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Today's "leftovers special" amber ale / cider brew...

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MacBruver

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I had a bunch of random stuff kicking around, and I've been wanting to try a hybrid ale / cider brew... so today was the day. I just got done racking my belgian pale ale to secondary with a healthy dose of saaz dry hopping, so I had a cake of WLP550 that was begging for some experimentation. I took a look at the cupboard, and hmm, lets see... about 5lbs of gold LME, a pound or so of turbinado sugar, some extra cascade hops... and two gallons of apple juice I need to get rid of so I can use their glass jugs.

Batch size: 5 gallon

5lbs Briess gold LME
1lb Turbinado Sugar
0.5oz Cascade 60 min
0.5oz Cascade 5 min
2 gallons organic cider

Yeast: about 10oz of washed WLP550 slurry... probably too much, but I want it to ferment a bit cleaner so I overpitched

OG: 1.060
Predicted FG: Who the hell knows? It'll probably finish pretty dry with the cider and the sugar, I am guessing about 1.005 or less.

I finished this up at 4pm, and it's already starting to bubble in the blowoff, 4 hours later. It took off quick!

Frankly I'm not expecting too much out of it since it's somewhat "confused"... american grain and hops, belgian yeast, and apple juice... who ever heard of that? I think it will give me some interesting ideas though, and I was basically just getting rid of stuff to make it. I'll keep the thread updated with how it goes.
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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Its bubbling along nicely today... I think I pitched just the right amount of slurry, as there was about 12 hours of lag time. The temperature is creeping up a bit so I set up a swamp cooler setup. I dont want TOO much character from this yeast. It smells and looks good already though!
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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Ok, nix what I said about smelling good... this thing has picked up a case of rhino farts! I thought the combination of malt and cider wouldn't be as susceptible to the sulfur smell, but no such luck.
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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The rhino farts only lasted a day. It's still bubbling along, and I've been lucky enough to get temperatures in the 80's here for the past couple days... the beer is up to 74f, and I think it will really help my attenuation. I checked it yesterday, and even though the kraeusen was still pretty high, it's already at 1.010. I think it may even finish lower than I thought...

There's not a lot to it at this point. With only base malt, hops, cider, and some sugar, it's decidedly plain. I'll see how it is once the yeast has dropped out a bit and I may do some spices in secondary, at least to a gallon or two of it.
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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Holy cow. I should be careful what I ask for... the beer is up to 82F. I just checked it, and the gravity is down to 1.001! It's pretty yeasty, but there's still quite a bit of yeast in suspension though, so once that falls it may clean up a bit. I'm glad I didn't add more hops because the tartness of the cider is coming through nicely.

I'm gonna leave it for another week, and then rack it to secondary and leave it for a month. It's rough right now but I think it will age pretty well.
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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It's kegged at my buddy's house, for his memorial day party tomorrow. It was tasty (if not a bit plain) when we transferred it to the keg on wednesday. I'll report back tomorrow with how it goes over at the party :)
 
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MacBruver

MacBruver

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Well, all I can say is that the "Wierdo Bierdo" as it came to be known was a resounding success!! My beer-loving friends said it tasted like an appley saison... other people thought it was strange at first but liked it. Myself, I thought it was delicious. I think next time I will add some crystal (or just try Brandon's "Graff" recipe) but the combination of the malt, cider, and belgian yeast worked out really well.
 

STEVENJAN

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This is my next batch after I bottle my wheat beer. I brew in a Mr. beer 2gal. keg...not too much...just right. Anyway, I've got 1# of amber DME and 1# of honey and 1 gal. of organic apple juice with an ale yeast. I hope it turns out ok. My resource guy at the local beer supply said not to use hops. He also suggested using a different yeast. One with more alcohol tolerance I think. I may still do that. I do have two packets of the Montrachet(?). I also want to make mead in the juice jug. I've got 3# of orange blossom honey for that. It sounds like yours turned out ok.
 
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Try the Graff recipe in the cider section.

Can't beat it for a summer drink. It's so easy to make and sooooo damn refreshing.

I'm a cider and mead guy more than Beer but I do all of them.

I can tell you, this is my favorite drink I have encountered out of all beers, wines, meads, and ciders I have made.
 

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