yeast starter for apfelwein? and other ingredients?

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Jan 23, 2009
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In Da U.P. of Michigan ey!
I've made wine before and they always recommend making a yeast starter, adding acid blend, nutrient, tannin, peptic enzyme, campden tablets to kill any wild yeast and boil sugar water to dissolve the sugar, let the campden work for 24 hours, check the sg, start the wine in a pail and stir daily for 5 days and then rack, rack every 3 mo. until clear or 1 year.
this is a lot of work and time
now I'm reading about making apfelwein and you just dump everything in a carboy and it works from there for 4 months. so easy, I love it.
what about the wine sitting on the lees, airspace in the carboy, all the fears about it not turning out if the acid levels aren't just right.
Love all the shortcuts, and I will make a batch on Monday, but it blows me away not doing all the steps, and it still turns out great. what kind of recipies have I been using? Love you guys!

Always on top shelf

Bottled Strawberry, Grape, Peach, Apple, Rasp. etc.
Primary None at the moment
Secondary Mountain ash, Banana, Potatoe, Strawberry
Soon to Brew Garlic, hard apple cider, apfelwein


Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 4, 2006
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UP/Snowbird in Florida
Generally, when you make a wine, you are using unpasteurized fruit, so you need the campden. Also, the juice may not have the correct amount of acid, and the fruit may have tons of pectin. So, you add those ingredients to correct those issues. Most of them are either for taste (acid blend) or aesthetics (pectic enzyme, for clearing) but the sulfite is to kill the wild yeast and bacteria naturally present on the fruit.

In the case of apfelwein, you're using pasteurized juice. The acid blend is fine, and you are simply fermenting the juice. That's why you don't have to add a ton of stuff. As far as racking, etc, since you're using clear juice to begin with, the only lees you'll have are from the spent yeast so there isn't that much.

Cider is one of the simplest fermentations. You can even just add some yeast to cider, without any sugar to boost the ABV, and have a tasty drink!