Graff (Malty, slightly hopped cider)

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Scientific hippie

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Blong master, that sounds like a great idea! My husband likes cider, and I wanted to make him some (as I said above, my gateway drug was kombucha, and now I am escalating), but he keeps saying the season is almost over and he would prefer wine. But I am curious about graf. I may do a smaller recipe to start with, though eventually I will need a big carboy and now is as good as anytime. I will need to download Beer Brewing for Dummies so I know what to do.
 

Brewboz

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Sooo what i said before isn't completely true. After letting the head sit in the keg for several weeks its getting better. I imagine if I would have aged it like a cider and not a beer it would have turned out fair.
 

sixorfour

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I hope this question hasn't been posed before. I was looking at this thread, and while shopping I noticed Whole Foods has 1 gallon jugs of organic apple juice and smaller ones of Gravenstein and HoneyCrisp juice. Trader Joe's has 1 gallon jugs of unfiltered juice. Which do you think would be good for Graf? I am slowly moving my fermentation interests from kombucha to wine to cider. Is straight beer far behind?
I just brewed a batch of this with 4 gallons of Solana Gold Organic Gravenstein and a half gallon of fresh pressed pumpkin juice. I'll let you know how it goes!
 

Scientific hippie

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I saw your post. I'm very curious about how it comes out. I made my first batch of Graf today; I used one gallon of the organic juice from Whole Foods. I had the water ready to hydrate the yeast, but absent-mindedly just poured the packet into the jug. I am seeing bubbles, so I think it's OK. What are people's thoughts about priming sugar when bottling? Is that done with Graf?
 

sixorfour

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In my experience rehydrating the yeast isn't necessary, although I've only brewed beer before.

I read in this thread somewhere that people are indeed carbing this similar to beer (bottle priming sugars).
 

Scientific hippie

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OK, I put this gallon of Graf together ten days ago. It has been in my basement (around 76-77 degrees F). I haven't seen it bubble in days; is it still too soon to try it? Should I wait the extra few days, or might the slightly high ambient temp have made it ready sooner?
 

RPh_Guy

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OK, I put this gallon of Graff together ten days ago. It has been in my basement (around 76-77 degrees F). I haven't seen it bubble in days; is it still too soon to try it? Should I wait the extra few days, or might the slightly high ambient temp have made it ready sooner?
That's pretty warm. Probably finished, especially if you used a whole yeast packet.

I would definitely think about using some kind of temperature control in the future.

Swamp cooler = pan, water, t-shirt. Put the fermenter in the pan with water. Cover the fermenter with a t-shirt with the bottom of it in the water, so water wicks up the shirt and evaporates, cooling the fermenter.

I use an old fridge with a temp controller for tight control.
 

Scientific hippie

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I tasted it again today, a week later: quite hoppy, but smoother. I decided to backsweeten it with corn sugar. It's chilling in the fridge. I will see if hub likes it. I have already done 3 gal of Phug's everyday simplest sweet cider (transferred to a 3 gal carboy; I used Montrachet, probably the wrong yeast) and, for the heck of it, added Wyeast's cider and mead yeast to a gallon of cheap Target apple juice (not bubbling yet). I'm waiting for my shipment of Vermont apple juice; I have been advised to use White's farmhouse or D47 yeast. Thoughts?
 

Wingman646

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We are planning on getting a new refrigerator; we will put the old one in the basement and crank it up to 55 degrees. I hope that will solve the problem.
If you're going to use an old refrigerator for fermentation control I would strongly recommend getting a thermostat controller for it and set it to the baseline temp for the yeast you are using (I.e. If your yeast's temp range is 65-72°F set the controller to 65° so that the exothermic reaction of sugar conversion doesn't get above the maximum recommended fermentation temperature... Unless of course you're getting all scientific and want to try and play around with different esters from higher ferm temps.)

I will say that trying to ferment anything but a lager at that temperature (55°) will be slow or possibly ineffective as it may put your yeast into hibernation.
 

Scientific hippie

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If you're going to use an old refrigerator for fermentation control I would strongly recommend getting a thermostat controller for it and set it to the baseline temp for the yeast you are using (I.e. If your yeast's temp range is 65-72°F set the controller to 65° so that the exothermic reaction of sugar conversion doesn't get above the maximum recommended fermentation temperature... Unless of course you're getting all scientific and want to try and play around with different esters from higher ferm temps.)

I will say that trying to ferment anything but a lager at that temperature (55°) will be slow or possibly ineffective as it may put your yeast into hibernation.

Yes; I plan on getting a temp controller; others have advised the same thing. I just mentioned the 55° because I know that is a good temp to store wine; I'll be figuring out the proper setup to maintain different temps for fermenting and storage. Target has a 25-bottle wine fridge for $150; I may have to add that to the armamentarium if the wine production really gets going!
 

zonkman

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Boiling a new version later (thoughts welcome):

2lb Pilsner
1lb rye malt
9oz marris otter
1lb english coffee malt
12oz carabrown
10.5oz dme
10.2oz crystal 60L

1oz saaz at 60min.

That'll yield 3 gal of wort (1.060). To which will be added 2 gal apple juice.

US-05 to ferment.
 
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Dancy

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Hard Cider 5 gallon batch:
I had what think is a great result with the OP’s recipe and I’ll definitely make it again.
Nottingham yeast
8 oz. of Crystal 90L
2 oz. of flaked wheat - For head retention
4 Gallons of cold Archer Farms (Target) apple juice
1 gallon of cold spring water
2 lbs. of DME (1 lb. amber and 1 lb. light DME)
0.53 oz. of Crystal Hops 4% AA


1.75 cups of Truvia for back sweetening at bottling and 5 oz. corn sugar for carbonation, boiled together in 3.5 cups water, added to bottling bucket.

Directions for Brewing

I steeped the 90L Crystal and flaked wheat in .75 gallons of water @ 155-159° for 30 mins utilizing a 2 gallon stainless steel pot on my 1800 watt portable induction cooktop. I added a teaspoon of calcium carbonate to the spring water.

I sparged with .25 gallons or warm water (temp not taken).

Added the DME and brought it to a boil for 30 minutes, adding the Crystal hops at the beginning.

A whirfloc tab was added during the last 15 minutes of the boil.

I cooled down the wort in the fridge to around 120°F and added it to the very cold apple juice and water in my Speidel fermenter. The gallon jugs of apple juice sat on my balcony for several hours in Minnesota temps in the low teens. I hydrated the Nottingham Yeast before adding that.

Fermented for 3 weeks at temps ranging from as low as 54° to 70°.

I was initially concerned there was no visible fermentation the next morning. By the time I arrived home from work, the airlock was going crazy — much more so than when I brew beer and use oxygen. At this point, it was close to 72° so I placed the fermenter in my insulated fermenter jacket with bottles of solid ice. The temp came down to 54° by morning and for the remainder of the 3 weeks I tweaked the temp this way to stay pretty much in the mid to upper 60s.

I did not take a gravity reading initially as I normally do. Info in the thread indicated an OG of 1.066 if one followed the OP’s recipe. however, I took 2 gravity readings during fermentation and one at bottling (see readings below). This used about 2.5 cups of the liquid. The loss of volume was more than made up by the 3.5 cups of water added with the corn sugar & Truvia. Also, I added about 3 cups of cold bottled spring water to the wort to bring the temp down to a more patchable range for the yeast.

Gravity at:
11 days - 1.006
15 days - 1.004
21 days - 1.004

I ended up with 50 bottles and it was well carbonated after a week with a terrific head which sticks around for a while, due to the flaked wheat, I assume. Flavor-wise, it was even better than I expected and both of my adult daughters love it and want me to make more soon. It is somewhat sweet with a bit of a dry finish. I’d say compared to Angry Orchard original version and the sweet version, it is closer to the sweet but of course the malt and Crystal hops give it a bit of beer flavor (at least to my taste) but definitely mild, making this a really refreshing beverage when served really cold. I think the Crystal hops are great for this and would definitely use them again.
 

Moose_MI

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My first go. I did all-grain brew-in-the-bag instead of dme. 1oz Fuggles for 40min. It’s good...I’ll be doing this again

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Tfitz

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Just tried this yesterday as an experiment! I went with a "British" style ale as a base, since for some reason this drink seems British to me, even though it's obviously from In-World.

1 Can (3lbs, 4oz) Maris Otter Extract
1 lb DME (Golden light)
1 Oz Fuggle Hops (60 Minutes)
1 Pkt White Labs English Ale Yeast


This makes 3 Gal of Wort, and then I added 2 Gal of Kirkland Signature apple juice, for a 5 gallon batch. It's fermenting away, and I'm interested to see how it turns out! We did a hopped cider that took a few extra weeks of bottle conditioning to turn from "meh" to "pretty good!" so it will be interesting to see how long this one takes.
 

doublejef

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I also gave it a try with some variations.
DME is quite expensive and not easy to find down here so I made a small all grain batch in my kitchen. I miss understood the reciepe so I was aiming a 3l wort at 1050ish instead of 1090ish and it seems to be important.
It's now in bottle, carbonated since one Week but it taste quite bad, like a ale with a fermentation fault that make it taste like apple. It also looks like mud.
Pretty disappointed on this one, I will try it again with a 1090 wort 3l to 15l apple juice.
 
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doublejef: Disappointing. but I'd give it some more time before chalking it off. My grafs do tend to take a month or two before they blend and come into their own. I also like just a touch of cinnamon in mine. It brings out flavors and characters that would otherwise stay hidden. I didn't see a reference to how you handled your cider addition, but that is the most likely source of the cloudiness. Next time, hit it with pectinase before starting fermentation. Good luck!
 

doublejef

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Hi Jim, thanks for answering.

I didn't add any additive as I wanted to make a first test with the most possible basic process.

Basically, I'm a homebrewer but I also like cider that I tasted in US or UK. Here in Belgium, there is nearly no way to find any kind of craft cider neither online. Only industrial sweet stuff. So, I would like to start making something with the apple I can find near my place but there are obviously all sweet ones, no cider ones. A friend of mine is growing organic apple for living so I try to see if we can do something with the juice he makes with his apple. This Graff sounded the good thing to try.


By the way the aspect doesn’t import as much as the taste to me so I could handle it. I will try pectinase next time for sure. Is it possible to add it also after fermentation? I have a batch of Apfelwein where I should also have some trouble in it. If not, I still can use gelatine.


I will let the bottle in my garage for a month or two and see if it becomes better but it's now 7 weeks since day one and it's not just ok, it's pretty bad, can't finish a glass of it.

I'll let you know anyway.
 
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Is it possible to add it also after fermentation?
Hmmm. I don't know. I've only read about using it prefermentation. I have also read that alcohol denatures it, but no direct knowledge. If you can get some cheaply, it's worth a try. And cold crashing, then gelatin is another good thought. I do that with a lot of my beers and I think I have done it with ciders before.
As far as the bad tasting graf, try adding a little sugar to a glass and see if that helps. It's possible that the fermentaion just went lower than you like. Other possible additions to try would be tannin or acid blend. Experiment and maybe you will find a way to fix it.
 

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So I'm brewing a saison this weekend that will be lightly hopped. Can I just make 6 gals of wort and pinch a gal to add to the AJ and get the same results? It shouldn't be too much different. :mug:
 

GeneDaniels1963

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So I'm brewing a saison this weekend that will be lightly hopped. Can I just make 6 gals of wort and pinch a gal to add to the AJ and get the same results? It shouldn't be too much different. :mug:
I would go 3/1 wort to juice if it were me. I like to taste the apple.
 

doublejef

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You mean 3/1 juice to wort right ?
In the initial recipe it's about 4/1 juice to wort as OP is mixing 4 gal juice with a 1 gallon mash (what is actually less than 1 gal wort because the grain is keeping some water).

For my part I made a new micro mash and ended with 3l @ 1090 that I mixed with 9l of AJ. I hope is going to be better than the first attempt. By the way I tested it once again and it's a bit less bad than it was but still not good, I Don't think anyone could enjoy drinking it at the moment but maybe it will change with age.
 

cmac62

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So I brewed my saison and put just over a gallon into the fermenter with 3.5 gals store brand AJ (no preservatives). I pitched with Notty and it was bubbling good within a few hours. It came in at 12 brix, which is about 1060. I hope it turns out and tastes good. I do want to taste some of the apple. :ban:
 

cmac62

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So it is really dry, like 1002 dry, so I dosed it with some camdon tabs (1 per gal) and pitched in another gallon of AJ then into the keg. I put 5 gal in the keg, but because I added the juice I was able to put one gal into a jug. It tastes really good, not as much apple as I would like, but still tasty. I think next time I'll back sweeten with frozen aj and see if that helps. I suppose this could be done with water, D/LME, and AJ with no boil required. That would be handy, but I do like the touch of hops from the beer wort I used. Thanks for the recipe/Idea. :mug:
 

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No K-sorbate? You might get a restart of your fermentation. I would crack the lid on the gallon, assuming it is sealed, and make sure you did not build a bottle bomb.
 

cmac62

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I thought K sorbate and Camden are the same thing, doesn't it put the yeast to sleep?
 

Blacksmith1

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campden tablets are sodium-metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite. the potassium version is more flavor neutral. It is sometimes called k-meta and is used to stop wild yeast and bacteria from getting a running start in your must. Commercial yeasts are resistant to it. Sorbate is a preservative that does affect them and helps stabilize your wine/mead/cider so you can add sugars without causing fermentation to restart.
 

cmac62

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campden tablets are sodium-metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite. the potassium version is more flavor neutral. It is sometimes called k-meta and is used to stop wild yeast and bacteria from getting a running start in your must. Commercial yeasts are resistant to it. Sorbate is a preservative that does affect them and helps stabilize your wine/mead/cider so you can add sugars without causing fermentation to restart.
So, to kill off commercial yeast I need to get some K-Sorbate instead of the Camden tabs for back sweetening? On here and other sites I have seen have said the Camden tabs can be used. Thanks for the reply.
 

cmac62

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SWMBO even likes this. It is a good thing, she doesn't like beer, but does enjoy a nice dry cider. :ban:
 
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I've been away from the forum for a couple weeks, so just saw the above couple posts about stabilizing with K-meta and sorbate, then backsweetening. That works fine if you're kegging, or if you don't want a fizzy graf or cider. But if you bottle like I do, and want to backsweeten AND carbonate, then I've found the best technique is the cooler pasteurization. There's a thread somewhere in this section of the forum, but the 2 second version is to bottle one in a soda bottle and when that one is turgid and to your liking then the rest are also ready. Put them in a cooler and add hot tap water to prewarm. Meanwhile, heat 3-4 gallons to 170*. Drain the tap water and add the 170 water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes (or longer if you're lazy). Voila, done.
 

Andy Bullock

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I didn't know "graf" was a thing, but I was playing around a couple of weeks ago while waiting on my primary to get bottled and might have made some.

I also might have made something way too sweet the way it sounds. I'm not reading that anyone here put any gran sugar in theirs..

I just had some 2 row that I mashed, then added a bag of green apples and some apple juice to, cinnamon sticks and sugar were added while boiling... haven't tasted it yet, but now I'm a little worried :eek:
 

JordanfromOK

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I've been away from the forum for a couple weeks, so just saw the above couple posts about stabilizing with K-meta and sorbate, then backsweetening. That works fine if you're kegging, or if you don't want a fizzy graf or cider. But if you bottle like I do, and want to backsweeten AND carbonate, then I've found the best technique is the cooler pasteurization. There's a thread somewhere in this section of the forum, but the 2 second version is to bottle one in a soda bottle and when that one is turgid and to your liking then the rest are also ready. Put them in a cooler and add hot tap water to prewarm. Meanwhile, heat 3-4 gallons to 170*. Drain the tap water and add the 170 water. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes (or longer if you're lazy). Voila, done.
Holy hand grenade of Antioch!

Why didn't I think of that? Coolers are made to hold temp. I've been sitting here thinking of how I'm gonna wrap this huge pot on a LPG burner up without catching something on fire or melt a polyester blanket. The camping ice chest in the garage should work in the same way. Except for draining the tap water.
This aught to be much easier than messing with a huge hot 10 gal fryer pot 4 ft off the ground.

Thanks Mr. Rausch
 
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