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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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Greetings, fellows.

I’m new here, and I’m new to brewing.

Over my years of perusing brew forums and seeing friends brew, I’ve noticed that standard practice among home-brewers is to use added sugars, “yeast nutrients” (isn’t what you’re fermenting nutritious enough for the yeast?), chemical additives like sulfites , and chemical cleaners (not even attempting rinse them out).

I wonder if this should be necessary (or even tolerable in one’s own brew), when winemakers and brewers in centuries past were able to produce consistent libations (and do so consistently) with fruit or grain, some unsanitized* mechanical means (be it feet, mill, or press), and clay jars.

Take, or example, the object of my desire, Apfelwein. It was reportedly popularized after Germany lost many or most of their vineyards, and so they simply substituted apples for grapes. No added sugar, no StarSan, no bleach... just traditional winemaker’s wisdom.

A popular Turbo-cider project that some have tried is that of user EdWort, using added sugars, apple juice from concentrate, and sanitizing solution... which EdWort calls “Apfelwein”. This is surely sweet and palatable, but not a classic, old-world beverage. It seems that many equate the term “wine” with a certain ABV range, even adding sugars to get it to an unnatural ABV that they believe is suitable. Can we not simply enjoy the product of a fruit’s natural fermentable sugars for what it is?

I’m currently looking for sources of authentic Apfelwein recipes. Join me, and let’s figure this thing out together!

* Unsanitized in the sense of they didn’t use bleach or StarSan-like chemical dilutions
 
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jtratcliff

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I use a variation of Ed Wort's apfelwein recipe... It is quite capable of fermenting out dry and not sweet at all. My German wife says it tastes like the apfelwoi she remembers from back home. All of her German friends here that have tried my version have enjoyed it and say it tastes right. I have not personally tried any from Germany, however.

I typically add 2 lbs of light brown sugar to boost ABV and prime with table sugar for a carbonated version. But I've also left out the added sugar and tried the still version. Either way is quite good.

So if you're after a tasty drink that's fairly easy to get right, try the Ed Wort recipe.

If you're just wanting to recreate a "traditional" beverage, without sanitation, then go ahead, but there's a reason modern sanitation practices have overtaken "traditional winemakers wisdom" after Pasteur introduced germ theory to wine and beer making in the 1860s.

The libations of centuries past weren't consistent. That's not to say good drinks (beer/mead/wine) couldn't be made. But until the process of spoilage and fermentation were understood, consistency was elusive.
 

madscientist451

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OK, I'm up for it.
Greetings, fellows.

.

I wonder if this should be necessary (or even tolerable in one’s own brew), when winemakers and brewers in centuries past were able to produce consistent libations (and do so consistently) with fruit or grain, some unsanitized* mechanical means (be it feet, mill, or press), and clay jars.


I’m currently looking for sources of authentic Apfelwein recipes. Join me, and let’s figure this thing out together!

* Unsanitized in the sense of they didn’t use bleach or StarSan-like chemical dilutions
OK, I'm in. But I'll have to disagree with dispensing with modern sanitation methods. Using PBW to clean my carboys saves me time and effort. Using Star-San reduces the possibility that some unwanted yeast that is in my kitchen ( I use 20+ different yeasts) will get into the Apelwein.
I'm skeptical "recipes" were traditionally used. The apples that were available were what they used. So the question for me, what apples were being used and can modern apples that we can get be substituted?
 

madscientist451

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Start off with some History:

Source:

http://www.germanfoodguide.com/apfelwein.cfm



Apfelwein dates back to the 1st century AD and was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the 11th century it was introduced into Spain and was used there as a medicine for scurvy. It was introduced into England in 1066 when William the Great brought some from France into England.

Apfelwein didn't gain in popularity in Hessen until the 16th century. The area around Hessen, at this time, experienced an extremely cold winter, damaging its grape vineyard so drastically that wine makers were forced to find other alternatives. Wine makers found that apple trees flourished from cold winters, so they abandoned their grape vineyards for apple fields.

The apple wine industry grew quickly and soon was offered in bars and pubs, with government approval of course. Those businesses that had permission to sell apple wine were required to hang a pine wrealth outside the door to their establishment. This became the emblem of the apple wine industry.

By the mid-19th century, 12 large commercial apple-wineries existing in Frankfurt, along with hundreds of small or private apple-wineries. Apfelwein was named the national drink for Hessen. Today, over 60 large and small commerical apple-wineries exist in Hessen, producing 1,040 million gallons (40 million liters) annually.
==========================================
Here's a great article that indicates that using sour apples and making a 6% ABV beverage are traditional:

http://www.young-germany.de/topic/live/food-fun/frankfurts-finest-apple-wine

And here's an article about Germany's Heirloom apples:

http://www.dw.com/en/can-germanys-heirloom-apple-varieties-be-saved/a-18997147
 

universalfrost

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i lived in the Frankfurt (wiesbaden/mainz) area of hessen for 7 yrs and my ex wife and my kids still do and I go back at least every three months...

Apfelwein is not a new thing to me.. I use edworts recipie but just add in sugar as needed to get the desired alcohol level and or carbonating if i want.. The apples i use are local grown heirloom varieties that vary depending on the availability at the orchards. depending on your local orchard you may be able to get european heirloom varieties.

to sanitize your fermenter and not use chemicals you can simply use boiling water soak and use a fermenter that is strictly for apfelwein .. also you can boil the cider and filter as needed for clarity pre-fermentation and to get rid of unwanted yeast and other bacteria.
 

balrog

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I agree with @jtratcliff that the EW recipe dries very nicely to a singularly un-sweet finish, esp when using the Montrachet champagne yeast. And while I cannot attest to the authenticity of the result, although I am of German ancestry, I will say it is marvelous. I too feel that StarSan (yes, anti-bacterial, but not yeast/mold killer like more broad spectrum bleach or iodophor or paracetic acid) is desired.
 

MaxStout

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Welcome to HBT!

I've made EdWort's Apfelwein 5 or 6 times. First time was exactly to the recipe and it turned out nicely. Next one, I added more sugar--2.5 lbs for 5 gallons. That was too dry and thin and like drinking rocket fuel. Eventually, I settled on less sugar, around 1lb. for 5 gallons. The Montrachet yeast ferments it dry but it isn't too thin on the palate.

The point is, experiment some. Try some small batches and vary the sugar, use different yeasts, carbonate some, leave others still, etc.
 

balrog

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That's really interesting @MaxStout because that's where I ended up also--1# corn sugar for 5 gallon batch. I just bottled 2gal of the 6th batch today, started 3/12, kegged ~2.5.
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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Thanks for all the replies!

To clarify: My first post was more of a manifesto.

I’m concerned about this notion that winemakers could not produce consistent wines. Of course, there was variation within batch to batch, and year to year. However, it seems that the modern homebrewers’ fixation on industrial exactness and assembly-line replication through use of chemicals is surely a product of Industrialized society, and not always necessarily applicable or desirable for the homebrewer. I’ve produced two separate runs of Apfelwein without using StarSan so far, though admittedly using pasteurized juice, with no “off flavors”.

Are we saying that diligent washing is insufficient to consistently produce fine libations?

It’s almost as if we view ancient brewmasters and winemakers as a bunch of neanderthals who didn’t know to wash their hands after rooting around in feces. There were certainly rhose who understood how to make fine fermented beverages, and knew it well, as Pliny the Elder, Hammurabi, Josephus, Aristotle, and others’ writings confirm.

Furthermore:

Yes; the 6% ABV seems to be “traditional”, at least in modern times... but that could that not be done with even “sour” (actually “tart”) apples fermenting dry? It’s my understanding that the desirable “sourness” (actually “tartness”) comes from the compounds in the apples, not from lack of sugar.

I’m sure that Edwort's recipe, replaced with equivalent volume fresh pressed apple must, montrachet yeast, and use of sanitizers, etc... fermented dry and still would, after all that, be close to authentic and *taste* right.

To my palate, reconstitued apple juice from concentrate tastes very different and actually very undesirable, when compared to fresh pressed. I can’t stand the taste of AJ concentrate, but I love fresh apple juice/unpasteurized fresh cider

My real questions are:

1) Why have so many homebrewers taken to calling Edwort's recipe “Apfelwein”, rather than “Turbo Cider”?

2) Is there an equivalent recipe for traditional Apfelwein, perhaps called something else like “Still Dry Orchard Cider”?

3) How many ways are there to bottle a “still dry cider” without chemicals, if I want it to age on the shelf?

4) Does traditional Apfelwein need to age/benfit from aging?
 

TasunkaWitko

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I think you're over-thinking it.

EdWort does add some sugar to boost the ABV a bit; but other than that, it is just fermented apple juice with an ABV lower than most wines...in other words, it's apple cider.

My strong suspicion is that if you want "true" apfelwein, as you call it, then you need to focus on the terrior of it. Find out what apples might be used in the region, find out what yeast might used in the region (or, perhaps, it is open-fermented with wild yeast?) and go from there.
 

Iseneye

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Do what you want and stop worrying about what other people do. Majority of homebrewers wash and sanitise so they avoid any potential infections. If you dont want to do that then go ahead.

I wouldn't want to bottle a still cider because it will oxidize more than other methods.

I make cider from pressed apples from my orchard. It is time consuming but worth it. If people use concentrate and sugars because that is what they have access to then good for them. Doesn't affect me at all.

Note wine makers have used sulphur compounds for hundreds of years plus various fining agents.
 

RPh_Guy

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1. I wouldn't really get too hung up on the name. Personally I'd call unfermented stuff "juice", but plenty of people call it "cider". I'd use "cider" and "apfelwein" interchangeably. "Apple wine" I'd say has added cane sugar, > 8% ABV. There's really no standardization regarding the naming, so you'll be offended a lot if you're expecting names to match whatever personal qualifications you have ;)

2. I think the recipe you want is this:
1. Press cider apples.
2. Allow to ferment until dry.
3. Bottle.
The real trick is the apple varieties selected and getting lucky with a good mix of microbes.

3. Put in bottles. Cap or cork.
It might be still or petillant depending on how long you let it sit before bottling.

4. From my understanding, no. First it's apple juice, then cider, and then vinegar. Need to drink it before it becomes vinegar if you don't stabilize.
It won't become entirely vinegar without enough oxygen, but you will likely get some degree of acetic character almost definitely from raw juice over time without sulfites. Corking allows more oxygen ingress. Sulfites also prevent oxidation over long aging. There's a reason it's so commonly used in wine.

All of our modern processes offer benefits of consistency and stability. At the homebrew level no one is saying you need to adhere to these practices.

Some of what us homebrewers do is strictly due to convenience. I don't have a cider orchard, nor can I get fresh apple juice all year. If I want to make a cider any time but late fall then I use processed juice. I can still make a tasty beverage in my opinion. You're certainly entitled to your opinions based on your taste!

The "ancient brewmasters" had absolutely no idea about bacteria or yeast before Pasteur's work in the 1800s.
I think it's unlikely they would have sanitized their hands before brewing. Also pretty sure there was some amount of fecal matter ON the apples; they probably weren't too choosy about picking them off the ground. You can even add that level of "authenticity" to your brewing if you want.
 

Miraculix

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Thanks for all the replies!

To clarify: My first post was more of a manifesto.

I’m concerned about this notion that winemakers could not produce consistent wines. Of course, there was variation within batch to batch, and year to year. However, it seems that the modern homebrewers’ fixation on industrial exactness and assembly-line replication through use of chemicals is surely a product of Industrialized society, and not always necessarily applicable or desirable for the homebrewer. I’ve produced two separate runs of Apfelwein without using StarSan so far, though admittedly using pasteurized juice, with no “off flavors”.

Are we saying that diligent washing is insufficient to consistently produce fine libations?

It’s almost as if we view ancient brewmasters and winemakers as a bunch of neanderthals who didn’t know to wash their hands after rooting around in feces. There were certainly rhose who understood how to make fine fermented beverages, and knew it well, as Pliny the Elder, Hammurabi, Josephus, Aristotle, and others’ writings confirm.

Furthermore:

Yes; the 6% ABV seems to be “traditional”, at least in modern times... but that could that not be done with even “sour” (actually “tart”) apples fermenting dry? It’s my understanding that the desirable “sourness” (actually “tartness”) comes from the compounds in the apples, not from lack of sugar.

I’m sure that Edwort's recipe, replaced with equivalent volume fresh pressed apple must, montrachet yeast, and use of sanitizers, etc... fermented dry and still would, after all that, be close to authentic and *taste* right.

To my palate, reconstitued apple juice from concentrate tastes very different and actually very undesirable, when compared to fresh pressed. I can’t stand the taste of AJ concentrate, but I love fresh apple juice/unpasteurized fresh cider

My real questions are:

1) Why have so many homebrewers taken to calling Edwort's recipe “Apfelwein”, rather than “Turbo Cider”?

2) Is there an equivalent recipe for traditional Apfelwein, perhaps called something else like “Still Dry Orchard Cider”?

3) How many ways are there to bottle a “still dry cider” without chemicals, if I want it to age on the shelf?

4) Does traditional Apfelwein need to age/benfit from aging?
You want it authentic? Then go to Germany, find some of the old apple varietys that existed back in the days (will be hard to find, if not impossible), press them and do nothing with the juice. Spontaneous fermentation will kick in as the apples are naturally covered with wild yeast. And then, you "lager" it over the winter... when it gets warmer there might be a second fermentation kicking in during which the acids in the wine get fermented. That can make a smoother wine.

But everything will be depending on what yeasts and bacteria you naturally got on the apples and under which temperatures everything was happening.

Can be good! But can also be bad.

Or you go the other route and play as safe as possible, your choice.
 

TasunkaWitko

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You want it authentic? Then go to Germany, find some of the old apple varietys that existed back in the days (will be hard to find, if not impossible), press them and do nothing with the juice. Spontaneous fermentation will kick in as the apples are naturally covered with wild yeast. And then, you "lager" it over the winter... when it gets warmer there might be a second fermentation kicking in during which the acids in the wine get fermented. That can make a smoother wine.

But everything will be depending on what yeasts and bacteria you naturally got on the apples and under which temperatures everything was happening.

Can be good! But can also be bad.

Or you go the other route and play as safe as possible, your choice.
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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I wonder if this should be necessary
Many here proceeded to both justify their own use of industrial chemical method rather than answer this fairly.

I’m currently looking for sources of authentic Apfelwein recipes.
Still looking for someone to come forth with the whole process, varietal allowances, etc. I can ferment juice, that’s the easy part. But the handling of this particular traditional style after fermentation completes, through to bottling and years after is what I was interested in.

I assure you I have no problem doing things my own way. That is, in fact, what I have done on my two runs of Apfelwein.

After all of this, I believe I’ll just have to figure it out myself after all.
 

RPh_Guy

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I think we have answered your questions; take another read through the thread ;)
Sounds like you want a wild cider (AKA traditional apfelwein) with no additives. Here's the process:
Press Apple Juice (recommended: blend varieties to achieve your desired level of sugar, tannins, and acid).
Store between 50-60°F.
Protect from Oxygen (airlock or maybe ancient clay pots with lids)
Drink in 3-12 months... Can be right out of the fermenter or bottled after maybe 3-9 months (MLF can take time if it occurs). It probably won't age well past a year due to acetic acid production. But it's wild so who knows?

If you don't want additives, don't use them. There are good reasons why certain additives are used, but none are necessary.

For further reading pick up a copy of The New Cider Maker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers
Book by Claude Jolicoeur

Cheers!
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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I think we have answered your questions; take another read through the thread ;)
Sounds like you want a wild cider (AKA traditional apfelwein) with no additives. Here's the process:
Press Apple Juice (recommended: blend varieties to achieve your desired level of sugar, tannins, and acid).
Store between 50-60°F.
Protect from Oxygen (airlock or maybe ancient clay pots with lids)
Drink in 3-12 months... Can be right out of the fermenter or bottled after maybe 3-9 months (MLF can take time if it occurs). It probably won't age well past a year due to acetic acid production. But it's wild so who knows?

If you don't want additives, don't use them. There are good reasons why certain additives are used, but none are necessary.

For further reading pick up a copy of The New Cider Maker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Craft Producers
Book by Claude Jolicoeur

Cheers!
*dawn breaks on marble rock*

That’s it!

That’s exactly what i’ve been missing this whole time... aging. I had everything else down, but it never tasted right. I may revisit the Lalven 71B-1122 yeast after all, since this Belle Saison tastes largely the same.

I tried my latest run after I racked it to a drinking jug tonight. Tastes “done”, and packs a whallop... but no cidery or saison flavors coming through other than mild apple and vague yeast.... now I’m thinking that it’s just extremely “young”.

Thanks RPh Guy; that was helpful. Now, at least I understand what rabbit hole to go down. I’ll update when I give it another taste
 

RPh_Guy

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I may revisit the Lalven 71B-1122 yeast after all, since this Belle Saison tastes largely the same
No no no, do NOT add yeast.
Fresh chemical-free non-pasteurized non-sulfited apple juice already contains plenty!
The wild yeast/bacteria are what produce the flavors you want.

Waiting months is because that's how long it will take to ferment in the 50s (10-15°C), and MLF can take another ~3 months if it occurs. MLF produces CO2 so you don't want to bottle before it's done.
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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No no no, do NOT add yeast.
Fresh chemical-free non-pasteurized non-sulfited apple juice already contains plenty!
The wild yeast/bacteria are what produce the flavors you want.

Waiting months is because that's how long it will take to ferment in the 50s, and MLF can take another ~3 months if it occurs. MLF produces CO2 so you don't want to bottle before it's done.
Could you clarify what you mean by “do NOT add yeast”?

I recognize that orchard fresh apples, pressed onsite into clean containers would be best, but I was using “fresh pressed pasteurized” Simply Apple juice from the supermarket. Since that has none of the environmental yeast living in it, I needed to add yeast.

It’s my goal during this year’s apple harvest, to pick many bushels of orchard apples and juice them in my slow-press juicer. That would be the ultimate for me!

Eventually, I would like to add more apple trees to my existing single Cortland.
 

RPh_Guy

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Pasteurization removes the wild yeast & bacteria you need to complete your quest.

If you currently only have access to pasteurized juice you'll have to settle for finding a yeast strain that produces cider you like.

You could try pitching a hefe yeast like WLP 300 along with a lambic blend like WY 3278. That would certainly give an interesting result and should age well. Ferment around 65-70F (18-21C).
Add a bit of toasted oak cubes if you want.

Still pick up a copy of the book I mentioned. Definitely worth reading if you're serious about cider.

Cheers
 

madscientist451

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My real questions are:

1) Why have so many homebrewers taken to calling Edwort's recipe “Apfelwein”, rather than “Turbo Cider”?

2) Is there an equivalent recipe for traditional Apfelwein, perhaps called something else like “Still Dry Orchard Cider”?

3) How many ways are there to bottle a “still dry cider” without chemicals, if I want it to age on the shelf?

4) Does traditional Apfelwein need to age/benfit from aging?
Quick answers + discussion
1) Probably because the original Edwort is called it Apfelwein so others see no reason not to call it that.
How many people have actually had authentic German Apfelwein to compare it to?
2) Probably not, it would be like asking for a recipe for "Normandy Cider"
or "Spanish Cidre" you need the actual fruit from those areas to make those beverages.
3) Zero. If you don't sanitize your bottles, a 6% cider will probably become infected. If you make a 12% wine, sanitation isn't as much of a problem. Traditionally cider in England was fermented in Barrels and the drinking started when the apple trees bloomed the spring following the harvest. It wasn't kept for long periods like wine was.
OK, so maybe you CAN bottle condition without using chemicals. But I've been making fermented cider from apples for more than 10 years and its a lot of work. Its just not worth taking the chance of ruining the product at bottling because of a refusal to use modern sanitation chemicals.
I can't find much information about how traditional Apfelwein was made, but I'm thinking it was somewhat the same as the English method.
4) Maybe yes, maybe no. It all depends on what apples you are starting with, their sugar and acidity level and what you are trying to achieve.
You might be able to make a decent Apfelwein that tastes good young, but its more likely some aging will help it rather than hurt.
So if you want to make a traditional Apfelwein, the best place to start is obtaining some commercial examples. Take notes of what you are tasting. Then try to match those flavors up with modern apple varieties that you can get. Make small batches, keep tasting and take a lot of notes. Eventually you'll get closer and closer.
 

AZCoolerBrewer

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Thanks for all the replies!

To clarify: My first post was more of a manifesto.

I’m concerned about this notion that winemakers could not produce consistent wines. Of course, there was variation within batch to batch, and year to year. However, it seems that the modern homebrewers’ fixation on industrial exactness and assembly-line replication through use of chemicals is surely a product of Industrialized society, and not always necessarily applicable or desirable for the homebrewer. I’ve produced two separate runs of Apfelwein without using StarSan so far, though admittedly using pasteurized juice, with no “off flavors”.

Are we saying that diligent washing is insufficient to consistently produce fine libations?

It’s almost as if we view ancient brewmasters and winemakers as a bunch of neanderthals who didn’t know to wash their hands after rooting around in feces. There were certainly rhose who understood how to make fine fermented beverages, and knew it well, as Pliny the Elder, Hammurabi, Josephus, Aristotle, and others’ writings confirm.

Furthermore:

Yes; the 6% ABV seems to be “traditional”, at least in modern times... but that could that not be done with even “sour” (actually “tart”) apples fermenting dry? It’s my understanding that the desirable “sourness” (actually “tartness”) comes from the compounds in the apples, not from lack of sugar.

I’m sure that Edwort's recipe, replaced with equivalent volume fresh pressed apple must, montrachet yeast, and use of sanitizers, etc... fermented dry and still would, after all that, be close to authentic and *taste* right.

To my palate, reconstitued apple juice from concentrate tastes very different and actually very undesirable, when compared to fresh pressed. I can’t stand the taste of AJ concentrate, but I love fresh apple juice/unpasteurized fresh cider

My real questions are:

1) Why have so many homebrewers taken to calling Edwort's recipe “Apfelwein”, rather than “Turbo Cider”?

2) Is there an equivalent recipe for traditional Apfelwein, perhaps called something else like “Still Dry Orchard Cider”?

3) How many ways are there to bottle a “still dry cider” without chemicals, if I want it to age on the shelf?

4) Does traditional Apfelwein need to age/benfit from aging?
These are all good questions, I love history and thinking about how it must have been in times past, however, things change. We don’t have to cleanse our fermentors after midnight anymore. The old guys had some serious insights, but if you read what they had to say, they also had some serious myths about how and why we should do this or that. Sanitation? They used lye, which will eff up anything that is alive, including you if not handled properly. I regularly stick my hands in Starsan but you are a better man than me if you can handle lye without a little protection.

My beautiful bride has a wonderfully perfect smile. This is no accident because she had braces as a teenager. While I applaud beauty that is pure and unadulterated, beauty in men’s endeavors without some sort of intervention is not long lasting or even common. When we men, and by men, I mean men and women, make something and if we leave it to find it’s own way in nature, it seems to rather take on the character of its creator and leach lyme and butyric acid. Nature breads beauty. Man unfortunately breeds death and pollution.

The good news is we can recognize some of the processes that make good things and replicate those things.

Please do not overestimate our ancestors as having some greater understanding of nature. They lived in the crux of it and may have insights in these things that affected them viscerally, but they were not “smarter” than us in there lore, but rather were engrained in belief and superstition. They murdered people who had tuberculosis because they thought their family members had become vampires. I don’t judge them for this, but to think that they had some superior knowledge that we don’t just doesn’t seem fair to our current ways of finding truth. Rather let’s focus on learning and truth. I happen to let my Starsan dry before I fill my bottles. It is my hope that the solution has done its work and went on its merry way before I fill the bottles with beer.

What is the alternative? Fill a gourd with the elixir that I have labored over and hope that the agents trapped therein make merry ale? Romantic, but not very realistic.

Make what you want. Find your muse, but ignore the curse of man to your detriment.
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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Thank you everyone for your replies!

I’m zero’ing in on an understanding of exactly what I’m going for, due in part to those who have offered helpful and practical advice above. Since traditional Apfelwein is largely unknown here, it seems all that remains is for me is to both:

1) learn by way of experience,

2) connect the dots myself.

The idea of needing to age before it’s palatable was huge for me, but haven’t yet seen the result of that with my own. I plan to sample at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and beyond if necessary.

As I discover more relevant info, I’ll post it and add to the wealth of brewing knowledge that already exists here!
 
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DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

DerSchopferVonEbbelwoi

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Joined
Jun 7, 2018
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11
Thank you everyone for your replies!

I’m zero’ing in on an understanding of exactly what I’m going for, due in part to those who have offered helpful and practical advice above. Since traditional Apfelwein is largely unknown here, it seems all that remains is for me is to both:

1) learn by way of experience,

2) connect the dots myself.

The idea of needing to age before it’s palatable was huge for me, but haven’t yet seen the result of that with my own. I plan to sample at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and beyond if necessary.

As I discover more relevant info, I’ll post it and add to the wealth of brewing knowledge that already exists here!
 
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