Man, I love Apfelwein

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potatoe

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I am fermenting at about 59-60 degrees, (Large, cold, Chicago warehouse), I have been told that this (or colder, down to 40), is a decent temp for cider fermentation, preserving aroma and blah blah.

What truth is there to this? I am using Montrachet yeast, but am thinking of experimenting with the other varieties of Red Star I have kicking around. From what I have read of this thread, (not even close to all of it), most people are fermenting at ale-ish temperatures. Can anyone chime in with some colder fermentation experience?

Salud.
 

solidghost

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I am keen to know whether if you ferment at a higher temp, will it result in any off-flavours like what happens in beer? You mean, like fusel alcohol or something. I guess it is also very dependent on the yeast used in the brew.
 

Vagabond

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I dunno if it's somewhere in the hundreds of pages of this thread but, Is it not required to carbonate this? If not, which way do you folks prefer it?

To carb or not to carb.. That is the question!!
 

mrfocus

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Vagabond said:
I dunno if it's somewhere in the hundreds of pages of this thread but, Is it not required to carbonate this? If not, which way do you folks prefer it?

To carb or not to carb.. That is the question!!
It's not required. Most people prefer it though. (There is a separate thread about it).
 
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Vagabond said:
I dunno if it's somewhere in the hundreds of pages of this thread but, Is it not required to carbonate this? If not, which way do you folks prefer it?

To carb or not to carb.. That is the question!!
That is not the question...that is the answer...and since you are doing it, You can try both ways.
as much as you'd like.
 

Redweasel

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Vagabond said:
I dunno if it's somewhere in the hundreds of pages of this thread but, Is it not required to carbonate this? If not, which way do you folks prefer it?

To carb or not to carb.. That is the question!!

I LOVE this stuff flat!:tank:

I Love this stuff carbed!:tank:

Either way you win. What I did was bottle like normal for carbing and put about 6 22 ozers in the fridge to drink flat. I really can't decide which I like best as trying them back to back gets me too :drunk: to care.
 

tim1088

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Hey guys I am about to brew a batch of this and had one final question. I am using a 5 gallon glass carboy with a rubber stopper and airlock. Will this be ok or will the fermentatino be enough to blow the rubber stopper out, I heard that this can happen sending gallons of sticky brew all over the place when brewing initially in the carboy. Any thoughts?
 

Crazytwoknobs

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It probably won't be an issue if you left sufficient headspace, it won't blow a stopper, but it might foul an airlock.

With Montrachet, you get a little bit of foam, I got like 4 inches.
 

Nurmey

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tim1088 said:
Hey guys I am about to brew a batch of this and had one final question. I am using a 5 gallon glass carboy with a rubber stopper and airlock. Will this be ok or will the fermentatino be enough to blow the rubber stopper out, I heard that this can happen sending gallons of sticky brew all over the place when brewing initially in the carboy. Any thoughts?
Ed Wort, the originator of this brew and thread always makes his in a 5 gallon carboy. If you're following his recipes, you're good to go.
 

SavageSteve

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I just sampled my first apfelwein after drawing some from the carboy for a specific gravity reading. Came in at 0.997.

I must say, I was very surprised with how it tasted. If someone gave me some without telling me what it was, I would have said it was a dry white wine, perhaps a chardonnay (without the oakiness). I never would have guessed it was made from apple juice.

Yes, I know it's called apfelwein, and was made with a wine yeast, but I was still surprised at how wine-like it tasted-- dry, fairly tart, smooth with a subtle buttery flavor, and a very subtle flavor of apples.

It's only 4 weeks old at this point, so I expect it to change as it ages more, but I like it already! I had two shot glasses of the stuff, and caught a bit of buzz just from that!

Thanks, Ed!
 

BakerStreetBeers

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Since I had nothing to do while waiting for the first two cornies in my new keezer to chill overnight. I made a trip to Costco and picked up 5 gallons of juice for making my first batch of Apfelwein. I tried to get the Montrachet yeast, but the good folks at my LHBS (this being Sonoma County they also deal quite extensively in wine-making supplies) told me that they no longer sell it. "It really, really, really stinks," they explained. Having read this thread quite extensively (though nowhere near completely) I knew what they were talking about. They told me that for this sort of application, they recommended the similar (according to them) Epernay yeast. So, what the hay, I bought some. I was a bit surprised that a Google search of this site for "Epernay" got no results. Skimming a web search suggested that this yeast is known for its low foaming qualities -- the only thing I was really worried about.

Besides the yeast, the only deviation from Ed's original recipe was that I poured off two mugs worth of apple cider into a pot, heated with a cinnamon stick, then drank them with a spash of rum -- I have a cold.

Looking forward to my first glass. And I'm definitely planning on following Ed's advice and starting a second batch in 2 weeks. Costco sold the gallon jugs in two packs so I have 20% of the next batch already on hand!
 
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EdWort

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Crazytwoknobs said:
It probably won't be an issue if you left sufficient headspace, it won't blow a stopper, but it might foul an airlock.

With Montrachet, you get a little bit of foam, I got like 4 inches.
Here you can see how much head space I leave with mine. The middle bottle is too much, the one's on the left and right are just fine. Montrachet only makes about a 1/4 inch of foam when it kicks in. You'll get the most foam just pouring the apple juice into the carboy.



I fired up two more carboys on Monday. Man the room is filled with the sweet aroma of fermentation!!!!
 

blacklab

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I just bottled a batch I made with some real cloudy 'organic' stuff from my local hippie grocery store - turns out the cloudy apple stuff didn't drop out, but I really like the taste. My first batch was with the typical tree top/costco stuff, and we really liked it, so this one should be even better. It was much sweeter, even with the FG being .990 or so. Can't wait until it's carbed!
 

Crazytwoknobs

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AH! EdWort is totally right, I was thinking of my batch with Safale. There's very little foam with montrachet.
 
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I'm thinking that Apfelwein may be the solution to the BMC Conundrum. I got it again tonight..."Tastes like a Really good beer with a jolly rancher in it"
If someone wants you to make them a BMC, Why not dry hop a gallon of your next batch of Apfelwein and see how it works. It could not be worse than Bud light, and it may be the best way to pacify the BMC's in your life.
 

ThebrewdawG

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It's time to bottle what I call "Ed's delight" and I decided to use clear bottles for a couple of reasons. First being, I'm thinking its not gonna last long, and I want my freinds to see exactly what their drinking for a change. If anyone else wants to use clear, try Land Shark. I just started drinking this and its pretty damn tasty! A Shout out to Jacksonville Fla. on this one! It's also by far the only plastic label that comes off with little effort. Drink soak remove while drinking a 2nd & 3rd etc.

Ed is right in saying 2 weeks and start another:D
 

Revvy

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Well after 2 months my batch FINALLY became clear enough to read through....

(although I have pulled out a couple quarts on occasion to imbibe. :D)

I just bottled it. I carbed up 3 gallons of it (I had just enough fliptops and 16-20 ounce beer bottles for 3 gallons carbed) and bottled the remainder in some 1 liter PET bottles left over from my mr beer days...

Is the carb time pretty much the same for the apfelwein as it is for beer, 3+weeks?
 

Revvy

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Redweasel said:
Mine was nicely carbed after 3 weeks.:mug:
I figured, thanks!!!

Guess I'll have to make do with the uncarbed ones in the meantime!!!

(After bottling I had about a pint's worth at the bottom of the bucket....Since I haven't eaten all day my lips are quite numb!

:ban:
 

Zappa42

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Hey guys,

My 4 year old nephew shook my Apfelwein carboy today. It has been fermenting for about 4 weeks now. When he shook it up it developed a foam on the top that went away shortly after.

Will the batch be Ok?
 

Revvy

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Zappa42 said:
Hey guys,

My 4 year old nephew shook my Apfelwein carboy today. It has been fermenting for about 4 weeks now. When he shook it up it developed a foam on the top that went away shortly after.

Will the batch be Ok?
Yeah....it takes a lot to hurt beer/wine...and shaking up the carboy isn't one of them...actually it's not a bad thing to do, it will re-rouse the yeast off the bottom, and get them working again...I did that to both my apfelwein and mead arboys, every couple weeks....

You just have to wait to it clears and settles back down!
 

DUCCCC

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Zappa42 said:
Hey guys,

My 4 year old nephew shook my Apfelwein carboy today. It has been fermenting for about 4 weeks now. When he shook it up it developed a foam on the top that went away shortly after.

Will the batch be Ok?
Damn, a 4 year old shook the carboy that hard? Get that kid in front of an NFL scout already!
 

Donner

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ma2brew said:
Damn, a 4 year old shook the carboy that hard? Get that kid in front of an NFL scout already!
He probably just really, really wanted his apple juice :ban:
 

Crazytwoknobs

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BigKahuna said:
I started a batch tonight that is on a 3068 yeast cake from the Banana Foster Dunkle. Wish Me Luck!:tank:
What temp are you keeping it at?

What sugars did you add?
 

fusion94

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EdWort,
I'm dying to try this although fermentation temps in my house are significantly cooler (generally the house is kept at approx 60-62 degrees). How much will this affect the recipe/fermentation times?
 

Moonshae

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I've kegged mine, and while I'm waiting for it to carb, I'm not sure I'm so keen on it, even after 3 pints. It packs a whollop, to be sure, but...I think I'd prefer a bigger beer to a weakish carbonated wine. I'll keep trying, and it isn't bad by any means, but I don't think it's going to earn a devoted tap.
 

fratermus

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BigKahuna said:
My kitchen stays right at about 72 most of the time, and I used Corn Sugar.
IT SMELLS AWESOME! and is fermenting STRONG! Almost a constant in the air lock.
Mine is about 24hrs old and there is a full, even, steady stream of CO2 blowing through the airlock. Ed wasn't joking about keeping the airlock vodka handy. It's weird seeing that much CO2 and no crud or blowoff.

SInce ed's instructions said to ferment it at room temp I watershirted mine and it is 72-74F.
 

wiseman

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I know that one of the reasons this stuff is so popular is because it's cheap, fast, powerful, and tasty but it seems that the taste may be a bit weak for some. Has anyone tried boiling the apple juice down or using concentrates to increase flavor?
 
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wiseman said:
I know that one of the reasons this stuff is so popular is because it's cheap, fast, powerful, and tasty but it seems that the taste may be a bit weak for some. Has anyone tried boiling the apple juice down or using concentrates to increase flavor?

Part of the point of "Apfelwein" is that it is drier than typical hard cider.

But to sweeten you do what they do with wine, (often with whites). You add some potassium sorbate to arrest the yeast and sweetener (either sugar or juice.)

I would go with pasteurized apple juice instead of sugar. Add little to start. You can always add more but if you over sweeten, well....

For flavor, yeast selection can make a difference. Not an expert in wine yeasts but I'm making a batch right now with k1-v1116. This yeast works awesome for strawberry wine (and other fruit wines) for a more vibrant flavor and aroma from fruit. This is my first try with a cider with this yeast. In the past I've used 1116 but found it very dry with less fruit flavor.

The best cider is made from juice containing different apples. Not all store bought juice is "blended" that way. Some probably are, but I don't know of any that state the apples they use. I used 3 different juices. One was a tasty cider that still had a bit of skin/pulp in it.

I haven't seen the yeast Ed uses here. Most of the yeast here in Kelowna is red star or predominately lalvin. Probably because lalvin is made in Canada.

I'd love to do 2 batches to compare.

So to conclude. If you want the same dryness but more flavor, you can try different yeasts or mixing apple juices. Try tasting them to see the difference. A mix of apple flavors might be best.
 

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I used WL sweet mead yeast in my last batch- Kegged it at 1.012 and it was very full of apple flavor
 

Thwizzit

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fusion94 said:
I'm dying to try this although fermentation temps in my house are significantly cooler (generally the house is kept at approx 60-62 degrees). How much will this affect the recipe/fermentation times?
I'd like to hear a response to this question as well. I put my 5 gallon bucket up on the third floor because I figured it would be warmer (heat rising and all that) and it was warmer for a while (65-68) but I just checked and the temp has dipped below 60 to around 57-58 degrees and I'm wondering how that will affect fermentation.
 

fusion94

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Thwizzit said:
I'd like to hear a response to this question as well. I put my 5 gallon bucket up on the third floor because I figured it would be warmer (heat rising and all that) and it was warmer for a while (65-68) but I just checked and the temp has dipped below 60 to around 57-58 degrees and I'm wondering how that will affect fermentation.
Thwizzit: I PMed Ed and he stated that it will just take longer to clear up...8 weeks or more.
 

TexLaw

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wiseman said:
I know that one of the reasons this stuff is so popular is because it's cheap, fast, powerful, and tasty but it seems that the taste may be a bit weak for some. Has anyone tried boiling the apple juice down or using concentrates to increase flavor?
Age increases the flavor quite a bit. I agree that apfelwein is cheap, powerful, and tasty. However, I do not agree that it is fast (other than the hands-on time). Give this stuff time, and it pays off huge.


TL
 

Crazytwoknobs

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BigKahuna said:
My kitchen stays right at about 72 most of the time, and I used Corn Sugar.
IT SMELLS AWESOME! and is fermenting STRONG! Almost a constant in the air lock.

I used waay too much brown sugar and dextrose in mine, and it never finished, tastes awful now, my worst experience with any kind of DIY alcohol. All sorts of stuff went wrong. Completely my fault, but I really want to blame it on the yeast. I might try a smaller batch with it soon, and with no brown sugar.

Keep track of how long it takes to finish, I'm interested to know.
 
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