Pomegranate Cider/Apfelwein

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beala

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So, I was reading the "Apfelwein Variations" thread and decided to make a Pomegranate Apfelwein. Currently, I have 4 gallons of apple juice and 2 gallons of pomegranate juice. I've never made one before, so I have a few questions:

1) What yeast should I use? I have montrachet on hand, but I'm afraid the finished product won't have any fruit flavor left if I use that yeast. Pomegranate juice isn't cheap, so I definitely want to be able to taste it once the fermentation is over. Someone recommended white labs champagne yeast in the other thread. Any comments on this?

2) Any recommendations on the ratio to mix the two juices? I could just throw all of it together and have a 6 gallon batch. Or maybe I should do half and half? 2 gal pom and 2 gal apple? Would the pomegranate be too overpowering?

3) Should I add dextrose? Will too much alcohol overpower the pomegranate flavor?

Thanks a lot.
 

mrfocus

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I'm sure other people will pitch in and help you, this is just from my experience with AW (one batch completed, another fermenting right now):

1) Try to get a champagne or white wine yeast, the less expensive (but still great) ones are Lalvin EC-1118. I'm sure Montrachet would be fine, as if you read the main Apfelwein thread, you can see that Ed the Great won a first place with some 8 month old AW.

2) I'm not sure how bitter and tart Pomegranate juice is, but imagine that there will be no more sweetness (or very little) in the finished product. Maybe people doing Cran-Apfelwein can pitch in here, since it's a similar bitterness. IIRC, most people would do 1 gal Cran for 4 gal Apple.

3) Maybe. If it does, the solution would be to let it age (from what I can read, this stuff becomes even more delicious with age) as the alcohol taste would leave. I had no problem drinking 2 week old apfelwein and detected very little alcohol taste (at about 7.5% ABV). The main thing is, if you can keep the fermentation temperature in the lower range that your yeast will tolerate, fermentation will be a bit slower but the alcohol taste will not be as present (the temp should be about 65F if you can keep it stable at that temp).
 
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beala

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Thanks for your input! Based on what you've said and ShadowWulf's rave recommendation in another thread, I think I'm going to go ahead and order some White Labs Champagne yeast. Your advice on the juice ratios sounds good too. 1 Gal pom and 4 gal apple. I figure I can taste it a few weeks into fermentation, and if I want more pomegranate flavor, I can just add more juice. 1 gal pom seems like a safe place to start. As for the sugar, I guess I'll go for just a little less than 2lbs. According to the pomegranate juice label, it has a bit more sugar in it than apple juice, so that alone should give me a few sg points.

Thanks for your help! Any more input is always appreciated! I'll report back once it's all mixed up and the recipe is final.
 

Brakeman_Brewing

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Red Star Cote des Blancs would be another good yeast choice.

From Red Star:
Côte des Blancs produces fine, fruity aromas and may be controlled by lowering temperature to finish with some residual sugar. It is recommended for reds, whites, sparkling cuvées and non-grape fruit wines (especially apple, it is reported).
 
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beala

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As promised, I mixed up the apfelwein yesterday and here's my recipe:

4 gal TreeTop
1 gal langer's pomegranate
2 lbs dextrose
1 pkt Cote de Blancs

I took a sample of the original apfelwein recipe in the primary and decided I really liked the clean profile of the montrachet, so I'd go ahead and try another champagne yeast for this one. Liquid yeast was a bit pricey, so I went with mr_stimey's recommendation.

The OG was a bit high it seemed. 1.070, but I couldn't get a very accurate reading because the mixture foamed on top so much. If it gets below 1.000, i'll have nearly a 10%abv drink on my hands. I'm guessing it'll need mellowing.

Last, i'll probably open this up in about a week or two and check to see if I need more pomegranate. I have another gallon that i'll add if I want more pom flavor.
 
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beala

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I'm not sure if anyone is still following this, if so here's an update.

I opened up the fermenter today (16 days from mixing) and took an SG. It's down to 1.004. The color was a lovely golden color which was slightly deeper than the yellow of apfelwein. The taste is very similar to plain apfelwein with a slight amount of bitterness and tartness at the finish. I guess that's what pomegranate tastes like with all the sugar fermented out. The pomegranate is actually most apparent in the aroma, not the taste. I decided the tartness at the end would go great with a champagne like carbonation, so I added an additional gallon of pom that I had lying around. I'll pop it open in a week or two and post another update. Sorry if this post was kinda incoherent, but this is after 1 glass of normal apfelwein and the sample i just drew.
 

Tusch

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Sounds good to me. I may be new to the hobby, but I am an experimenting kind of guy by nature. It sounds like you are as well, hope this stuff turns out great. Oh and if you want more pom taste to come out, I think backsweetening would bring that out quite well. Keep us updated!
 

buraglio

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I had a pom cider that a guy in out local home brew club made and it was awesome. He used a lot less pom juice but his had a nice tart cidery flavor and the color was very nice. His recipe actually prompted me to do a raspberry cider/apfelwein.

Good luck on the pom/apfelwein, I'd be very curious to hear the final results.

nb
 

MikeFlynn74

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Id do

4gal Apple
.5 Gal Pom
2lb dextros
Sweet mead yeast

Once ferment is done add the .5 of Pom to the finish. Will give it more pom flavor
 
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