Yet another Apfelwine Thread

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Scrow

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So I have nearly finished (drinking) my first batch of Ed Worts Apfelwine, and I loved it. I was impatient, so I pulled it after about 3 weeks and started drinking it. Drank about 3/4 of a gallon the other night and MAN was my head pounding the next day.

Some questions:

1. What can I do to reduce the "wine" taste and increase the "apple" taste?
2. What can I do to possibly give it some subtle other flavors? I was thinking a light blueberry or strawberry flavor or something would be good.
3. Does anyone else prefer this stuff room temperature over chilled? I sure do.

Thanks!!
 

JarrodH

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I have read here that some people are saying that the apple flavor comes back over time. My first batch is almost 3 months old and I plan to age it a bit more in my carboy before bottling.
 

Snuffalupagus

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AGE AGE AGE!!!
this is the first and best way to get apple flavor back into your brew.

another technique I use to increase apple flavor is to use Apple juice Concentrate in place of dextrose/sugar - I find four to six 16 ounce cans of concentrate to be about right. and then again at bottling, I use Apple juice concentrate as a priming sugar - I use a 16 ounce can to a 5 gallon batch - some say this is too much, but I've yet to get a bottle bomb doing this.
using the concentrate makes the apfelwein far more appley when young - and with age on it - it takes on the flavor of a apple jolly rancher ( less sweet though ;)... I like it dry as a bone.)
 

SeamusMac

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1. I have a feeling that the ABV of the Apfelwein, in conjunction with its age has a lot to do with the strength of apple flavours. I haven't made any Apfelwein by definition but I am making some hard cider with Hefeweizen yeast that I suspect will leave a lot of apple flavours behind. Has apple flavour extract ever crossed anyone's mind?

2. Preservative free extract would be good for this application; concentrated strawberry/blueberry juice could work even better! Using actual fruit is likely the best way to go but I've never done it that way so I won't make any suggestions about it.

3. Haven't tried mine yet :D
 

Tusch

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As snuffy said age it. Ed himself says the apple flavor comes back more if you age it for 3-6 months. You are gonna have to learn to wait more then 3 weeks if you want the apple flavor to come back. Hell at 3 weeks, you didn't even wait as long as the recipe calls for. I doubt it was clear, but I'd assume it was at least completely fermented.

To add fruit flavor: use fruit, dried, fresh, or frozen. you could also try adding fruit juice concentrates. or use a fruit extract etc then options are endless.
 

Snuffalupagus

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last night I had a bottle of my "all apple" apfelwien (my modded Edwort's recipe using concentrate instead of sugar, -I've posted the modded recipe in the recipe section by the way) which was bottled 1-24-09, and started 11-24-08.
while it was drinkable and pretty tasty on 1-24-09. on 4-1-09 (last night) it was a completely different critter.... it's even better - far more smooth and appely.
it's also crystal clear, and looks stunning in a chilled pint glass.

so patience and age is a virtue when dealing with Apfelwien.
 

Dionysos911

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AGE AGE AGE!!!
this is the first and best way to get apple flavor back into your brew.

another technique I use to increase apple flavor is to use Apple juice Concentrate in place of dextrose/sugar - I find four to six 16 ounce cans of concentrate to be about right. and then again at bottling, I use Apple juice concentrate as a priming sugar - I use a 16 ounce can to a 5 gallon batch - some say this is too much, but I've yet to get a bottle bomb doing this.
using the concentrate makes the apfelwein far more appley when young - and with age on it - it takes on the flavor of a apple jolly rancher ( less sweet though ;)... I like it dry as a bone.)
What is the process for adding apple juice concentrate? Do you heat it to boil then dump in the carboy? Mix with Water? Squeeze it in frozen? Still new to the apfelwein scene but have 3 variations in carboys now.
 

Snuffalupagus

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What is the process for adding apple juice concentrate? Do you heat it to boil then dump in the carboy? Mix with Water? Squeeze it in frozen? Still new to the apfelwein scene but have 3 variations in carboys now.
thaw to room temprature and add "as is" to the carboy. the concentrate is generally pastureized and critter free when the dehydration process is completed and some 70 percent of the water is removed -plus concentrate is kinda like fruit preserves - too much sugar in there for a potential infector to survive/multiply in the liquid's concentrated form. but don't leave it out at room temp for 2-3 days after thawing... thats just asking for trouble.

as long as you maintain good sanitation in the rest of the operation, you won't run into trouble using thawed concentrate straigt from the can
under no cicrumstances should you boil the concentrate... unles you intend to make apple jelly.
 
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Scrow

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Thanks everyone! Last minute questions before I start my next batch:

1. Do you boil the apple juice first? I didn't, but I wanted to see what the consensus was.
2. How many cans of frozen concentrate do you use in place of sugar?
3. Do you carbonate when you bottle (at 4 weeks) and let it age as it carbonates (for a few months)?
4. If I decide to not carbonate, how do I ensure the wine stops fermenting at 4 weeks so the flavor can mellow for a few months? I am assuming that I cannot stop the fermentation and still carbonate.
5. What if I wanted to add a hint of cinnamon to the recipe? Would it spoil the recipe? How much would be enough to add just a touch of flavor?

Thanks everyone!!
 

Freezeblade

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Thanks everyone! Last minute questions before I start my next batch:

1. Do you boil the apple juice first? I didn't, but I wanted to see what the consensus was.
2. How many cans of frozen concentrate do you use in place of sugar?
3. Do you carbonate when you bottle (at 4 weeks) and let it age as it carbonates (for a few months)?
4. If I decide to not carbonate, how do I ensure the wine stops fermenting at 4 weeks so the flavor can mellow for a few months? I am assuming that I cannot stop the fermentation and still carbonate.
5. What if I wanted to add a hint of cinnamon to the recipe? Would it spoil the recipe? How much would be enough to add just a touch of flavor?

Thanks everyone!!
1. Don't boil the juice!
2. I actually don't add any into mine, makes it age faster and gives less wine-like feel, and more of a cider feel.
3. I bottle carbonate once the juice clears (usually 2-3 months) then let it sit for another 2 months at least before opening.
4. Hydrometer samples to make sure that the gravity stopped dropping, or if you don't have that, let it sit until it's crystal clear, at that point it is highly unlikley that there is any more fermentation left to do, at that point sorbate it then sweeten to taste, and bottle, you should be fine.
5. IMHO, don't add any spices, if you want a mulled and spiced cider/wine, do it by simmering your wine/cider with the desired spices at serving time.

YMMV. HAND.
 

Snuffalupagus

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Freezeblade's method will yield a more appley beverage sooner for sure - due to ABV being a little more subdued .
good rule of thumb is the higher the ABV, the longer the age time required for it to "come into it's own" . You'll get increased ABV by adding additional fermentables to the must (juice) sugar, honey, concentrate, maple syrup, etc - all will boost the starting gravity of the must, and increase potential ABV. But you can over do this - depending on the alchohol tolerance of the yeast of choice you can overwhelm your yeast's ability to consume enough of the sugar to make the beverage palateable before they go inactive - like naughty humans, yeast are an organisim that can (and will) consume enough of thier resorces and create enough waste to make thier environment too hostile to survive in :( a wine/cider that has too high of a starting gravity that has a "wussy" yeast added to it, will end up being cloying sweet - and IMHO discustingly undrinkable.

now, to be a true brewer/scientist - you'll need some basic tools, one will be a hydrometer, the other will be the formulae that one uses to use the hydrometer correctly - the informed brewer also will be equipped with the stats of whatever yeasts he intends to use. and never racks or bottles, or creates a brew without checking the numbers and consulting the books

OR...

You can be a total mad mixologist, like me - and fly by the seat of your pants.
and brew in recycled 5 gallon jugs in your guest bathroom - while wearing only a lab coat and a mismatched pair of socks, and half blasted off a quart of last week's apfelwien:drunk:


there might be a middle ground in there someplace... not sure...
 
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Scrow

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Well I understand a lot of the basic principles. I have started brewing beer as well. So I just need to know...

5 gallons apple juice
5 cans frozen concentrate
1 package of yeast

Ferment for 4 weeks, bottle for 3-6 months

Is that all I have to do? Do I need to kill the yeast to prevent the flavor from becoming too hot? What is a good yeast to make it come out sweeter and less dry? I hear something like an ale yeast works well for that, is that correct?
 

Snuffalupagus

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Well I understand a lot of the basic principles. I have started brewing beer as well. So I just need to know...

5 gallons apple juice
5 cans frozen concentrate
1 package of yeast

Ferment for 4 weeks, bottle for 3-6 months

Is that all I have to do? Do I need to kill the yeast to prevent the flavor from becoming too hot? What is a good yeast to make it come out sweeter and less dry? I hear something like an ale yeast works well for that, is that correct?

that is about it.
I'd say leave in primary for 1-2 months - then bottle with a priming sugar.
1-2 weeks it'll be carbed enough to drink (if you want) but wait 3 months after bottling day. and it'll be starting to get really good.

I've also heard an ale yeast will leave a little more sweetness behind -but I haven't tried my S-04 batch yet - still waiting for it to clear. might be another few weeks. I like dry beverages though so - my Go to bug is Montrachet for this recipe - but I'll report back on how the Safale S-04
batch goes - mine will be ready sooner than yours as it's been going since 2-21-09. I've also heard a good hefewizen yeast works well for a cider.
 

Freezeblade

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According to some quick math at work (without having my brew notes) the standard 12oz can of concentrate will give a +0.018 increase to one gallon of whatever you add it to. so granted that apple juice is normally 1.050, this would give you a OG of around 1.068. pretty much any yeast that you use will take you down to 1.000, and give you a abv of 9.1% this is relitivly high, and also, the higher the alochol, the drier or hotter the taste, even if an ale yeast such as s-04 is used (my personal favorite for cider).

If you are really bent on adding concentrate (for what purpose btw?) then maybe kick it down to 3-4 cans, if you want this done sooner. As for your timeline, the number of weeks before bottling really isn't a set amount, you'll want to bottle when the cider turns clear (like read a book through it clear), which could be in 4 weeks with a yeast such as s-04, but also could be as long as 8 weeks with some other yeasts, depending on how floccuant they are. Your aging time in bottle is spot on though, imho.
 
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Scrow

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Well the point in using the concentrate is that I hear it adds more of an apple flavor to the final product.

The time frame doesn't matter. I want it to come out around 8-9% or so, and have a very strong apple flavor.

More math crunching from someone smarter than I?

EDIT: Also, could I use the 5 cans or whatever and just kill the yeast when it gets to about 8% to preserve some more apple flavor?
 

Snuffalupagus

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If you are really bent on adding concentrate (for what purpose btw?)

I've found I really prefer a High ABV Dry sparkling Apple champange style beverage over the sweeter less "winey" cider (without getting too hot of course) and have found that boosting OG with concentrate seems to add more "apple" to the beverage, both imediately at the bottling taste test - and profoundly so at 3 months post bottling. If you like a dry sparkling beverage - it's really worth the 3 month post bottling wait when using apple concentrate. cause the apple flavor smacks you right in the kisser like a granny smith apple fastball.
I tried the Edwort formula - and liked it quite a bit, then I set about using different fermentables to boost OG in place of the dextrose - and settled on the plain ol' applejuice concentrate as being my personal fave'

and thats kinda why I tout it as a feasable substitute to dextrose in edwort's Apfelwien. do everything the same as Edwort, (same yeast, and apple juice brand, and follow the same fermenting regimen) but try Concentrate in place of Dextrose... it just comes out really tasty. (this is only if you like a dry apple cider/wine of course)


Also, thanks for the insight on the S-04 slow floctuation compared to my go to montrachet and EC-1118 which is usually pretty clear in 4 weeks - and crystal clear at about 8. the S04 is comparatively cloudy at 4 weeks... maybe I'll let it ride to clear for another month or so mininimum before I screw with it.
 
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