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Man, I love Apfelwein

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DaveAllen

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Just bottling mine today.

Started 11-15-09, Upscaled to six gallons, using 3 lbs. of dark brown sugar. K1V-1116 yeast. Primary for approximately one month, then secondary since.

It's crystal clear, medium-dark amber. Nearly dry, with just a touch of sweetness that compliments the smallest hint of apple-tartness. I bottled it still. I think it would be fine sparkling, and it will go well with any number of dishes. It's exceptionally drinkable.

Thanks, Edwort!
 

DaveAllen

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I've read up to post 550 this afternoon. Seeing that there is over 600 pages to this thread I was wondering, while I continue reading.. Has there has been a concensus on the reduction of sulphur smell? I'm in a an apt complex. So as much as I don't want to deal with the smell for a couple days. I'm sure the neighbors would appreciate it even less.
Any good yeast nutrient per package instructions should eliminate rhino-farts.
 

lady_brewer

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I too read about 600 posts of this thread today... on the weekend I bought a new carboy in the interests of having somewhere to keep apelwein while it fermented. Have to pick up the juice and the yeast this week... as well I am in need of a bulk barn trip for the dextrose.

There was a link about the sulfur smell, with all the science (but I don't know where it is). I plan to use some yeast nutrient since I have it lying around anyway, Only my lager gets to make stinky smells, and that is only because it is in a closed room by itself. Everything else must smell nice. The idea is that the yeast nutrient keeps the yeast from getting too stressed, which is what causes the smell (correct me if I am wrong)
 

MrPeaches

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Well put my 5 gallons into a secondary to age and put some leftovers into my growler.
Gravity was .999 and flavor is a dry with light apple taste and aroma reminds me a bit of a chardonnay.
 

TVarmy

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I asked this in its own thread but I guess it might be more apt to be seen here:
The SG of my apfelwein has been 1.008 for about two weeks. I made it with two pounds light brown sugar, so I know part of the sugar is molasses, and hence unfermentable. Is it more likely that it has a stuck fermentation, or that it is done? It's been five weeks since I started.

I used Pasteur Champagne yeast, but I have some Montrachet yeast packets coming in the mail, so I could repitch it if needed. I used yeast nutrient per the directions on the package (1 tsp per gallon). The flavor of the hydrometer samples is dry and wine-y, with a bit of alcohol warmth. I'm sure the apple flavor comes back a few months later. There was a sulfury component a few weeks ago, but that's gone now.

There is no airlock activity, and I only see a few tiny bubbles climbing up the side of the bottle with my flashlight, much less than what could be seen durring the active fermentation.

I know it's safe to let it sit for months in the carboy, but I'd like to bottle soon, if only to free up the carboy. Should I repitch, wait, or just bottle?
 

DavidHawman

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Got a batch bubbling now. 5 gallons of juice with 2lbs brown sugar and Nottingham ale to see if I can get a little residual sweetness for the GF. Its bubbling quite steadily and there is no krausen at all. Will primary for a month, bottle a few still and then add cinnamon and nutmeg to create a bit of a fall cider flavor.

The GF is already starting to take an interest in this whole home brewing thing. :D
 

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I asked this in its own thread but I guess it might be more apt to be seen here:
If the gravity isn't moving, it's done. If bottling still, you should give it a really good stir with something like a bottling brush to knock most of the CO2 out of solution. You don't have to, though, but you'll be more likely to lose a cork or two (but the result is pleasantly sparkling, like a riesling).
 

Ace_Club

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I've got 5 gallons bubbling away right now. Just checked on it and only the slightest hint of sulfur from the airlock. Mainly it's just an apple-y aroma. Can't wait to try this in 2 to 4 months! Should be hitting perfection during summer!
 

Lodovico

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So I know it's been discussed before but I only want your opinion if you've actually tried it.:)

Has anyone added a Brett strain to a batch that was almost finished fermenting out with the Montrachet yeast?

I know that the Brett might not have enough to eat through (even though it eats like a monster) but I might give it a try. I also think it would be hard to get the "funk" in this but I'm really curious about trying it.

Has anyone here actually done this to see what the results are? I was thinking of moving the Apfelwein over to a secondary (It's been in Primary for 2 months) and adding the Brett B. I would still need to make a starter for the Brett, right? Since it's a slow one to get going?

What do you think?
 

glenn514

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Here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna bottle my batch of apfelwein in the next few days...just as soon as a new hydrometer arrives to check the final specific gravity! And I DO plan to bottle-carbonate it. But I'm gonna put it back into the 3-quart #1 PETE bottles the apple juice came in! I've heard horror stories which, I believe, to be apocryphal. The juice bottles are heavier plastic than soda bottles, so they shouldn't explode. The ONLY difference is that the juice bottles have a seam where the two halves of the bottle were heat-joined together. I firmly believe the bottles will, in fact, hold together just fine! However...

I HAVE planned ahead: I purchased a large plastic storage tub with a lid. Once the bottles are filled, and the lids are twisted on good and tight, I'll put them all in the tub and close the lid! If we do get explosions, at least the clean-up will be relatively easy!

I'll keep ya'll posted on what happens!

glenn514:mug:
 

Hegh

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Here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna bottle my batch of apfelwein in the next few days...just as soon as a new hydrometer arrives to check the final specific gravity! And I DO plan to bottle-carbonate it. But I'm gonna put it back into the 3-quart #1 PETE bottles the apple juice came in! I've heard horror stories which, I believe, to be apocryphal. The juice bottles are heavier plastic than soda bottles, so they shouldn't explode. The ONLY difference is that the juice bottles have a seam where the two halves of the bottle were heat-joined together. I firmly believe the bottles will, in fact, hold together just fine! However...

I HAVE planned ahead: I purchased a large plastic storage tub with a lid. Once the bottles are filled, and the lids are twisted on good and tight, I'll put them all in the tub and close the lid! If we do get explosions, at least the clean-up will be relatively easy!

I'll keep ya'll posted on what happens!

glenn514:mug:
Are you going to do that with one bottle? Or are you risking all of your apfelwein?
 

Johnny_Crunch

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Those tree top bottles are brittle and crack easily in the freezer when the ice expands in them. I wouldn't trust them.
 

HalfPint

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Here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna bottle my batch of apfelwein in the next few days...just as soon as a new hydrometer arrives to check the final specific gravity! And I DO plan to bottle-carbonate it. But I'm gonna put it back into the 3-quart #1 PETE bottles the apple juice came in! I've heard horror stories which, I believe, to be apocryphal. The juice bottles are heavier plastic than soda bottles, so they shouldn't explode. The ONLY difference is that the juice bottles have a seam where the two halves of the bottle were heat-joined together. I firmly believe the bottles will, in fact, hold together just fine! However...

I HAVE planned ahead: I purchased a large plastic storage tub with a lid. Once the bottles are filled, and the lids are twisted on good and tight, I'll put them all in the tub and close the lid! If we do get explosions, at least the clean-up will be relatively easy!

I'll keep ya'll posted on what happens!

glenn514:mug:

I'm sure someone will chime in on me here because I'm not too sure, but I think that it's not necessarily the thickness of the bottle, but rather the design of the bottle. Is the thickness of a wine bottle much different than a beer bottle or a champagne bottle? I don't think by much, but yet they can't handle the pressure. I'd just buy some Dr. Pepper 2 or 3 liters and use those.

Just my .02,
J
 

glenn514

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I sincerely thank you all for your responses to my plan. I have yet, however, seen one single post from someone who has already tried what I am planning. Either no one has tried bottle-carbonation in juice bottles before, or they just don't want to admit that they did!

The apple juice bottles, as I mentioned, are of the very same plastic as soda bottles. The juice bottles are a bit thicker, but do have a heat-sealed seam in them, which soda bottles lack. Some have claimed that the seam is a weak spot, but my contention is that, if soda bottles can deal with the pressure of carbonation, why can't juice bottles?

Once again, I do appreciate the comments. I'll keep y'all posted with the results...after the new hydrometer arrives! And am I risking ALL my apfelwein? Yes, I am...it's only 5 gallons, and cost me under $20.00 to make. I figure it's worth it to answer the question.

glenn514:mug:
 

Displaced MassHole

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Save yourself the trouble and put a spigot on that big tub you're going to put the juice bottles in. At least then you can just open the tap and fill a glass to drown out the sorrow of a lost batch of apflewein. :D:D
 

Hegh

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Save yourself the trouble and put a spigot on that big tub you're going to put the juice bottles in. At least then you can just open the tap and fill a glass to drown out the sorrow of a lost batch of apflewein. :D:D
On a related but more serious note, perhaps you should sanitize the tub and the outsides of the bottles, so that you can re-bottle in the event of a catastrophe. $20 isn't much for a batch, but 2 months of lost time might be...
 

somecallmetex

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I sincerely thank you all for your responses to my plan. I have yet, however, seen one single post from someone who has already tried what I am planning. Either no one has tried bottle-carbonation in juice bottles before, or they just don't want to admit that they did!

The apple juice bottles, as I mentioned, are of the very same plastic as soda bottles. The juice bottles are a bit thicker, but do have a heat-sealed seam in them, which soda bottles lack. Some have claimed that the seam is a weak spot, but my contention is that, if soda bottles can deal with the pressure of carbonation, why can't juice bottles?

Once again, I do appreciate the comments. I'll keep y'all posted with the results...after the new hydrometer arrives! And am I risking ALL my apfelwein? Yes, I am...it's only 5 gallons, and cost me under $20.00 to make. I figure it's worth it to answer the question.

glenn514:mug:
You probably won't find anyone who has tried because it is risking too much apfelwein. I just want to point out that thicker plastic won't necessarily make it less likely to explode. The less the plastic is able to expand, the more pressure is placed on the inside of the bottle and the seam. These bottles aren't made to withstand the pressure of carbonation, so you are taking a gamble if you do this.

I wouldn't suggest risking too much of your apfelwein until you have tested carbonating this way. Also, if it works, I wouldn't recommend reusing the bottle a second time, as the seam will be weaker the next time (but you will probably have fresh bottles anyway from your new juice). Let us know how it goes.
 

glenn514

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I wouldn't suggest risking too much of your apfelwein until you have tested carbonating this way. Also, if it works, I wouldn't recommend reusing the bottle a second time, as the seam will be weaker the next time (but you will probably have fresh bottles anyway from your new juice). Let us know how it goes.
I hear ya about using the bottles a second time, but you are so right that I'll have another set of them, regardless! And I do plan on risking the entire 5 gallons. No, I don't WANT to waste it, but I figure it's worth the price of another batch to prove this cockamamie theory true or false! So hang in there, and wait until my new hydrometer arrives, and then I will bottle.

glenn514:mug:
 

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Hi everyone! Quick ? Is it ok to use flip tops for apfelwein? Ive got 2 cases of 1 liter bots. Ive got 2 6gal batches going and want to put one of these in fliptops. I guess what i need to know is can i age in these bottles for an extended period,or does it have to be drank fairly soon?
 

Hegh

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Hi everyone! Quick ? Is it ok to use flip tops for apfelwein? Ive got 2 cases of 1 liter bots. Ive got 2 6gal batches going and want to put one of these in fliptops. I guess what i need to know is can i age in these bottles for an extended period,or does it have to be drank fairly soon?
If they're good for beer, they're good for apfelwein. Aging in them should be fine too.
 

somecallmetex

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Hi everyone! Quick ? Is it ok to use flip tops for apfelwein? Ive got 2 cases of 1 liter bots. Ive got 2 6gal batches going and want to put one of these in fliptops. I guess what i need to know is can i age in these bottles for an extended period,or does it have to be drank fairly soon?
I have heard people mention that flip tops can have issues maintaining carbonation over extended periods of time, and just as many people say that they've never had such a problem. I was actually considering getting a couple 2 liter swing tops that I could bring to what ever special event comes up, but I'm trying not to bottle mine until the fall so we'll see what happens by then.

http://www.breworganic.com/2literswingtopgrowlerwithhandle.aspx
 

DavidHawman

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The apple juice bottles, as I mentioned, are of the very same plastic as soda bottles. The juice bottles are a bit thicker, but do have a heat-sealed seam in them, which soda bottles lack. Some have claimed that the seam is a weak spot, but my contention is that, if soda bottles can deal with the pressure of carbonation, why can't juice bottles?


glenn514:mug:
It is not about the thickness of the material at all. It is the shape of both the bottle and of the threads on the caps. Take a look at a soda bottle and you'll find its round. Why? To evenly distribute the pressure and distribute the pressure load across its whole surface. Your juice bottles if I remember them correctly have corners which will bear the brunt of the force and may fail.

Secondly, the caps I have found to be extremely poor in holding pressure. I made dry ice bombs out of those kind of bottles and every time the first thing to fail was the cap. In a soda bottle the first thing to fail was the bottle itself. Not only that but they are not designed to keep pressure in, just to keep air out. Plus, if the cap survives you are at risk of the cap failing while you go to unscrew it which could cause injury.

It will be an interesting experiment though...
 

glenn514

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It will be an interesting experiment though...
Yuppers, it certainly will be that! And thank you, David, for the input. I am aware of the fact that thicker plastic does not necessarily mean stronger. I am also aware of the fact that a soda bottle cap has more thread area than a juice bottle. However, since no one else has neither proved it possible to bottle-carbonate in a juice bottle, nor has proved it impossible, I figured I'd be the guinea pig, and take care of this cockamammie idea one way or the other! And I'm willing to stake the cost of a batch of apfelwein on it.

I certainly will keep everyone posted. I'm still waiting for my new hydrometer from Midwest. They seem slow lately, for some odd reason!

glenn514:mug:
 

seabrew8

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I read a bunch of posts on this thread the last hour or so but i still have a few questions:

1. Has anyone tried a generic yeast like coopers brewers yeast? I have one pack on hand. I'm still waiting for a batch of yeast and other goodee's. :)

2. Bottling still: Just transfer it directly into the bottles?
 

Hegh

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2. Bottling still: Just transfer it directly into the bottles?
You should probably give it a good stirring with something like a sanitized bottle brush to knock most of the CO2 out of solution. Otherwise you risk popping the corks on your wine bottles.

If using beer bottles, no worries, they can handle any pressure build-up. You'll likely end up with a pleasantly sparkling wine, like a riesling.
 

glenn514

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Apfelwein friends...

Last evening, whilst enjoying a lovely dinner [roast pork tenderloin in delicious gravy; mashed potatoes; a superb mixed salad with bleu cheese dressing and chunks of bleu cheese; an awesome AUTUMN AMBER ALE homebrew], I happened to glance at a pair of 2 liter bottles of Dr. Pepper, purchased for guests at Easter dinner.

And what, pray tell, did I spy? SEAMS! Yes, indeed, boys and girls, SEAMS! So not only do my juice bottles have heat-sealed seams, but SO DO SODA BOTTLES. So, for the naysayers who have brought up the seam issue and have tried to convince me that the carbonation will split the seams...Un-ah! Ain't necessarily so!

The new hydrometer should be delivered on Tuesday next. I will then check the final specific gravity, mix in 5 oz of corn sugar, and bottle away. Keep watching!

glenn514:mug:
 

Hegh

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Apfelwein friends...

Last evening, whilst enjoying a lovely dinner [roast pork tenderloin in delicious gravy; mashed potatoes; a superb mixed salad with bleu cheese dressing and chunks of bleu cheese; an awesome AUTUMN AMBER ALE homebrew], I happened to glance at a pair of 2 liter bottles of Dr. Pepper, purchased for guests at Easter dinner.

And what, pray tell, did I spy? SEAMS! Yes, indeed, boys and girls, SEAMS! So not only do my juice bottles have heat-sealed seams, but SO DO SODA BOTTLES. So, for the naysayers who have brought up the seam issue and have tried to convince me that the carbonation will split the seams...Un-ah! Ain't necessarily so!

The new hydrometer should be delivered on Tuesday next. I will then check the final specific gravity, mix in 5 oz of corn sugar, and bottle away. Keep watching!

glenn514:mug:
While looking at those soda bottles, did you happen to also notice that they have two layers of plastic? I don't think your juice bottles do... :p
 

glenn514

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^^^No, sir, I beg to differ with you. My SWMBO, my #2 daughter and I just inspected one of said Dr. Pepper bottles. ONE LAYER of #1 PETE, and NOT two. I do recall, however, some 2 liter bottles in the past have had an additional piece of plastic fastened to the bottom, and came up the sides about 2-3 inches, but that is NOT true of the bottles we looked at. In fact, there is ANOTHER seam around the entire circumference of the bottle, about 1.5 to 2 inches up from the bottom!

When we FINALLY get the apfelwein carbonating in the juice bottles, we all know that, if they are going to explode, it will be at the weakest point. The ONLY place I think they MIGHT explode is to blow the cap off.

Give me about ten days, and I will either prove that bottle-carbonation in juice bottles CAN, in fact, be done...or not! Patience, Grasshopper!

glenn514:mug:
 

KeithinSB

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I read a bunch of posts on this thread the last hour or so but i still have a few questions:

1. Has anyone tried a generic yeast like coopers brewers yeast? I have one pack on hand. I'm still waiting for a batch of yeast and other goodee's. :)
Cooper brewers yeast works fine.
Just be careful of blow outs.
Top fermenting yeast.
 

Robsbrew

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What about adding cinnamon? I was thinking of just adding cinnamon to this maybe about 1 pound on top of a pound and a half of dextrose?
 

Recluse

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What about adding cinnamon? I was thinking of just adding cinnamon to this maybe about 1 pound on top of a pound and a half of dextrose?
That must have been a typo, right?? 1 lb of Cinnamon!!!????:cross:

I would use maybe 5-10 cinnamon sticks at most. I made a Cyser (apple Mead) with cinnamon and it was really good..but took awhile to age out.
Had a bit of a plastic-y taste when very young and other mead makers have said they found similar behavior with cinnamon. Since Apfelwein has to age a bit all by itself, you should be OK.

I used 4 cinnamon sticks in a gallon of that. IT will probably depend on how good the cinnamon sticks are and I don't know if it would scale exactly from 1 to 5 gallons. Also not sure how to extrapolate to powdered cinnamon, but 1 lb (even 1 oz) is probably waaaaay too much.

EDIT: Did a quick search and found someone who made it with 1/2 Cinnamon stick/gal.
 

Robsbrew

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This will be my first Apfelwein and only my second brew over all. How did it taste over all?
 

Lodovico

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I've tried searching this thread but it's really a monster.

I have a batch that has been fermenting for almost two months and there are still tiny bubbles coming to the top of the carboy. Is this normal?

I'm going to take a gravity but does this sound like it needs some more time? It's cleared really well and the yeast has all dropped out. Those of you that have done both, do you prefer it on draft or carbed in the bottle?
 

withak

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The bubbles are carbon dioxide that has been dissolved in the liquid for two months and is just now escaping. Or possibly some tiny bit of activity from the yeast sleeping at the bottom. I think if the gravity isn't still going down and it looks clear then it is done.
 

PHBalanced

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Oh my - I'm not sure how long it has taken my but I have finally made it to the end of this entire thread! So far we have one batch bottled and just started the second.

And what do I get as a prize for finishing this massive thread? A reason to come back and check on the great debate on carbing in the juice bottles.

Thanks again Ed!
 

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hey all..

I am bottling some of this stuff that i started last august. it's so clear! this is the first time i have ever made this. i only made a gallon. i split it up into two 1/2 gallons...added a little splenda as i tasted it and needed it to be a lil sweeter...also added some priming sugar for carbing. am i supposed to chill these bottles or let them settle even more? what's next?
 

Robsbrew

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Back to this cinammon thing. When should I put it in? Should I crush up the sticks?
 

TVarmy

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I'm going to prime with 1 1/8 c (7.5 oz by my math) of priming sugar to get champagne-like carbonation. Does this sound right?
 

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I'm going to prime with 1 1/8 c (7.5 oz by my math) of priming sugar to get champagne-like carbonation. Does this sound right?
For what volume???? I used 1 oz/gallon and the carbonation was quite high, though not quite champagne level. 7.5 oz in 5 Gallons would border on the explosive, I think..

Here is one of many priming calculators:

http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

Mainly for Beer and Cider so no Champagne on the list, but the highest level of a New England style Cider at 3.5 volumes of CO2 comes in at 7 oz/5 gallons. Seems mighty high to me...but I guess your 7.5 oz is in the ballpark..
 
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