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Using spices in Apfelwein

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dpt222

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I would like to use fresh ginger and freshly ground coriander in a 1.5 gallon batch of Apfelwein. A few questions for the experienced in this department:

1. Is it necessary to pasteurize these?
2. If pasteurization is required, does this not remove some of the fragrant characteristics of the coriander?
3. Can the fresh ginger be left in the fermenter during ALL of fermentation?
4. What ballpark amounts are good to start with? I realize there is room for experimentation.
 

awliste

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If you're thinking of adding spices, here's my humble offering of a couple of ideas for you.

1) Toast the dry spices. Preferably whole, and in a non-metal pan (glass works, stoneware is even better - go to lowes and buy yourself one of the $5 UNGLAZED ceramic tiles or kiln bricks. put your spices in the oven at around 350, leave them there until they slightly darken or the kitchen smells strongly of the spice.

The heat extrudes the oils and combines them on the surface of the seed pods - ultimately, you get stronger spices. Works on coriander, caraway, aniseed, peppercorns, fennel, allspice, nutmeg, etc. etc - pod spices.

Regarding the ginger, I'd be sure to peel it first. Roots - and barks - of any kind are full of tannins. Tannins are bitter and can impart an 'off' taste. ((this is why quality smoked goods are typically smoked with split, barkless hardwood))

After I peeled the ginger, I've always run mine through a microplane (or a fine shredder). And I left it in for the duration. End product was good. By shredding it, it opens up more surface exposure to the wine to allow the volatiles to mix and blend.

As far as pasteurization goes... the toasting sterilizes the spices in the case of the corianders (and will make the fragrance stronger), and regarding the ginger - a thorough peeling (as it is a root, and not exposed to wild yeasts for most of its life) and a prompt wash before being put to work should keep your project safe. I wouldn't sweat this too much.

Other might have a different opinion on this. It's up to you and your personal acceptable paranoia level. Pasteurization begins at 161F @ the core for 15-20 seconds. That's the floor of 'pasteurized'. Some bugs/yeasts can get through that heat - so it's not uncommon to user higher heat. The scope for a pasteurization discussion is probably beyond this thread.

Regarding amount, I have success with 1 - 2 tablespoons of whole coriander per gallon. (Ground up it measures obviously less - it's just easier for me to work with whole berries). Ginger, I'd say a good chunk, about 3 inches long ('thumb-sized') per gallon. That's where I start, and I'm happy. Obviously, adjust to your tastes.

What do you intend to use with the rest of the blend? Grape variety? Yeast? I'm just curious.

Good luck!
- abe
 

Nazhuret

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I made a three gallon batch using fresh ginger.
I peeled it (roughly an inch per gallon-i really like ginger) and rough chopped it then steeped it with about two cups of the cider. Strained it then poured that into the carboy.

Primary is over with and I took a bit of a sample. It's got a great ginger taste to it. Meshes perfectly with the apple overtones. We'll see how it is in a few months.

As for toasting spices... You will get a very different flavor characteristic in terms of toasted vs non toasted. I would not recommend toasting as a blanket statement. I would steep some of each (toast / no toast) in something similar to your final product for a bit and taste them to see which you like best.
 
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dpt222

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What do you intend to use with the rest of the blend? Grape variety? Yeast? I'm just curious.
Thanks, Abe, for the very thorough response. I plan to use the standard Edwort's Apfelwein recipe with these spices.



I peeled it (roughly an inch per gallon-i really like ginger) and rough chopped it then steeped it with about two cups of the cider. Strained it then poured that into the carboy.
Nazhuret, I assume by steeping, you mean in hot cider?

Maybe I'll just chuck them in and see what happens!
 

Tusch

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By steeping yeah he means just in hot cider. Put some juice in a sauce pan on the stove and get it no more than simmering. The heat releases the spices and infuses it into the juice. Once the flavors are mixed well, than add this to your carboy. That way you can add all the flavor without having to put unnecessary solids into your carboy. This won't have the same effects as adding them straight to the carboy but it is a great clean way of introducing the spices into the brew.
 
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