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Man, I love Apfelwein

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Recluse

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Maybe that's why I have it in my head - for one of the bottles, I do have the original cork and it seems like it has a pretty good seal going back in. However, I just checked my LHBS website and they have a cheap ($8) corker/plastic plunger. If that would fit my purposes here, I'll just cough up the eight bucks. If I need some 30-90 dollar capper, I'll just stick to the bomber bottles.

I think you should be OK with the cheapo plunger. When I embarked on Mead making, I was going to go that route, but ended up spending the $$$ for a good floor corker. Probably worth the investment considering the number of bottles I have corked, but for a test run of a few bottles, the cheap one is probably fine.

Of course, now I have capped many many more beer bottles than wine bottles and have yet to replace the relatively cheap wing capper that sometimes gives me grief and breaks bottles.
 

Krrazy

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I apologize if this has already been asked -- this is a monster post...and for good reason!

I'm new to brewing but got a batch of apfelwein going as soon as I bottled my first beer. It's been four weeks now and based on the suggestions that longer is better -- if I were to rack into some priming sugar and then bottle (possibly back sweetening too depending on a sample) and then let it age for a few more weeks (or months) would this still achieve the same aged goodness, or does it need to stay untouched in the carboy to achieve the proper aging?

As this is fast becoming an addiction, I've got another beer on deck that needs to be brewed and want to free up my carboy.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Hegh

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Maybe that's why I have it in my head - for one of the bottles, I do have the original cork and it seems like it has a pretty good seal going back in. However, I just checked my LHBS website and they have a cheap ($8) corker/plastic plunger. If that would fit my purposes here, I'll just cough up the eight bucks. If I need some 30-90 dollar capper, I'll just stick to the bomber bottles.
I use one of the cheapo corkers. It mangles the top of the cork, but it still gets it in place, and it works fine. If you want them to look professional, get a floor corker, but really the cheapo one is just fine for home use.

By "mangle" I mean it leaves a strong imprint of the plunger that pushes the cork into the bottle. Sometimes little crumbs of cork will fall off.
 

glenn514

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Still not finished reading ALL the posts on this thread [I'm up to post #5410], but just wanted to check in.

My apfelwein has been merrily fermenting away for a week now. At this time, I have NOT been subjected to "rhino farts." I used montrachet yeast on "Great Value" apple juice from WalMart. The "must" is very cloudy and somewhat orange in color. The airlock is still giving off a bubble every couple of seconds. Meanwhile, I've got a lovely Irish red fermenting away, as well. The Irish Red will be bottled well before the apfelwein!

glenn514:mug:
 

Krrazy

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$15.00 for 5 gallons of Tree Top Apple Juice from Costo or Sam's
$ 3.00 for 2 pounds of Dextrose
$ 0.79 for a packet of Red Star Montrachet Wine yeast

$18.79 for 5 gallons of kick your butt 8.5% Apfelwein or about 35 cents per 12 oz. serving.
I love the simplicity of this recipe. I think this must be the gateway brew of the Home Brewing addiction...anyone can do it!

I was just making an observation on inflation over the almost four years this post has been around. I stocked up on some more Tree Top from Costco to make my second batch and it's now ringing in at about $18.30 for 5 gallons. The price for Dextrose is still about the same and I pay $.99 for Montrachet (although it's marked $1.99...I haven't been buying it enough to know if that's the regular price or they just marked it down because it was old or something).

:mug:
 

ThoughtPolice

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I'm thinking about making some apfelwein tomorrow on top of my mead yeast cake. I just racked the mead into secondary which used Montrachet, but I have a question.

I noticed that the mead had a serious medicinal quality to it, and upon researching this particular yeast strain, realized that it has a tendency to create excessive phenols which give my mead its glorious (read: damnit I have to wait 2 years) Listerine flavor.

Does this flavor come out in apfelwein, or is it limited to fermentations done with honey?

I have never tried racking on top of a yeast cake, but I'm excited to try it with apfelwein, something I've wanted to make for a long time.
Thanks in advance. LOL at 629 pages on this thread.

Edit : BTW sorry if this is an easily 'search'able question, but the search page is not loading for me right now. Anyone else having this problem?
 

somecallmetex

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Does this flavor come out in apfelwein, or is it limited to fermentations done with honey?
I haven't tried it yet, but I don't think apfelwein would be so wildly popular if it tasted like listerine. That said, if you already have that flavor in you yeast cake I would toss it and pay the 99 cents for fresh yeast.
 

ThoughtPolice

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I was thinking the same thing about the yeast cake possibly carrying that flavor over, but since it seemed to be mostly a mead thing with the off-flavor, thought that topping up with AJ and dextrose would mute the flavor and allow the yeast to do its thing with the new fermentables...
Would definitely go buy a packet if it were that easy to do tomorrow. I'm just gonna chuck that cake and clean the fermenter, it's not worth ruining a batch. I'll make a NorthernBrewer order tonight for the next couple beer batches.
Peace
 

glenn514

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OK folks, I'm betwixt and between. This topic has been danced around in the thread, but has NOT been definitively answered. Here goes...

In posts 5434 and 5435, the question was raised about using #1 PETE soda bottles, either the smaller ones or the 2 liter bottles, for bottle-carbonating apfelwein. The response was that it is OK to do that.

The juice I used came in 3 quart #1 PETE bottles. The plastic seems to be a bit heavier than a soda bottle, but otherwise everything seems quite similar. Can I sanitize the 3 quart #1 PETE bottles and use them for bottle-carbonation of my apfelwein? I'm looking for an intelligent, thought-out answer, NOT a gut reaction. I have inspected the bottles several times, and can't understand why they could not be used. They seem quite sturdy and solid, and able to handle the pressure of bottle carbonation.

glenn514:mug:
 

TVarmy

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Re: Carbing in the bottles the juice came in: I would not do this. From what I've read, the weakest part of bottles is the seams on the edges. If you look carefully at a soda bottle, you'll see it doesn't have seems. I get the feeling these would split at the seams.

Just buy some Pepsi, and either drink it yourself or throw a birthday party for some kids.
 

Hegh

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Re: Carbing in the bottles the juice came in: I would not do this. From what I've read, the weakest part of bottles is the seams on the edges. If you look carefully at a soda bottle, you'll see it doesn't have seems. I get the feeling these would split at the seams.

Just buy some Pepsi, and either drink it yourself or throw a birthday party for some kids.
Agreed, although I'd probably go with ginger ale myself. Less likely to leave a residual flavor that will adversely affect the apfelwein. Whatever you do, don't use root beer bottles!

If the bottles weren't sold with carbonated liquid in them, then they likely will not stand up to the pressure.
 

Recluse

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I noticed that the mead had a serious medicinal quality to it, and upon researching this particular yeast strain, realized that it has a tendency to create excessive phenols which give my mead its glorious (read: damnit I have to wait 2 years) Listerine flavor.

Does this flavor come out in apfelwein, or is it limited to fermentations done with honey?
I think it is a Honey thing. My wife considers ALL the Meads I have made as tasting 'Medicinal' (I prefer to think of it as "MEADICINAL") and I have used multiple wine yeasts, Lalvin K1V-116, D47, EC-1118 etc.. I've tasted a similar flavor in commercial meads, so I don't think all my batches are phenol spoiled. I do have a couple of 2 year old bottles around that I can taste to see if the flavor has dissipated..but the reason they are still around is that the Mead wasn't all that good to begin with :)

That said, I don't think they have QUITE come out as Phenolic as Listerine even in the worst case....so maybe the Montrachet is a particularly bad actor. Neither of my two batches of Apfelwein had this flavor, so I think it is honey related, though I am sure a wine connoisseur would be able to discern different phenolic qualities from differently fermented wines.
 

glenn514

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Thank you, TVarmy and Hegh, for the lucid, intelligent replies to my question about bottle-carbonating in plastic bottles. Now, another question...has anyone EVER tried bottle-carbing in #1 PETE bottles OTHER than soda bottles? If so, could he [they] please report on the success or failure of said experiment. I guess I'm just not totally convinced...and I'm not even from Missouri!

glenn514:mug:
 

canihaveurpants

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I have a question/problem that hopefully some of you guys can help me out with. I started my second batch with a new carboy cap that I had just picked up and didn't realize my airlock didn't fit into the carboy cap until I was all done and ready to pop it in! I decided to just use some duct tape and secure the airlock to the carboy cap (bad practice I realize but I was in a jam) but now I realize that the seal is definitely not airtight :/ This is day three and fermentation is bubbling away like crazy but is my batch ruined since there is no air proof seal? Some feedback would be appreciated, maybe I should just start anew. Thanks!
 

Grimster

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I have a question/problem that hopefully some of you guys can help me out with. I started my second batch with a new carboy cap that I had just picked up and didn't realize my airlock didn't fit into the carboy cap until I was all done and ready to pop it in! I decided to just use some duct tape and secure the airlock to the carboy cap (bad practice I realize but I was in a jam) but now I realize that the seal is definitely not airtight :/ This is day three and fermentation is bubbling away like crazy but is my batch ruined since there is no air proof seal? Some feedback would be appreciated, maybe I should just start anew. Thanks!
Relax, people have fermented perfectly fine alcohols for centuries without airtight seals, your apfelwein will most likely be perfectly fine. Let it do its thing and if you can put an airlock on it soon, but I wouldn't sweat it.
 

somecallmetex

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I have a question/problem that hopefully some of you guys can help me out with. I started my second batch with a new carboy cap that I had just picked up and didn't realize my airlock didn't fit into the carboy cap until I was all done and ready to pop it in! I decided to just use some duct tape and secure the airlock to the carboy cap (bad practice I realize but I was in a jam) but now I realize that the seal is definitely not airtight :/ This is day three and fermentation is bubbling away like crazy but is my batch ruined since there is no air proof seal? Some feedback would be appreciated, maybe I should just start anew. Thanks!
FYI, I think that the airlock actually will fit (I had to call my brother with the same issue my first time). The carboy cap openings are made small on purpose to keep the seal air tight. For this reason it is a little difficult to place the airlock in the first time, but the rubber does stretch some, so you should be able to fit it in the cap (it also is much easier after the first time... either that or it just seemed that way because I knew how it was supposed to work.)
 

canihaveurpants

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Thanks for the quick replies guys. Thanks to somecallmetex I found that the airlock did fit when I forcefully jammed it in there! I just didn't think of that at the time being a newbie to brewing in general. Pretty dumb but next time I'll be aware. I guess now I will just let it be? Here's hoping I didn't ruin it.
 

danculwell

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Thanks for the quick replies guys. Thanks to somecallmetex I found that the airlock did fit when I forcefully jammed it in there! I just didn't think of that at the time being a newbie to brewing in general. Pretty dumb but next time I'll be aware. I guess now I will just let it be? Here's hoping I didn't ruin it.
You'll be fine. I ferment my Apfelwein in the jugs the juice came in with the cap open half a turn. As long as it's out-gassing CO2 then nothing else will get in.
 

frazier

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When I was a kid in high school - this was 40 years ago - apple juice came in 1 gal. glass jugs. I made the wine by adding sugar (boiled in a quart of the juice) and fermenting with a baggie over the top, with a rubber band on it. Worked great, but I had no idea at the time that waiting a few months would be worth it.
 

DanielPlainview

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First I just want to say thanks to everyone who posted in this thread! It was a great help. I just made two gallons and it went well. Thought I'd explain the mistakes I made just to help other newbies.

1. Get a funnel with a wide bottom otherwise the dextrose might clog up. Mine was way too narrow. I ended up scooping the dextrose in with a small measuring spoon. It was messy but it worked.

2. Don't worry about rinsing out the Starsan bubbles in your containers! I wasted time boiling water to rinse out my gallon jugs. Now that I've read up on that a little more I know that was unnecessary.

3. Make sure to follow Ed's advice and leave some extra apple juice at the end to rinse the yeast out of the funnel and the sides of the bottle. I did this but wish I had left more because it really does stick (my narrow funnel made this worse too). Luckily, it doesn't take much yeast to ferment 1 gallon so I should be fine.

Once I know I didn't screw this up I'll do a carboy. I'll let you all know how it turns out. Thanks again!
 

brewagentjay

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I have been searching this thread for a bit now...I'm trying to find out how to prime it for bottling? I see some did and some didn't but I was curious if they followed same priming method for beer? I'd like it to carb in bottle. Thanks
 

jamesjensen1068

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I did about 2 gallons of my last batch carbed in 12oz bottles. I just used Munton's Carb Tabs straight into the bottles. That way I didn't have to calculate the ratio of sugar. I also used wine conditioner to back sweeten the whole batch. This is my first batch ever so I may change how I do it in the future?
 

reality_felix

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is any1 ever make a hard apple wine by adding 1 pound table sugar with 1 gallon of apple juice? will it very over power for the alcohol?
 

smizak

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I have been searching this thread for a bit now...I'm trying to find out how to prime it for bottling? I see some did and some didn't but I was curious if they followed same priming method for beer? I'd like it to carb in bottle. Thanks
Prime exactly as you would a beer. I bottle half of my batch still into 22 oz bottles, then dump in the appropriate amount of corn sugar solution for the last 2.5 gals. for my 12oz. bottles. I give it a gentle stir to mix the sugar in.

BTW, my carbonated applewine just won a bronze medal at a local comp. It's hilarious that I'm getting a medal for fermented Aldi's apple juice!
 

Grasslands

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Just had my second taste of my first batch of Apfelwein and it was definitely better than the first a few weeks ago. Into the closet the remaining bottles go!
 

Mikethepoolguy

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I'm sorry to ask this question, but I dont feel like reading 632 pages of thread. I startd a batch of apfelwein 8 weeks and 2 days ago. I followed Edworts recipe exactly except fermentation temp has been a steady 67F. About 2 weeks ago I noticed significant clearing and the SG was .999. Since then the stuff continues to bubble, both in the carboy and the airlock (although now only about 1 every 40 seconds) and no further clearing seems to be happening. I know brewing requires patience, either natural or acquired but...

Should I wait longer? (easy for you to say yes)
Should I go ahead and bottle or do I risk bombs?
Is there enough carb in threre to bottle and carb without adding more sugar?
What is going on in there? I dont think there is any measurable sugar left to ferment (.998 for quite some time)

I keep thinking I can bottle in a couple days, but then a couple days later it looks the same. It tastes great but would be much better carb'd I think. Help
 

smizak

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I'm sorry to ask this question, but I dont feel like reading 632 pages of thread. I startd a batch of apfelwein 8 weeks and 2 days ago. I followed Edworts recipe exactly except fermentation temp has been a steady 67F. About 2 weeks ago I noticed significant clearing and the SG was .999. Since then the stuff continues to bubble, both in the carboy and the airlock (although now only about 1 every 40 seconds) and no further clearing seems to be happening. I know brewing requires patience, either natural or acquired but...

Should I wait longer? (easy for you to say yes)
Should I go ahead and bottle or do I risk bombs?
Is there enough carb in threre to bottle and carb without adding more sugar?
What is going on in there? I dont think there is any measurable sugar left to ferment (.998 for quite some time)

I keep thinking I can bottle in a couple days, but then a couple days later it looks the same. It tastes great but would be much better carb'd I think. Help
Take another hydro reading after a few days. If it's the same, bottle. Mine bubbles for awhile even after it's cleared, just CO2 coming out of solution, not fermentation. That why Revvy screams and yells about using a hydrometer, sometimes bubbles don't mean squat.
 

brewagentjay

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Bottled a little over a gallon tonight....Hope it carbs.......

Also hope for no bottle bombs....
 

Krrazy

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I bottled my first gallon of this glorious beverage last Friday. I got these great "Grolsch" type bottles that were filled with 25oz of carbonated lemonade from a local grocery store (Sunflower Market if you're in the southwest US). Since I had never made this before I decided to do some experimentation and bottled one straight from the carboy (Still and Dry), one with priming sugar (Bubbly and Dry), one with priming sugar and some lactose(Bubbly and Sweet), and one with no priming sugar and lactose (Still and Sweet). I'm going to give them a few more weeks, but I poured out what didn't get siphoned out and took a FG reading and then drank that up. I got some of the yeast but it was very good. It actually tasted similar to a pinot grigio...I've read that the apple taste comes out with age though.

I got another 3 gallons going now and am looking forward to drinking in mass quantities.

(BTW...I finally understood the rhino farts after I started my 3gal batch!) that one went into the closet.

Cheers!
 

TVarmy

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I don't want to drive all the way back to the homebrew store to pick up priming sugar/dextrose. Can I substitute cane sugar? If so, how much? Or can I use dextrose from a vitamin/health food store?
 

Recluse

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I bottled my first gallon of this glorious beverage last Friday. I got these great "Grolsch" type bottles that were filled with 25oz of carbonated lemonade from a local grocery store (Sunflower Market if you're in the southwest US). Since I had never made this before I decided to do some experimentation and bottled one straight from the carboy (Still and Dry), one with priming sugar (Bubbly and Dry), one with priming sugar and some dextrose(Bubbly and Sweet), and one with no priming sugar and dextrose (Still and Sweet).
Er... Priming sugar IS Dextrose. The added Dextrose isn't going to make it sweeter, but it MIGHT give you bottle bombs!! Or did you mean lactose??
 

BSBrewer

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So I followed the instructions on page 1 to the T and I'm now in my 5th day with virtually no fermentation occurring. I am use to my beer bubbling away but I've sat in the basement with my carboy full of Apfelwein for 10 minutes and not seen the air lock move.

Any recommendations? Perhaps it was a bad pack of yeast? I have a 2nd pack of the recommended yeast - would it hurt to add it in? If so should I suspend in water to get it going then pour or ???

Any help would be appreciated as beer, not cider, is my area of expertise.
 

Grimster

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So I followed the instructions on page 1 to the T and I'm now in my 5th day with virtually no fermentation occurring. I am use to my beer bubbling away but I've sat in the basement with my carboy full of Apfelwein for 10 minutes and not seen the air lock move.

Any recommendations? Perhaps it was a bad pack of yeast? I have a 2nd pack of the recommended yeast - would it hurt to add it in? If so should I suspend in water to get it going then pour or ???

Any help would be appreciated as beer, not cider, is my area of expertise.
I put up 5 gallons on Sunday and while my airlock never bubbled while I watched it, it bubbled over yesterday while I was at work! I read how wine usually doesn't create much krausen so I filled my 5 gallon carboy up pretty full.

Yeah nice sticky mess on the floor to clean up.

Still no airlock activity, I even threw a pipe clamp around the airlock fitting to make sure it's airtight, so meh, it's obviously fermenting so I'll just let it be I guess.
 
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