHE: Can I buy some?"
ME: I don't have a liquor license, I can't sell any in NY legally, sorry."
SHE: "What do I have to do to get a bottle?"
ME: (joking) "Well, I didn't get to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, sooo, show your tits?"
SHE: (without hesitation) ( . Y . )

I gave her a 6-pack. So, I guess I got the Booby Prize as well! :D
 

LeBreton

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Congrats on the win! I've used the Wegmans AJ before and the result was clean but a little thin in body. I now mostly use it to top off carboys when racking.
 

slingshot81

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Stovetop Pasteurize the batch? I guess I'm not quite sure why you need to do this.

I'm new to brewing.

But the recipe looks amazing and I'd love to try it!
 

NineMilBill

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See the sticky in the Cider forum. It's to kill the yeast before they eat all the sugar, leaving you with a sweet(er) cider.
 

slingshot81

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I guess I'm just concerned about breakage on the stove. Has anybody tried putting the bottles in and tried heating them up with the water? Bringing the temp of the bottle and water up more slowly. Instead of a heat shock into to 190 deg water?

on another note

Would there be less breakage putting them in the freezer?
 

Daze

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I do it differently and it still works great. I place mine in a pot and fill it with the hottest water I can get from my tap about 120º I then bring a separate pot of water up to 175º, turn the burner off, and then transfer the hot bottles in to it. My pasteurization pot still only drops to 160º I get to use a cooler process and there is less shock. works great!!!
 

NineMilBill

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Yea, once again slingshot...I really encourage you to check out the sticky. Within it, there are at least a half dozen other ways that people use to pasteurize - and express the same concern you did. It's a good read.
 

completelyuncorked

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glass is more apt to break when going from hot to sudden cold not cold to hot and 190deg is not hot enough to shatter glass this way
 

Daze

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true but you also have to keep in mind the bottle is already under pressure because of the co2 AND alcohol boils a lot closer to the 190 mark. that is why I went to the cooler method with a preheat.
 

NineMilBill

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Absolutely. Pappers stresses to check your carbonation level prior to pasteurizing. If you're getting gushers - pasteurizing stovetop is pretty much out of the question. But if you get a decent pffft (that's the technical term) you should be alright.
 

harveydent

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I imagine the stove top method is kinda like canning? Since u add in things after the boil this pasteurized the final batch?
 

slingshot81

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ok. Done deal. I'll be brewing this batch tomorrow. I have a 6 gallon carboy just itchin for this. I'm thinking I may fill it up to the top a little more though, an extra couple bottles never hurt eh!
 

Pickled_Pepper

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I imagine the stove top method is kinda like canning? Since u add in things after the boil this pasteurized the final batch?
I've never stove pasteurized beer bottles before, but I'm going to take a guess that it's not entirely like canning in ball jars. Yes, it does kill the funkies in there...but Ball jars tend to breath and...well...leak when in a pressure cooker. I think this is what makes the lid pop down...air escapes and sucks it down.

I'm not so sure that bottle caps allow air to escape like a ball lid. I could be wrong though.
 

slingshot81

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Well, just made this recipe. Hopefully it turns out like yours Mike. I did throw in 1 tbsp of yeast nutrient. We will see if that has any effect on the sulfuric odors.

Should be pretty great!
 

tt0027

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looking to make a cider to sweeten up the wife for a keg system purchase and i think this is the ticket....
one question though, i've never made a cider before. Is there an advantage to racking to the 5 gal carboy 24 hours prior to bottling? Or could i go right from primary to bottling with no secondary without complication?
thanks!
 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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Stovetop Pasteurize the batch? I guess I'm not quite sure why you need to do this.

I'm new to brewing.

But the recipe looks amazing and I'd love to try it!
I wanted to stop fermentation once the bottle carbonation got to a level I liked.
 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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looking to make a cider to sweeten up the wife for a keg system purchase and i think this is the ticket....
one question though, i've never made a cider before. Is there an advantage to racking to the 5 gal carboy 24 hours prior to bottling? Or could i go right from primary to bottling with no secondary without complication?
thanks!
I think that is mainly to give the Campden tablets a chance to work if you are going for a still cider, or kegging. I did it just to let it clear a little bit more before bottling.
 

willunc2005

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I've been looking for a great sweet cider to try as my 1st and this sounds like it. I do, however, have a question. If I want to do a half recipe and start in a 3 gallon carboy, can I actually use just half of the amounts for each ingredient? I want to bottle carb and then pasteurize, so will there be an issue with over carbing or will watching for a good FG prevent that just as with a full batch?
I think a lot of people on here must be engineers or chemists, but I'm a lawyer so please use small words and speak slowly.
 
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UpstateMike

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I've been looking for a great sweet cider to try as my 1st and this sounds like it. I do, however, have a question. If I want to do a half recipe and start in a 3 gallon carboy, can I actually use just half of the amounts for each ingredient?
Sure. :mug:

I want to bottle carb and then pasteurize, so will there be an issue with over carbing or will watching for a good FG prevent that just as with a full batch?
I have two 16 ounce plastic bottles. They use screw on caps, just like a pop bottle. These are the first and last bottles filled for each batch. When they carb up, the bottles get firmer. When they get to the right firmness, like an unopened pop bottle, then i know it is time to stovetop pasteurize. With the batch I did, it took about a week to carb up, but this can vary due to temperature where you have the bottles sitting while they carb up.

I think a lot of people on here must be engineers or chemists, but I'm a lawyer so please use small words and speak slowly.
Ohhhhhhhhhh. Kayyyyyyyyyy. :D
 

willunc2005

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Thanks, Mike. I reread my post and had a duh moment about the ingredients. I'm pretty sure I had a reason to wonder that and for the life of me I don't know it. Maybe it was my OCD shining through.
 

icanbenchurcat

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willunc2005 said:
Thanks, Mike. I reread my post and had a duh moment about the ingredients. I'm pretty sure I had a reason to wonder that and for the life of me I don't know it. Maybe it was my OCD shining through.
When you cut a recipe, you can't just cut the priming sugar in half. If you are using this bcksweeten/pasteurize method, overcarbing isn't a big problem I guess.
 

fbangie

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Made Edworts Aplewien for my first cider. It's been bottled for about 3 weeks now. Early sampling, it seems a little vinegary and it's dry. Not my cup of tea if you will so USMikes recipe sounded more to my liking. Started a 2.5 gal batch 4 days ago. I used Red Star Montrachet yeast. The yeast is going to town. The wife's laundry room smells like apple rhino dung (never been close enough to a rhino to know what it smells like but I'll take the experts word on it)....she's putting up with for now. Made a batch of USM's carmel syrup. I plan on carbing half and making the other half still. For the still cider I plan on stove top pasteurizing right away after bottling into wine bottles. For carbing I'll bottle to beer bottles, I'll check the carb level after 2 weeks to determine to stove top pasteurize then or wait. My thinking is I'll have still and carbed from the exact same batch to determine which is more to my liking. Any other thoughts????
 

willunc2005

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My cider is really chugging along too, though it doesn't smell like anything but cider. I guess I'm lucky.
You may not want to wait 2 weeks before checking carb levels. It looks like this cider will carb quickly according to the more experienced members above.
 
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UpstateMike

UpstateMike

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I used Red Star Montrachet yeast. The yeast is going to town.
Keep an eye on the SG, the Montrachet may ferment faster than the Nottingham, and I believe it has a higher alcohol tolerance.
 
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UpstateMike

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My cider is really chugging along too, though it doesn't smell like anything but cider. I guess I'm lucky.
You may not want to wait 2 weeks before checking carb levels. It looks like this cider will carb quickly according to the more experienced members above.
1 week may do it, but it will also depend on the temperature that you let it carb up. 1 week at mid 60's did it for me.
 

fbangie

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Thanks Mike...I'll check SG this weekend. The Montrachet is really getting after it judging from the air lock. Looking for an SG of 1.010, started at 1.074. That would be awesome if I could get it into the secondary this weekend. A big thanks for the recipe.
 

willunc2005

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Okay, so after I hit the low end of the recommended FG I bottled with the caramel sauce and apple juice concentrate. Two days later I open a bottle to check the carb and I see this "goo" has formed in the bottom of the bottles. I am pretty sure it is the concentrate and caramel separating into the bottom. Is that normal? Will it mix back into solution eventually? Has anyone else seen that happen? Or did I screw something up? Sorry for all of the questions.
P.S.- it smelled decent, there was quite a bit of alcohol initially, but then the apple and back sweetening came through. I've read that the alcohol smell and taste will temper with age. So I'm pleased with the taste so far!
In the pictures you can sort of see what I am talking about. I have a flashlight behind the bottle and I gently inverted it for a moment to see if it was in this bottle as well.

image-3803193345.jpg


image-1169044415.jpg
 
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