Strongbow clone?

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david_42

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Ciders are just about impossible to clone because there is no way to find out what apples were used. Strongbow's site admits nothing. Have you tried EdWort's recipe?
 

brewman !

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I need a strongbow recipe too. My gf drinks it.

I gave my gf a taste of my apfelwein. She likes it, but it isn't strongbow. My gf says it just needs to be a dry apple cider. She doesn't like sweet ciders.

I guess we need to buy some SB and figure out what the differences are.

Anyone have a recipe ? I am sure apple juice could be substituted for the apples that strongbow uses.
 

brewman !

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OK, I've got a can of Strongbow in front of me. The ingredients are listed right on the can.

===================================================
Ingredients: fermented apple juice & glucose syrup, water, sugar, carbon dioxide,
acid: E270, E330, antioxidant: E224(sulphites).
===================================================

That is way more information we get from other beers. MY gf and I compared Strongbow to my well aged Apfelwein. There are some similarities. Strongbow is stronger and drier/crisper.

Notice the "glucose sugar" ingredient. I suspect that strongbow has less apple juice than Apfelwein and more water/sugar, ie "glucose syrup". Once its fermented, they must stabilize it with potassium sorbate and then dilute it with water and carbonate it. We should be able to reverse engineer and clone it.
 
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So now we'll just have to find the magic blend of Apple Juice, Corn Syrup and sugar that makes a good strongbow clone..
 

Schlenkerla

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For a start I'd try just using;
  • 5 - galllons of apple juice
  • (.05 ~1lb) of dextrose
  • 1 - Nottinghams yeast
  • 2 - tsp of yeast nutrients.

This is a standard English cider recipe from "Brewing for Dummies".

BTW - Ed's AW w/ 2lbs of dextrose and carbed w/ 5oz of dextrose is dry.
 

brewman !

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Why would we start with trying dextrose when the Strongbow label tells us it has "Glucose Syrup" in it ?

And I know all about Apfelwien. I have a carboy full of it right next to me.

Strongbow is different than Apfelwien and the traditional ciders.

"So now we'll just have to find the magic blend of Apple Juice, Corn Syrup and sugar that makes a good strongbow clone.."

I suspect that water and sugar are added to the fermented product from apple juice and corn sugar.

It shouldn't take too much experimenting to arrive at something that tastes similar.
 

Schlenkerla

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brewman ! said:
Why would we start with trying dextrose when the Strongbow label tells us it has "Glucose Syrup" in it ?

And I know all about Apfelwien. I have a carboy full of it right next to me.

Strongbow is different than Apfelwien and the traditional ciders.

"So now we'll just have to find the magic blend of Apple Juice, Corn Syrup and sugar that makes a good strongbow clone.."

I suspect that water and sugar are added to the fermented product from apple juice and corn sugar.

It shouldn't take too much experimenting to arrive at something that tastes similar.
I think the yeast type will make the most difference. It won't be apfelwein.

I realize dextrose is not glucose. I don't think its as common as dextrose at the LHBS. Its just cheap sugar that fements out to alcohol. No flavor is added unless they force carb which I highly doubt.

I listed this since I had the recipe and the original poster wanted an English Cider.
 

Crossczek

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I just kegged my cider and my wife said it tastes just like Strongbow. I can taste some similarities, but it doesn't taste just like it. I think she's trying to butter me up for something.

Anyway, here's what I did:
I used fresh pressed juice from the orchard. Than I added 1/4 cup honey per gallon and added Lalvin K1-V1116 yeast and waited for a good fermentation to start. Then I transferred it to the back stairwell where the temperature ranges from 40-50 degrees (depending on a lower Michigan December) to slow down the fermentation (some say a slower fermentation leaves more apple flavor). After a couple of months I racked it directly into my kegs and added apple concentrate (enough to normally make a gallon of juice directly into the corney) and sorbate. Carbonate and consume.

Your milage may vary of course due to the types of apples your juice was made from and what temperatures it ferments at. I have no idea what type of an apple blend my local orchard uses, but I've never been dissipointed.

I have to admit though, it's probably the closest I'll ever get to making a Strongbow clone.

Good luck, and cheers!
 

brewman !

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I fooled around with Apfelwein and concentrate. I can't get it close to Strongbow. It gets too sweet.

I think the glucose syrup adds a bunch of unfermentables that give it the characteristic taste. I hope so anyway. I'll brew some up this week.
 

Mirilis

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I dont really know a lot about making Ciders but I have been wanting to make a Strongbows clone but have been unable to make anything like it . Does anyone know a good recipe I can use to make something similar?
 

Orfy

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Mirilis said:
I dont really know a lot about making Ciders but I have been wanting to make a Strongbows clone but have been unable to make anything like it . Does anyone know a good recipe I can use to make something similar?
Merged,

You'll find more help if you take some time to read a little and maybe search.
 

gpogo

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Oddly I've found mixing a bit of Ed's Apfelwein recipe with some apple juice it tastes similar to Strongbow.

Though as previously recommended I say mess with the yeast. I recently started almost the exact recipe listed using nottingham ale yeast to see how much yeast can play a part of the taste of the finished product.
 

beala

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In my personal experience with apfelwein and a few different yeasts (montrachet, hefe, and cote des blanc) the yeast doesn't make much of a difference. Since the sugars in apple juice are 100% fermentable, the end product always has an FG of 1.000 or less. There might be very slight difference in the flavor profiles, but overall they taste very similar. I think back sweetening with apple juice concentrate and corn syrup, then kegging, is your best bet.
 

brewman !

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I second the opinion that the yeast isn't going to matter as much, unless they've got a yeast that isn't very attentive and leaves some of the apple juice/corn syrup un fermented.

Notice that they ferment and then add water. What are the chances that they are fermenting to 10% alcohol, leaving some of the sugars un fermented and then watering that down ?

How fermentable is corn syrup ? What other syrups would they have in England (where Strongbow is brewed) that they wouldn't have in, say, the US ?
 

devaspawn

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Schlenkerla said:
For a start I'd try just using;
  • 5 - galllons of apple juice
  • (.05 ~1lb) of dextrose
  • 1 - Nottinghams yeast
  • 2 - tsp of yeast nutrients.
This is a standard English cider recipe from "Brewing for Dummies".

BTW - Ed's AW w/ 2lbs of dextrose and carbed w/ 5oz of dextrose is dry.
Is that 5 gallons of pastuerized apple juice that you buy at the grocery store?

:tank:
 

Timber

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OK, I've got a can of Strongbow in front of me. The ingredients are listed right on the can.

===================================================
Ingredients: fermented apple juice & glucose syrup, water, sugar, carbon dioxide,
acid: E270, E330, antioxidant: E224(sulphites).
===================================================

That is way more information we get from other beers. MY gf and I compared Strongbow to my well aged Apfelwein. There are some similarities. Strongbow is stronger and drier/crisper.

Notice the "glucose sugar" ingredient. I suspect that strongbow has less apple juice than Apfelwein and more water/sugar, ie "glucose syrup". Once its fermented, they must stabilize it with potassium sorbate and then dilute it with water and carbonate it. We should be able to reverse engineer and clone it.
Just a quick Note, let me preface with the fact I know nothing about ciders and even less about homebrewing.. but I did spot this and it stuck out to me that what is bolded, is not very likely there is more syrup then Apple Juice because if there was more "Syrup" in the drink, it would of been listed before the apple juice. Anyone got anything new on this, I would be interested as well
 

Mirilis

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If you read it, the syrup is listed first. " Fermented Apple Juice and Glucose Syrup,...."
Which means they mix them both in an unknown ratio, and ferment them.. then add sugar, water and CO2.
 

Lloyd

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OK, I've got a can of Strongbow in front of me. The ingredients are listed right on the can.

===================================================
Ingredients: fermented apple juice & glucose syrup, water, sugar, carbon dioxide,
acid: E270, E330, antioxidant: E224(sulphites).
===================================================
Any updates on the Strongbow clone?
I too wish to make a Strongbow clone, and am "working on it".

The BOTTLED Strongbow I buy reads different then what Brewman posted.. It says:

"Ingredients: Fermented apple juice or apple juice concentrate, sugars, water, citric acid, ascorbic acid, sulferdioxide ( to preserve freshness as sulfiting agent)."

I been buying it because I like it, and I want the bottles.
The bottles are 12 oz, unbranded clear glass, with non-twistoff crown caps.
PERFECT for reuse of Apfelwein or Strongbow clone!
A friend of mine went to buy some of the same.
When he got home he realized the Strongbow he had bought had the twist-off crowns. :mad:
He is now going to look for the ones like I found.
I am going to buy all I can find because I fear they might not be available much longer in the non-twist off type.
I have 9 six-packs so far. :ban:

Here is the six-pack, full bottle, empty bottle, and standard 12 oz beer bottle.

 

brewpig

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Looking at the ingredients, they probably make it by mixing their apple juice and enough glucose to get a SG that will yield the right amount of ABV (or at least close). When it is done fermenting they likely adjust the ABV by adding water and then sulfite it. I've had strongbow and it taste backsweetened so I reckon they add a little sugar after sulfiting and then force carb it into bottles.

The other thing is it does NOT taste like wine. I'd almost bet they use a very clean fermenting yeast .
 

Orangevango

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If it is an actual english cider, in the traditional sense, then it uses english cider apples with high acid and tannin contents. If that is the case, store bought juice wont cut it.
 

jkarp

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I've drank a fair bit of Strongbow and I definitely wouldn't call it dry. Definitely back-sweetened. I get a pretty darn close approximation by just using a dry cider yeast on preservative-free apple juice (Wal-Mart brand works), nuking the yeast with potassium sorbate in a 3-4 week secondary, and then I back-sweeten with Treetop concentrate. Keg that and you're good to go.

Strongbow, Bullmer's, etc. are a far cry from "proper" dry, aged ciders.
 

hook_dupin

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This is a standard English cider recipe from "Brewing for Dummies".
Realize that English Cider and Strongbow are two completely different animals. English Cider uses ale yeasts, is often not very carbonated, and is served at English room temp (60ish F) -very much like a proper Real Ale. Strongbow and its competitors are what the riff raff kids in England drink to get smashed because its sweet and cheap. The corn sweetner is probably added post-fermentation to add to its sweetness. Its the English equivalent of wine coolers. (I'm not knocking Strongbow...I think its pretty tasty stuff. I just want the world to not associate Strongbow with the English Cider style. The deep ciders served in Cumberland out of plastic jugs in the fall are fabulous...and they're nothing like Strongbow and definately nothing like I've ever found in the states.)
 

AWKBrewing13

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Someone mentioned about store bought juice not cutting it. Here at my LHBS they sell kits with Wine Tannin, Pectin Enzyme, Acid Blend and Sorbate to stabilize. They recommend using fresh unpasteurized apple juice.

This is what I was thinking. PLEASE SOMEONE CHIME IN.

for a Cheap Recipe:
5 gal Store bought juice (unfiltered pastuerized)
Ale yeast
3 tsp acid blend
.75 tsp malic acid
1 tsp wine tanni
2.5 tsp pectin enzyme

The recommend more acid blend rather than malic acid. I believe Strongbow gets a certain slight tartness from Malic Acid commonly found in Apples. So this adds a little bit more malic acid to tartin' it up a bit. Also the LHBS called for more wine tannin. I dont think Strongbow has much tannin taste, though I am no expert. So I dialed it back a bit.

ferment cold to prevent off flavors. 60F maybe?
ferment close to dry. Kill yeast
Backsweeten with apple juice concentrate (start with 1-2)
Age
Keg and Drink?

Thoughts?
 

AWKBrewing13

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this is like my third time posting something like this about the additions of tannins and acid combinations. Can someone chime in who HAS done something like this and came close?

or is the Strongbow luminati going to come to our door steps lol
 

AWKBrewing13

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i mean it has to be ferment apple juice. kill yeast. back sweeten with apple juice concentrate (to get apple flavor back) and add some acid to make it a bit more tart and possibly tannin for more body?
 

LeBreton

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i mean it has to be ferment apple juice. kill yeast. back sweeten with apple juice concentrate (to get apple flavor back) and add some acid to make it a bit more tart and possibly tannin for more body?
That's about it, minus the tannin. Never tasted much in the way of tannin in Strongbow, where the body comes from the concentrate or whatever they use to backsweeten.

As mentioned earlier in the tread, Strongbow is in no way an English style cider made from bittersharp and bittersweet apples.

The glucose isn't what's used to backsweeten, but rather boosts the fermented sugars which are then diluted down with the concentrate to common cider ABV levels.
 

Vox

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If you like Strongbow, try Angry Orchard original/crisp and Crispin original. Those replaced Strongbow as my new favorites.
 

AWKBrewing13

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i guess ill try some one gallon batches with MOTTS and experiement with juice concentrate amounts (divided by 5 of course) and malic acid / acid blend.

THOUGHTS ON YEAST ?n champagne? Notty?
 

PattyM

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AWKBrewing13...Who is your LHBS? I'm from MI too and wondered which store has cider recipes?
 

AWKBrewing13

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Adventures in Home brewing in Ann Arbor.

Not necessarily recipes but they sell a small kit with tannin, acid blend, pectic enzyme, potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulphite.
 
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