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Man, I love Apfelwein

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davis119

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tellish33 said:
Do you need to sorbate before bottling if you aren't going to sweeten? I was probably just going to bottle as is and add 7up or something.
Nope. Only if u want to sweeten with a fermentable
 

DarkBrood

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Do you need to sorbate before bottling if you aren't going to sweeten? I was probably just going to bottle as is and add 7up or something.
If you have truly fermented it "dry", then the yeast has consumed all available sugars that have been broken down enough to be digestible. At this point, the yeast will mostly have gotten tired or overstressed from lack of nutrients and will flocculate out (i.e. sediment to the bottom) - what remains in solution will be dormant (essentially in hibernation). As long as you don't add new sugars or nutrients, that yeast should remain dormant. (It's worth pointing out that an increase in temperature can rouse the yeast and set it back to work on more complicated sugars still in the liquid.)

To be (relatively) sure of a "fully dry" or complete fermentation, the wine must stabilize at a specific gravity that remains constant over several days. Ideally, you should take a gravity reading at your set fermentation temperature, then again about a week later at 10*F or so higher (a gentle short temperature raise at the end of fermentation can help clear out unwanted phenolics/etc. (just read up on diacetyl rests!) and can boost the yeast to finish up, although unpleasant side effects can occur if the temp is raised too fast or too high). This will encourage the maximum amount of reasonable difference in gravity readings (remember to adjust your hydrometer reading for temp!). As long as the difference is measurable, your yeast is still working (it works slower as it gets more tired).

Once you are satisfied that you are done with fermentation, "cold crashing" (i.e. dropping the temp by 10-20*F, again....GENTLY) can help the remaining yeast flocculate out, giving you a clearer, cleaner-tasting product with less yeast in it - which will reduce chances of yeast reawakening in the bottle.

So, basically:
1 - Measure your SG. Raise temp slowly. Measure SG.
2a - If SG has changed, return to fermentation until it does not change.
2b - If SG is constant, drop temp slowly to below original fermentation temp.
3 - Transfer and bottle with comfort and confidence.

By the by, it's worth making sure your fermentation has completed even if backsweetening - otherwise, it is difficult to properly adjust your sweetening to taste, as the residual sweetness remaining will not have the same quality as sugars added later for backsweetening. Also, a completed fermentation does not need nearly as much sorbate, etc. to kill the yeast before backsweetening (less dead yeast in the liquid to effect flavors too). Finally, if you use any software to calculate your projected final gravity, be aware that they all assume that you're finishing the fermentation. Bottling any beer or wine before the fermentation is stable is a gamble for bottle-bombs.
 

Kampo

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so I started a batch 10 days ago as basically a Starter for Skeeter pee with the extra bonus of getting some other cheap booze lol. racked it over to a carboy from an ale pale so I can get at the yeast in the bottom to start the skeeter pee. This stuff is already cleared up quite a bit SG is 1.00 range and fermentation has stopped from what I can see. I did not add any corn sugar, but used 16 cans of Apple Juice Concentrate so it has a OG of 1.058, could this be contributing to it clearing up faster than normal? going to need the carboy for the pee in 10 days or so. If I cold crashed this say Friday next week and bottled Sunday is that rushing things to much? (need pee for a friends bday party july 14th)
 

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A small update:

I made a batch of this, and just a month later, I racked and backsweetened with two 12oz cans of applejuice concentrate, and force carbed in a corney.
Then, I transferred the carbed product into four 5L mini-kegs (at ~2-3 psi, using a picnic tap with a racking cane inserted) and sealed them up.

I kept them cold in a cooler of ice, and transported them to Florida (from PA, around 20 hour drive).
Over a 5 day period, I kept them cold with both fresh ice (less needed than I'd imagined though) and in a fridge- then I transported the remaining keg home in the same cooler situation.
So far, keeping at those temps has turned out well, and although yes, the wine is very fresh, it was also quite popular with the party crowd that I was serving it to, maintaining both a nice level of fizziness, sweet apple, clarity, and a substantial alcoholic kick. I served it using the Party Star tap with 12gram CO2 cartridge.
 

Raenon

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I carbed up to about 3.5 volumes, but I planned to lose a little during transfer since I didn't maintain counterpressure.
If I had to guess at what it was after serving with the party star tap, it felt like somewhere around 2.5, comparing to other beverages that I've carbed using more reliable measurements, and I liked it a lot at that. The wine has so little body it doesn't maintain a head even with additional sugar from the concentrate, but instead had a lacing that resembled champagne, but to a much lower degree.

If you're planning to keg, I'd encourage you to toy with it a bit to see what you like best. I know that I will with my next batch.
 

burtonridr

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Just bottled a batch of this a few weeks ago. This batch turned out a lot better than my last batch, its already very drinkable. Nice crisp flavor and just slightly carbonated :)
 

boxofjibboo

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Do I have to move to secondary? Or can I just let it sit in primary 1-2 months without effected taste?
 

burtonridr

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Someone here probably knows the answer better than I do. However, I have made 3 batches and each time I Primary ferment for 1 month, then bottle. I'm partial to keeping it simple and just let it condition in the bottle.
 

boxofjibboo

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burtonridr said:
Someone here probably knows the answer better than I do. However, I have made 3 batches and each time I Primary ferment for 1 month, then bottle. I'm partial to keeping it simple and just let it condition in the bottle.
Appreciate the feedback!
 
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boxofjibboo said:
Do I have to move to secondary? Or can I just let it sit in primary 1-2 months without effected taste?
About 3-4 weeks is the max you should go in the primary in my opinion....then either bottle condition or move to a secondary...

EdWort says two months max in the OP though....so maybe I'm a little on the conservative side?
 

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just polished off a batch. need to head to the lhb shop for more ingredients (which I hate doing, its a schlep).
 

tellish33

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Just racked mine onto some sorbate. I forgot to take a reading in the beginning but the end was .998. This weekend I will sweeten hopefully then bottle next weekend.
 

Catfish78

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I just put my first batch in the fermentor. I will let you know how it goes although that may not be for a few months. Then again I am very impatient.
 

IrishBrewer74

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Three months in primary, chilled and carbed..,. Delightful. I'm gonna bottle about 12 as is (original recipe exactly) then back sweeten the rest. I'm also setting one bottle of each (also have a bottle uncarbinated) in the back of my basement cabinet so I forget about them with a reminder set on my calendar to get them in a year.
 

SirElven

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Tried to find this answer but man there is a lot of post!! I want to back sweeten for my wife she's a reisling fan, any suggestions?
 

SeanMcClellan

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SirElven said:
Tried to find this answer but man there is a lot of post!! I want to back sweeten for my wife she's a reisling fan, any suggestions?
I think the general consensus says sweeten at serving, but you could also put a non-fermentable sugar like Splenda in, or pasteurize after putting in fermentable sugar.
 

Chuckabrewski

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About 3-4 weeks is the max you should go in the primary in my opinion....then either bottle condition or move to a secondary...

EdWort says two months max in the OP though....so maybe I'm a little on the conservative side?
Are you sure about this? I have never heard anyone say that about apfelwein. From what i gathered in this forum you should let it sit in primary for 6 months minimum and then bottle from there.
 

Chuckabrewski

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It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will become clear. After at least 4 weeks, you can keg or bottle, but it is ok to leave it in the carboy for another month or so. Racking to a secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999,

Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer.
Am i miss reading this?
 

Double-R

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EdWort says.....


Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer.
 

NineMilBill

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Are you sure about this? I have never heard anyone say that about apfelwein. From what i gathered in this forum you should let it sit in primary for 6 months minimum and then bottle from there.
No, in fact, EdWort himself said to only let it sit in the primary for 3 months max. You can bulk age in secondary - but get it off the primary yeast cake.
 

Chuckabrewski

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Got it. I have one more question now. I was trying to rack this into a secondary and the stopper was well below the bottle opening. I had no choice but to hack at it with a kitchen knife to get it out. Some metal pieces from the kitchen knife fell into the wine as well as the stopper it self. Do I have anything to worry about from the knife pieces or the possible oxidation of the wine from the stopper falling in?
 

davis119

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Chuckabrewski said:
Got it. I have one more question now. I was trying to rack this into a secondary and the stopper was well below the bottle opening. I had no choice but to hack at it with a kitchen knife to get it out. Some metal pieces from the kitchen knife fell into the wine as well as the stopper it self. Do I have anything to worry about from the knife pieces or the possible oxidation of the wine from the stopper falling in?
Should be fine. But how did u break a knife pushing a rubber stopper in.
 

Rocky71

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Mine was good within a month or so. But when I make it again I'm using EC-118. Anyone make it using both the original suggested yeast and then EC-118? What did you think?
 
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What is the difference between using 100% apple juice and apple juice from concentrate? Is there something in the process of concentrating the juice that ruins it for apfelwein?
 

mastamind

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What is the difference between using 100% apple juice and apple juice from concentrate? Is there something in the process of concentrating the juice that ruins it for apfelwein?
I don't think it really matters? I can't answer this 100% b/c I have all ways used bottled apple juice. In my opinion I don't see how you could not use it as long as it only had vitamin c(ascorbic-sp?- acid) in it. If any thing you could try a 1 gallon batch and see if it works and or if you like it.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Cheers 17
 

detlion1643

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I'm coming up on bottling my first batch of this in about a week and a half. That will make 4 weeks since pitching, the whole time staying in the primary. This should be enough time for the yeast to finish out I hope. It was montrachet yeast, no og taken but followed original recipe exact.

Anyways, I'm not planning on backsweeting or carbing this wine, and will campden it a day before to be safe. If the yeast did ferment it dry and I'm not carbing it, would it even keep in a bottle (planning on some beer bottles and some wine)? Wouldn't any head space in either of the bottles be bad with keeping the wine flat and dry, since the oxygen would be in the bottle? Would aging the bottles be out of the question?
 

Recluse

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What is the difference between using 100% apple juice and apple juice from concentrate? Is there something in the process of concentrating the juice that ruins it for apfelwein?
Doesn't matter in the least. Just about all the bottled juice is from concentrate.

I typically buy the cheapest stuff I can find and it comes out great. The few times I have tried to ferment higher quality fully natural fresh pressed cold pasteurized cider it has come out pretty bad. Since it wasn't fully pasteurized, just stabilized so it has a decent refrigerated shelf life (it will still spontaneously ferment) there may have been wild yeast/bacteria that contributed to bad flavors. Maybe pre-treating with Campden would help, but, I don't really see the advantage as the pasteurized bottled juice from concentrate seems to make a fine beverage.
 

rico567

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What is the difference between using 100% apple juice and apple juice from concentrate? Is there something in the process of concentrating the juice that ruins it for apfelwein?
Concentrating is just getting some of the water out of the original. Water costs a lot of money to ship, and concentrate is easier and cheaper to store. Concentration, per se, doesn't inhibit fermentation. The type of preservative most certainly can. As was mentioned in a previous post, ascorbic acid (Vit. C) is OK, and won't matter one way or the other. Other preservatives (potassium sorbate is commonly used) can inhibit fermentation of yeast....after all, it's added to inhibit microbial growth.

I've only made one full batch of Apfelwein. I followed the recipe given in the OP, except I used fresh apple cider from a local orchard (their late Fall blend of 13 varieties) that had only been Pasteurized). It turned out great.
 

mastamind

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I'm coming up on bottling my first batch of this in about a week and a half. That will make 4 weeks since pitching, the whole time staying in the primary. This should be enough time for the yeast to finish out I hope. It was montrachet yeast, no og taken but followed original recipe exact.

Anyways, I'm not planning on backsweeting or carbing this wine, and will campden it a day before to be safe. If the yeast did ferment it dry and I'm not carbing it, would it even keep in a bottle (planning on some beer bottles and some wine)? Wouldn't any head space in either of the bottles be bad with keeping the wine flat and dry, since the oxygen would be in the bottle? Would aging the bottles be out of the question?
I suggest Keeping it in your primary for at least 2 months. I have my second batch going now and I will be bottling july 1st that will be 2.5 months for me. My first one I bottles in back into the apple juice containers after 1.5 months. My wife and I drank it mixed with apple juice on bottling day b/c there was no way you could drink it by it's self at this point. I have 1 gallon left from my first batch that I just tried a sample of before I take it to a graduation party this weekend. It lightly carbed its self up being in a container for 4 or so months. I must say 4 months in a bottle and 1.5 months in primary has made a good drink. But I feel it will get even better! Slightly carbed After i drink it I can taste a light lovely apply flavor. So What I have found like any one else when they are new to brewing is all most EVERY THING needs time to mature and get better
 

detlion1643

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I suggest Keeping it in your primary for at least 2 months. I have my second batch going now and I will be bottling july 1st that will be 2.5 months for me. My first one I bottles in back into the apple juice containers after 1.5 months. My wife and I drank it mixed with apple juice on bottling day b/c there was no way you could drink it by it's self at this point. I have 1 gallon left from my first batch that I just tried a sample of before I take it to a graduation party this weekend. It lightly carbed its self up being in a container for 4 or so months. I must say 4 months in a bottle and 1.5 months in primary has made a good drink. But I feel it will get even better! Slightly carbed After i drink it I can taste a light lovely apply flavor. So What I have found like any one else when they are new to brewing is all most EVERY THING needs time to mature and get better
I completely understand the aging, in fact, I'm gonna let it age in the bottles. Do you think 4 weeks at 72ish is enough to completely ferment out? I was planning on bottling it, and letting the bottles age instead of racking into a secondary. Is this a bad idea? I figured racking into a secondary after 4 weeks would be about the same as bottling it and letting them age the same amount of time?
 

SeanMcClellan

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mastamind said:
I suggest Keeping it in your primary for at least 2 months. I have my second batch going now and I will be bottling july 1st that will be 2.5 months for me. My first one I bottles in back into the apple juice containers after 1.5 months. My wife and I drank it mixed with apple juice on bottling day b/c there was no way you could drink it by it's self at this point. I have 1 gallon left from my first batch that I just tried a sample of before I take it to a graduation party this weekend. It lightly carbed its self up being in a container for 4 or so months. I must say 4 months in a bottle and 1.5 months in primary has made a good drink. But I feel it will get even better! Slightly carbed After i drink it I can taste a light lovely apply flavor. So What I have found like any one else when they are new to brewing is all most EVERY THING needs time to mature and get better
+1

When it's fully done, it'll be crystal clear. I've made two 1 gal batches, both cleared slowly and eventually made it to being as clear as the juice they originally came from by week 6 or so in primary.
 
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thanks for the quick answers regarding concentrated juice :) I think I'll try a cheaper apple juice next time and see how it compares to the other juice I have used for my first few batches, now that I am a little more confident I will not be completely wasting a couple months of primary fermenter time.
 

mastamind

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I completely understand the aging, in fact, I'm gonna let it age in the bottles. Do you think 4 weeks at 72ish is enough to completely ferment out? I was planning on bottling it, and letting the bottles age instead of racking into a secondary. Is this a bad idea? I figured racking into a secondary after 4 weeks would be about the same as bottling it and letting them age the same amount of time?
I am pretty sure fermentation should roughly be done around 10 to 14 days but you should all ways check with a hydrometer sp? Any ways all so from what I ready you can leave this in the primary on the yeast cake for no more then 3 months to help clean up some off flavors and then you can bottle or rack to bulk age. I go with the bottle b/c I am all ways afraid of a infection/mold if I was to do a secondary.
 

tennesseean_87

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I am pretty sure fermentation should roughly be done around 10 to 14 days
This has not been true in my experience. This isn't beer or beer yeast; things take a lot longer to ferment out. If anything, some of my batches have taken more like 6 weeks to finish fermenting, much less clearing.
 
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