Graff (Malty, slightly hopped cider)

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GeneDaniels1963

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I concocted a new recipe for another 1 gal batch of graff:

3lb of crab apple juice (slightly cooked)
1 lb Amber DME
8oz 60L Crystal malt steeped
1 1/2 can FAJC
Nottingham yeast

SG was about 1.075, so it will be pretty high ABV. I just bottled. I had cup left over so I tired it. Wow was it good! Still a little green and yeasty tasting, but the balance of tart from crabs with the sweetness of crystal malt was really good. I can't wait until it conditions a month.

In fact, I am going to the brew shop as soon as I have time so I can do 2 more gal.
 

Dancy

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I concocted a new recipe for another 1 gal batch of graff
I’m anxious to hear how this turns out for you. I’ve made 3 batches of BrandonO’s graf and love it but interested in something new as well.
 

bstacy1974

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Over the weekend, I moved around some boxes in my beer area. I thought all the boxes contained empty bottles, but one was actually a case of Graff I made 4 years ago!
Popped one in the fridge, cracked it during the "big game". Man it was good!
 

Dancy

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Over the weekend, I moved around some boxes in my beer area. I thought all the boxes contained empty bottles, but one was actually a case of Graff I made 4 years ago!
Popped one in the fridge, cracked it during the "big game". Man it was good!
I’m jealous. Just drank my last one til I brew more soon. I wish I had a forgotten case! I’m impressed it was good after 4 years.
 

MSOfour

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For all non-scientific beerology purposes, this is a cider. (I know, I know....but its got hops in it!)

Jay Huff and his apple bee got me started on some experiments and this is what I have come up with.

I noticed Ed's Apfelwein tasted super hoochy until it was about a year old. When it's about a year old tho it does taste like a good cider, but doesn't have the body a good cider does.

So, how can I make something that will taste good faster and also have body?

1. Get rid of the wine yeast and use a clean fermenting beer yeast
2. Get rid of that cheap sugar and use some light DME
3. Balance the tart flavor of young cider by using specialty grains.
4. Later on, I found hops also helped balance the overall flavor. BUT ONLY A TINY BIT, DO NOT USE MORE THAN CALLED FOR

If you like a clean, malty, not too tart easy drinking cider style beverage then this is your drink.

Materials needed for a 5 Gallon Batch

Clean fermenting yeast I have used Nottinham and Safale-05, both are good
.5 lbs of Crystal 60L If you use cheap store brand juice, I reccomend 120L. Cheap juice tends to turn out a tad tart and this will balance it.
1 oz of torrified wheat ( head retention, I've never used more than 2oz)
4 Gallons of apple juice.
1 gallon of water
2 lbs of DME ( I use 1 lb. amber and 1 lb. light DME)
0.5 oz of you favorite hops ( right around 6% AA, I have used 18.5% AA summit hops before and it took a month after kegging for strong bitterness to blend nicely)
WARNING! IF YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF HOPS USED, MAKE IT LESS NOT MORE, it's really just too bitter with any more.

Directions for brewing

Steep the 60L and torrified wheat in .75 gallons of water @ 155 degrees for 30 mins.
Sparge with .25 gallons 170 degree water and throw away grains.
Add DME and bring to a boil.
Add hops when boiling starts and boil for 30 mins.

Cool down the wort (if you choose not to cool the wort and just let the AJ do the cooling then your cider won't be as clear). I don't care about clarity so I just let the AJ do the cooling, but if you stick your pot in the freezer and let this get down to 70 degrees or so your cider will clear fairly easy. Pour the wort and apple juice into your carboy and pitch yeast.

Ferment 2 weeks at 64-68 degrees then keg or bottle.

I keg, and this stuff is VERY drinkable as soon as it is carbonated.
SUPERB taste and drinkability after 2-3 weeks of aging.

People bottling, it will have SUPERB taste and drinkability after the standard 3 week bottling period for carbonating.
I made this recipe but I am having a beyond super hard time getting this to clear at all, I have tried cold crashing and time does anyone have any suggestions on what to use next ?? I'm thinking of getting some super clear but I didnt want to strip any flavor from the drink. I am open to any and all ideas and thank you in advance !!
 

Barkeep

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I plan on using a local pressed cider. Does anyone know how that will affect OG? I feel the original recipe doesnt have enough fermentables for a higher OG, but im no pro.
 

NTBeer

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The only effect on your OG is going to be whatever the difference is between your apples and those used in the store juice. There is no way to know that without the cider on hand. It will likely be minimal. There will likely be more effect on the acid and tannin levels, but again we need more info on what is in what you are buying.
 

GeneDaniels1963

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I good way to raise the OG is to add one can FAJC per gal. That will bump you about 12 grav points; from 6% to 7.5%. That is what I do with almost all my ciders. Sometimes I even add 2 cans. but that is 9%, and that is more than I prefer in a cider
 

Barkeep

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I am using hand-pressed cider from a local orchard. My question for those of you that have used hand-pressed cider before, is how do I treat the cider before adding it to my wort? I know that there is some natural yeast already in the cider, should use tablets to "clean" the cider before using it? Or leave it as is.

My plan is to use US-05 for pitching.

Thanks, everyone!
 

doublejef

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Both are possible.

You can kill all the wild yeast by using campden and be sure to have a 100% clean fermentation or you can pitch the US-05 as fast as you can to be sure it will grow faster than wild yeast and take the lead on the fermentation.
For pure cider, a lot of guys here are doing the second way and I personally do so but in your case, with beer worst in it, I really don’t know if you take more risk to have something funky, sour or both. Maybe try both way and let us know 😉
 

Barkeep

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Both are possible.

You can kill all the wild yeast by using campden and be sure to have a 100% clean fermentation or you can pitch the US-05 as fast as you can to be sure it will grow faster than wild yeast and take the lead on the fermentation.
For pure cider, a lot of guys here are doing the second way and I personally do so but in your case, with beer worst in it, I really don’t know if you take more risk to have something funky, sour or both. Maybe try both way and let us know 😉
Thanks! My friend (the local cider maker) often uses campden tablets so we will go with that. We will also be using the fresh-pressed cider a few days after it has been pressed. I will report back on our progress!

Thanks for the help!
 

MexiErectus

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long time lurker on this post, since then I have had a keg of this Graff its a must have. I have a question, has anyone brewed with Langer Farms 100% Apple Cider? I started one up a couple weeks ago and it looks the same, it has not cleared one bit. I have not moved it to secondary which I know that will help some. Just curious if anyone has and what was experienced?

Thanks.

Carlos
 

Dancy

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I’ve made my 4th batch of this, basically following the OP’s recipe. Each time it fermented vigorously and then carbonated rather slowly. I’ve found 5oz of corn sugar really does overcarbonate it though. This time I used 4oz and I just opened one after 8 days in the bottle — barely any carbonation activity with no head and just bubbles clinging to the side of my glass. I’m hoping 2 more weeks......
 

CaddyWampus

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So this was my first dealing with cider of any sort. I made the original recipe to the T with 4 gallons of fresh cider. I was not aware that cider can be a hostile environment for yeast so at kegging today I noticed it is quite sulphury. Can I expect that to mellow after some conditioning in the keg?
 

Dancy

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So this was my first dealing with cider of any sort. I made the original recipe to the T with 4 gallons of fresh cider. I was not aware that cider can be a hostile environment for yeast so at kegging today I noticed it is quite sulphury. Can I expect that to mellow after some conditioning in the keg?
I bottle so I don't think I’m a good source for an answer; however I wonder if using cider vs. apple juice is a factor in what you describe?
I have a post just before yours regarding a lack of carbonation — just opened another after 13 days in the bottle and there is barely anymore carbonation. I’ve done nothing different this time other use more cider than apple juice. Maybe there isn’t enough yeast left to carbonate?
 

Matt L

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I just made a batch of the Graff and kegged it 2 weeks ago. I think next time maybe just a few hop pellets or none. It’s strong!!! It’s quite refreshing and poundable. My first use of my used CO2 setup and I couldn’t be happier!
 

cgoldberg3

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I'm about to make this recipe for the first time this weekend. The OP states: ".5 lbs of Crystal 60L If you use cheap store brand juice, I reccomend 120L. Cheap juice tends to turn out a tad tart and this will balance it."

I am in fact using cheap juice (Great Value brand) but didn't notice the bit about 120L until after I'd bought a pound of 60L (smallest amount Northern Brewer sells). Guess I'll try using the full pound of 60L and hope it's about the same as using a half pound of 120L.
 

GeneDaniels1963

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120L has more caramel taste than 60L, but I'm not sure its that much sweeter. I would not double for 60L unless you have other reasons to do so, not just for sweetness
 

Dancy

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I am in fact using cheap juice (Great Value brand) but didn't notice the bit about 120L until after I'd bought a pound of 60L (smallest amount Northern Brewer sells). Guess I'll try using the full pound of 60L and hope it's about the same as using a half pound of 120L.
I wouldn’t sweat this. I’ve made it 4x with either 80L or 90L every time with gallon jugs of apple juice ant it turns out great.
 

cgoldberg3

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Brewed this up today, followed the recipe exactly exactly save for doing BIAB and adding 2oz of torrified wheat (I like bubbles, and what harm could come of this?). Got an OG of about 1.057, pitched Nottingham at 68F. Depending on when my kegging kit arrives, I'll either be kegging and backsweetening with apple juice concentrate or bottling and sweetening with Xylitol.
 

Dancy

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I’d like to hear how the xylitol works out. I use Truvia and like that. I haven’t dialed in carbonation even after 4 batches. It doesn’t gush at all but I have to pour it slowly down the side — still a huge head but subsides reasonably fast. Last time I used 4 oz of corn sugar for 5 gallons and that was still too much. I’ll try even less next time. Carbonation seems to peak at 3-4 weeks in the bottle.
 

cgoldberg3

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Got a FG of 1.006, which puts me at a calculated 6.5% ABV. Currently cold-crashing at 35f for 24hrs prior to gelatin fining.

Smells apple-y, looks like beer. Definitely dry and bitter right now, but I'm confident it will improve with backsweetening.
 

cgoldberg3

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Ended up getting my keg setup in before it was time to bottle, so I made this my first kegged batch and used the xylitol on a plain batch of cider I had come ready about the same time. Backsweetened with 2 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate. Tastes great IMO, but I agree with others that the recipe calls for the absolute upper limit of hops, and they could be reduced if anything.
 

NTBeer

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Have read most of this thread, but over a period of years so... has anyone used cider yeast for this? Specifically, I have been using Safcider AB-1 in my ciders and have been happy with the results, but would appreciate a bit more sweetness. Have looked at Fermentis' website, but I don't see any info on attenuation wrt maltose for AB-1. Anyone have any experience with this? Will the DME ferment, or will it just backsweeten?
 

Miraculix

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Have read most of this thread, but over a period of years so... has anyone used cider yeast for this? Specifically, I have been using Safcider AB-1 in my ciders and have been happy with the results, but would appreciate a bit more sweetness. Have looked at Fermentis' website, but I don't see any info on attenuation wrt maltose for AB-1. Anyone have any experience with this? Will the DME ferment, or will it just backsweeten?
DME contains also simple sugars, these will ferment for sure. The rest depends on the yeast. The simple sugars should be 50-65%, if I remember correctly, the rest is a bit of a gamble.
 

madscientist451

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I have been using Safcider AB-1 in my ciders and have been happy with the results, but would appreciate a bit more sweetness.
I've noticed that when I've brewed with LME instead of DME, the FG remains somewhat high, like around 1.020. Also, you could try using maltodextrin, which is mostly unfermentable and will add body to the beer/graff/cider and lactose which would add some sweetness.
The use of cider yeast shouldn't make a difference.
 

JordanfromOK

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Throughout the thread, only a couple of people have added flaked oats or oatmeal to their rendition.
Asking for general "in a recipe" advice. Not necessarily this recipe.
How, at what point, or how much/gal would one incorporate oatmeal for some frothy head retention and what possible issues, from using it, would I need to watch out for?
 

Miraculix

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Throughout the thread, only a couple of people have added flaked oats or oatmeal to their rendition.
Asking for general "in a recipe" advice. Not necessarily this recipe.
How, at what point, or how much/gal would one incorporate oatmeal for some frothy head retention and what possible issues, from using it, would I need to watch out for?
Oats do not increase head retention. After a certain threshold, they even decrease head retention.

More on oats: A Case for Brewing With Oats - Scott Janish
 

Miraculix

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I remember hearing flaked barley can increase head retention, but I don't know why or how. LOL :bigmug:
During the malting process, proteins are broken down, which are still present within the flaked barley. These should theoretically increase head retention. However, I couldn't confirm this personally, based on my limited experience. Wheat and wheat malt seems to work. Also chit malt should work, but I never tried it on my own.
 

Miraculix

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Ohhhh. Ok. I couldn't find much on the subject. Thanks.
I had a times when I included ten percent oats per default in every beer, because of this article. I ran some test batches with and without oats in parallel and oats really increased yeast health and fermentation speed significantly. Then I started hunting an reoccurring off flavor and ditched the oats and never picked them back up again. The off flavour was obviously not related to them. Next brew, they might be included again :).
 

JordanfromOK

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Thanks Miraculix, that was a great read. Very informative. I may have to get some oat groats and give it a try at say 20% in a stout or something. :mug:
What are groats?

I remember hearing flaked barley can increase head retention, but I don't know why or how. LOL :bigmug:
What kind of flavor would barley add to a cider though?
 

rgregoryirving

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It's been awhile since I've made this recipe.

I'm already planning to brew this week for Christmas and I was curious if anyone has ever just scaled up a normal homebrew batch and used 1 gallon as the wort component in graff. The batch of beer I'm going to make falls within the hop guidelines as far as bitterness is concerned. The beer is below, with a post boil volume of 6.25 to allow me to steal 1 gallon into a separate fermenter for the graff.

Mash additions:
80.9% 2 row
8% Crystal 80L
.9% Black Malt
.9% Special B

Hop additions:
.9 oz of Cascade (6.8%) at 60 min

Flameout:
2 Cinnamon sticks
1oz ginger
.5 oz orange peel

Thoughts? I'm happy to post back an update too. Currently hoping to brew on Thursday night.
 
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