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Award Winning Apfelwein Recipe (German Hard Cider)
By EdWort of HBT
Placed 1st in the Cider & Apple Wine category at the BJCP
sanctioned Alamo Cerveza fest (out of 11 entries) and took 2nd place
for Best of Show for the main category of Meads & Ciders (out of 50
5 Gallons 100% Apple Juice (No preservatives or additives) I use Tree Top Apple Juice
2 pounds of dextrose (corn sugar) in one pound bags
1 five gram packet of Montrachet Wine Yeast
5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.Open one bag of Dextrose and carefully add it to the now half full bottle of apple juice. Shake well.Repeat Steps 2 and 3, then go to step 5.Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.Open the packet of Montrachet Yeast and pour it into the neck of the funnel.Use
the remaining quart of juice to wash down any yeast that sticks. I am
able to fit all but 3 ounces of apple juice into a 5 gallon Better
Bottle. You may need to be patient to let the foam die down from all
shaking and pouring.Put your stopper or carboy cap on with an
airlock and fill the airlock with cheap vodka. No bacteria will live in
vodka and if you get suckback, you just boosted the abv.
There’s no need to worry about filling up a carboy so full when you use
Montrachet wine yeast. There is no Kreuzen, just a thin layer of
bubbles (see here). I'm able to fit all but 4 oz. of my five gallons in the bottle. Ferment at room temperature.
It will become cloudy in a couple of days and remain so for a few
weeks. In the 4th week, the yeast will begin to drop out and it will
become clear. After at least 4 weeks, you can keg or bottle, but it is
ok to leave it in the carboy for another month or so. Racking to a
secondary is not necessary. It ferments out very dry (less than 0.999, see here)
If you want to bottle and carbonate, ¾ cup of corn sugar will work fine. Use as you would carbonate a batch of beer.
Aging is very important. While you can drink it after 6 weeks, it is incredible after 6 months or longer.
Remember to reserve judgment till after 3 glasses. It grows on you.
DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND START ANOTHER BATCH 2 WEEKS AFTER YOU START THIS ONE.
YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!
How does it taste?
It ferments quite dry. Some people have tried different yeasts in order
to achieve a sweeter taste. It may take you a few glasses to get a feel
for the flavor. It is very reminiscent of a sort of apfelwein produced
locally in Germany. There really is no comparable product in the United
States. It's drier and less sweet than commercial hard ciders.
What is the difference between Apfelwein and hard cider?
Most ciders are a bit sweeter. Ciders and Apfelwein are
about 5.5 to 6% abv, but I like the little boost I give it with 2 pounds of
Dextrose. It adds no body or flavor and still tastes like Possmann's
Apfelwein, only it will kick your butt much quicker.”
Is this like Apfelmost / Apfel Korn?
No. Apfel Korn is a German liqueur made from wheat spirits. Apfelmost is
spontaneously fermented with fresh-pressed apples or apple juice. It is
probably similar, but the results may vary as a result of the
spontaneous fermentation. Either way, Apfelmost is most certainly has a
lower alcohol content since the initial gravity is not increased by the
use of concentrate or corn sugar.
What’s the difference between apple juice and cider?
Cider is made by pressing apples. Juice is then filtered to remove all of the stuff that makes it cloudy.
Can I use apple cider instead?
Sure! You can use whatever you want. However, there is not enough
information in this thread to give you any better details as to how it
will turn out. I recommend starting a new thread or ask more
What kind of Apple Juice should I use?
Ideally, you want to use 100% natural apple juice with no
preservatives. The only acceptable preservative is ascorbic acid, which
is a source of vitamin C and does not affect fermentation. Pasteurized
juice is preferred, since it will have less bacteria.
How much will this recipe cost me?
5 gallons of Apfelwein can be made for between 20 and 25 dollars.
What else can you do with this recipe?
This makes a great Grog in the winter time. Take a quart
in a sauce pan, add some rum, turbinado sugar, and float a cinnamon
stick in it and simmer for a while. Serve hot in mugs. It'll warm you