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Spiced apple cider

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Bluespark

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I made this on a whim, got some cheap sun rype juice Boxing Day and tried an experiment. Recipe is:

1 gallon cheap sunripe apple juice
1 clove
1 cinnamon stick
2 green caramom pods
Pectin enzyme, nutrient and energizer.
1 1/2 cup carmelized sugar.
Pack of coopers ale yeast

Start date 12/26/12
SG 1.070

I ignored this until 1/9/13, then I sampled and thought it was a bit bitter and should be racked off the spices. Gravity 1.000. Cold crashed, racked and forgot it until today. Tasted and it is AWESOME! A tad dry for my family, so I back sweetened a bit with agave, but this really is fantastic. Apple flavour up front, then the cardamom and a hint of other spices.

I'm kind of shocked that this is so good at 3 weeks old. According to my calculations it's around 9% abv.

Not bad for 5$ a gallon...
 

Unferth

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Never would I have thought to put cardamom pods in a cider. instead of spiced apple cider you should call it curried apple cider.
 
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Bluespark

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I grew up in a very multi cultural area where cardamom is very common in desert, so it seemed like a natural choice :)
 

jackfrost

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Did you use whole clove? I had to use 2 to get it to come through. But half a cinnamon stick
 
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Bluespark

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One whole clove. You get apple up front, then cardamom( almost a pine kind if taste, super interesting when fermented) then just a complex spice back ground. Just finished a glass. Yum....
 

jackfrost

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Nice I have 4 bottles left of my last batch...now I have a kind of cyser going 1cup honey half orange juice half lemon juiced 1/2 cup corn syrup with vanilla one clove sg 1.06 finish around 1.02 or 1.01 I hope... first time with d47 in cider. Usually use Nottingham
 

WilliamSlayer

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Hmmm. Makes me think I might be a bit timid on my spice additions. My first 'spiced ' cider is being racked onto the spice today. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 oz Bitter orange peel

Sounds like you used just a bit less for a one gallon batch, and my batch is 7 gallons!

Did you find your spices too strong? Sounds like your cider sat on them for about two weeks...?
 
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Bluespark

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Two weeks fermenting on them, then a few days in the fridge.

I decided on that amount of spices because
1) it was only one gallon, and an inexpensive gallon at that. I could dilute if necessary.
2) I like strong flavours typically, especially cardamom and cinnamon.

To me (and the few others that have tasted so far), no they were not over powering, you taste apple, then cardamom, then the other spices.
 

WilliamSlayer

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Ok! Thanks for the feedback. I racked over today onto some STRONG smelling spices, but I know now that its not too much. I've never spiced before, so I am a bit wary. :)
 
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Bluespark

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Just had to brag a smidgen, here is my gorgeous, crystal clear cider bottled, though it won't stay in them long....

image-2791989306.jpg
 

HopHeaven

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I also recently made a spiced cider that was bottled 4 days ago upon bottling it was perfectly spiced my recipe? Just some trade joes spiced cider and corn sugar! This doesn't give you the flexibility to change the spices to your personal preference but its simple enough and tasted great!
 
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Bluespark

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Thanks :) this batch I'm so happy with, crystal clear in 3 weeks. Awesome :)

Hop heaven, no trader joes in Alberta :(
 

CRock303

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Love using cardamom, Iv'e used it in 3 ciders so far in place of ginger.
 

DeustchLehrer

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I would love to see some before, during, and after pictures of the entire process! It would help all of us rookies out....
 
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Bluespark

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I decided to try a variation on this recipe. Almost identical except using d47 yeast( ran out of coopers) and chai tea instead of the whole spices. and slightly less sugar(1 cup caramel instead of 1.5) with the idea of a lower ABV. I may have to add more spices, I don't know that two tea bags (large, loose leaf with whole spices) will be good enough.

I'll add some pictures today. My family has forbidden me from gifting any of this batch :)
 
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Bluespark

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Here is version 2, 24 hours in. I must say, it smells INSANELY good.

image-1580136341.jpg
 

Newsman

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Hmm... I just bought 5 gallons of reconstituted apple juice in the store yesterday. I also have a tin (3.5 oz / 99g) of Instant Mulling Spice. It's about 3 years out of date, but it has never been opened. Think it's any good? The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of mulling spice to a quart of juice. I was thinking of maybe dumping the whole thing into the secondary. I thought I might get an additional container or two of concentrated frozen apple juice to add extra sweetness and flavor. Also thought about trying to make some syrup to add extra sugar using light brown sugar, or would it be better to use something like dark Karo (corn) syrup to add flavor and fermentables?
 

Newsman

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Anyone think this would make a good spiced cider? I'm thinking about ordering a couple of these and putting them in the secondary. What do you folks think? Ingredients list: Cinnamon, orange peel, lemon peel, cranberry, vanilla extract, orange oil, star anise, cardimom and cloves.
 

jackfrost

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That sounds great but I would make a regular cider then steep the spice in a little water and brown sugar get up to 120°f set for 1 hour strain then add what u need to get desired sweetness and flavor
 

MarkKF

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Here is my cinnamon apple cider. 2 weeks in the primary. 2 months in the secondary.

image-1114549173.jpg
 

LandoAllen

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Anyone think this would make a good spiced cider? I'm thinking about ordering a couple of these and putting them in the secondary. What do you folks think? Ingredients list: Cinnamon, orange peel, lemon peel, cranberry, vanilla extract, orange oil, star anise, cardimom and cloves.
I think that sounds like a good choice of spices but it seems a bit steep on the price... But I'd say give it a try.

That sounds great but I would make a regular cider then steep the spice in a little water and brown sugar get up to 120°f set for 1 hour strain then add what u need to get desired sweetness and flavor
I also agree that steeping in water is a better way to extract some flavor from the spices. I would also say to add the spice concoction to the secondary to retain as much spice flavor as possible otherwise you simply are wasting spice. I have also heard of people steeping their spices in brandy, vodka, or rum for a few weeks to draw out the flavor better before adding to their cider. I have done this method with oak chips in rum before and it worked great.



I just finished drinking all of my spiced cider I bottled last December. Sadly I only made two gallons because it was an experimental batch. It was so tasty that this batch only lasted two weeks after bottling. I didn't even get a chance to age it because everyone like it so much that the bottles were gone in no time. The spices I used were: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla extract, almond extract, and orange zest. I also made a pumpkin cider with virtually the same recipe but I added pumpkin pure to the spices when they were simmering and steeping on the stove. If anyone is interested I can post the recipes.
 
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Bluespark

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I was able to get two gallons of apple juice for $4 at my local supermarket, a month away from expiry date. I was told by my family that I needed to make more of the original batch, so I used the first recipe, used 1122 which I had on hand and added a couple tonga beans. Will update.

I love all the ideas and Mark, your cider looks great!
 

LandoAllen

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SPICED CIDER

START DATE: 10-31-12
RACKING DATE: 11-13-12
COLD CRASHING DATE: 12-19-12
BOTTLING DATE: 12-22-12

Batch Size: 2 gallons
FERMENTATION TEMP: 70F
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.000
YEAST USED: Half of a package of Red Star Pasteur Champagne (about 2.5 grams). No yeast starter made.

2 gallons of fresh unpasteurized cider with no preservatives from a local orchard
-added campden tablet 24 hours prior to pithing yeast

After Waiting 24 hours:
2 tsp Fermax Yeast Nutrient
1 tsp pectin enzyme added to juice

Racked into secondary after 2 weeks. And then added in the spices which consisted of:

Simmered/steeped on stove on low heat for 45 minutes:
2 cups of water
3 tsp ground pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract

I let the spices cool to room temp and added into the carboy. Shook carboy up really good to mix in the spices. Let sit for a little over a month in secondary before cold crashing for three days. I back-sweetened with the same cider I started with that I had frozen and bottled.

The cider smelled amazing when bottling and after pouring into a glass from the bottle! The taste was very smooth and very drinkable while young. I did have a problem with the clarity for some reason though. Also I experimented with using K-meta and sorbate doses to stop the yeast to make a flat cider but for some reason it didn’t stop the yeast. I used the recommended doses and everything so I ended up just putting the bottles in the fridge and left them there till I drank them up.

The pumpkin one I did was the same recipe except I opened up a can of Kroger brand pumpkin pure and added into the spices while steeping on the stove for 45 min. I personally liked the spiced cider over the pumpkin but some of my friends preferred the pumpkin. I do have to say that I liked my pumpkin cider so much better than Woodchuck Pumpkin Private Reserve that I got the idea from and compared tastes to.
 

Newsman

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I have a tin of "Instant Mulling Spice" which has cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, sugar, dextrose, orange and lemon peel in it. It's about 3 years past the "best before" date. Thinking of adding it in the primary since it's got sugars in it and maybe adding a cinnamon stick a couple cloves and such in the secondary. Also in the primary, thinking of adding a couple cans of thawed frozen apple juice concentrate to bulk up the fermentables, and maybe back-sweeten a bit with another can of concentrated un-reconstituted apple juice. What do y'all think?

My local HBS suggested the spices would probably still be good, even 3 years out of date. The tin has been sealed since I bought it. The tin is 3.5 oz, and the instructions for non-alcoholic cider are to add 1 Tbsp / quart of cider. The way I figure it, there's 20 quarts per 5 gallons of juice and this tin should be just about enough to handle that much juice.

Thoughts/suggestions/comments???
 

LandoAllen

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Newsman said:
Thoughts/suggestions/comments???
Well spices rarely ever go "bad" since there is no water content for microorganisms to thrive on. But spices do loose their potency and loose some flavoring as time goes on so this is just one thing to keep in mind. With that said I would suggest two things:

1. Steeping the spices before adding them as mentioned above.
2. Adding the spices to the secondary rather than the primary.
 

WilliamSlayer

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Cinnamon cider - 12/27/12

2 tsp Bentonite
5 gal cider (1.050 gravity)
1 1/2 tsp pectic
1 1/2 tsp fermax

2 lbs cane suger
2 lbs lt. Brn sugar
Sugar boiled for 5min in 4 cups water.
S.G. now 1.080

PH tested 3.8 so...
Added 46 grams malic acid

Pitched Lalvin K1-1116 (one package)

Ferment @ 68-73 degrees

Soaking in a seperate container-
7 oz of vodka
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 Tbs ground nutmeg
1/2 oz Bitter Orange Peel

1/14/13
Racked onto the spices
Gravity @ .098

1/16/13
Added 1/3 tsp Potassium Metabisulfite
Added 1 and 1/4 tsp Potassium Sorbate
Stirred to mix. Got a fair ammount of gas out.

1/20/13
Racked to a fermenter bucket.
Added 2 gallons of cider.
Added 1 tsp pectic enzyme.
 

Newsman

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The "Instant Mulling Spice" I have contains sugar and dextrose. For that reason, I wonder about putting it in the secondary. Do you still recommend adding it to the secondary?
 

LandoAllen

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The "Instant Mulling Spice" I have contains sugar and dextrose. For that reason, I wonder about putting it in the secondary. Do you still recommend adding it to the secondary?
Do you know how much sugar is contained in the amount you were wanting to add? And as long as you aren't worried about the abv being a bit higher then I see no reason not to go ahead and use it in the secondary.
 

Newsman

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I do not have any idea how much sugar is in it. All I know is that it's "Instant Mulling Spice" by Urban Accents. Heck, I dont' even know if it's powder or whole spices... And I am NOT concerned about the ABV either way. :D
 

LandoAllen

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Cinnamon cider - 12/27/12

2 tsp Bentonite

Got a fair ammount of gas out.

1/20/13
Racked to a fermenter bucket.
Added 2 gallons of cider.
Added 1 tsp pectic enzyme.
A few questions... How was the clarity with the bentonite? I've never actually used that product but I've seen it at my brew store. Did you cold crash any?

When you say you got a fair amount of gas out are you talking about CO2?

Why did you rack back into a fermenter bucket? Did you not bottle or keg it?

And what is the purpose of adding pectin to your brew at the beginning like you did? I've only ever heard of trying to get rid of pectin for haziness reasons.
 

WilliamSlayer

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A few questions... How was the clarity with the bentonite? I've never actually used that product but I've seen it at my brew store. Did you cold crash any?

When you say you got a fair amount of gas out are you talking about CO2?

Why did you rack back into a fermenter bucket? Did you not bottle or keg it?

And what is the purpose of adding pectin to your brew at the beginning like you did? I've only ever heard of trying to get rid of pectin for haziness reasons.
I use bentonite in all my wines, both as a clarfiying agent and to creat lattice structure for my yeast during fermentation. I don't cold crash due to a lack of refridgerator space, but I think its a concept i'd love to try one day.

I was talking about co2. I tend to not degas my cider as I like a bit of 'spritz'.

I racked back to a bucket due to the size of the batch. After backsweetening, I have a 7.5 gallon batch. Far too big for my modest 6 gal carboys! I plan to rack again before bottling.

I added pectic enzyme at the beginning and at backsweetening time. This allows the enzyme time to break up, and settle out the pectin from my cider. Combined with the Bentonite, I get good results with less time waiting to bottle. My last batch was crystal clear and ready to bottle within a month after I racked it to carboy.
 

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