Apfelwein bottling questions

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skyfire322

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So while I'm waiting to start my next batch of wine, I've decided to try my hand at making some Apfelwein. I plan on making a 5-gallon batch, but can't seem to find much info about the bottling.

I see some people use beer or grolsch bottles, while others use growlers. Depending on if you've made it, how many bottles should I look into getting?

Also, there is the storage question. Again, something I haven't been able to find. Is it just like storing wine (cool, dark place until ready to open), or do you have to keep it refrigerated? I unfortunately don't have a spare or space to get a mini-fridge so if that's the case, I may be SOL.

Thoughts?
 

Wisconsin

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I get about 48 12 oz bottles using a capper. l add about 4 oz sugar to get the phizz. Back sweeten with stevia. Taste not perfect but I’m not picky. Apples are free😋
 

salcoco

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5 gallons will give you 25 750ml bottles. can store in cool dark place. also can put in fridge when ready to consume
 

Scooter68

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Are you talking about a cider made with no additional Sugar (5.5%-7.5% ABV) or a wine(10% or higher ABV) ?

If you are using k-meta and not back-sweetening even the cider should keep well. If you back-sweeten just use the K-Sorbate along with the K-meta.
Personally I've grown stevia plants, used various brands of Stevia based sweeteners and just would never use any of it in my wine/cider. I can taste the difference every time.
 

Wisconsin

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Are you talking about a cider made with no additional Sugar (5.5%-7.5% ABV) or a wine(10% or higher ABV) ?

If you are using k-meta and not back-sweetening even the cider should keep well. If you back-sweeten just use the K-Sorbate along with the K-meta.
Personally I've grown stevia plants, used various brands of Stevia based sweeteners and just would never use any of it in my wine/cider. I can taste the difference every time.
Definitely agree. Taste is a bit tart, kinda makes you pucker a bit. But on a hot day seems to go down just fine. My ABV is between 7-8. I like it better than store bought stuff and since the apples come from back yard... a win, win.
 

Scooter68

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Definitely agree. Taste is a bit tart, kinda makes you pucker a bit. But on a hot day seems to go down just fine. My ABV is between 7-8. I like it better than store bought stuff and since the apples come from back yard... a win, win.
Yeah, can't beat home-grown and 'free' we have wild blackberries and if we have a good year I might get to make a batch from them. Wild Black Raspberry is one of my favorites but a bit scarce. So this year I might have to do some serious foraging to find enough of the latter for at least one gallon.

Do you have mix of apple varieties or just one? The "experts" say a mixed variety batch is better but, sometimes you just have to take what you can get. In our case our apples would never make it to display - I don't spray them so they have a mulitude of peck and bug marks. Those don't show in a wine so....:i
 

skyfire322

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Are you talking about a cider made with no additional Sugar (5.5%-7.5% ABV) or a wine(10% or higher ABV) ?

If you are using k-meta and not back-sweetening even the cider should keep well. If you back-sweeten just use the K-Sorbate along with the K-meta.
Personally I've grown stevia plants, used various brands of Stevia based sweeteners and just would never use any of it in my wine/cider. I can taste the difference every time.
I'm honestly torn on whether to go the cider or wine route. Mainly because the length of time it'd take.

With the summer right around the corner, I thought doing something quick like a cider (I've seen a few people bottle after 4-8 weeks). An apple wine would be nice too, but I'm not sure how long that would take in comparison to the cider.
 

Scooter68

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The wine will take longer to round off the edges - more aging time. A cider / wine mix perhaps might be the right way to go if you have enough fruit/juice. I did that last year. You would have some cider for this summer and wine for next summer.
 

Wisconsin

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Yeah, can't beat home-grown and 'free' we have wild blackberries and if we have a good year I might get to make a batch from them. Wild Black Raspberry is one of my favorites but a bit scarce. So this year I might have to do some serious foraging to find enough of the latter for at least one gallon.

Do you have mix of apple varieties or just one? The "experts" say a mixed variety batch is better but, sometimes you just have to take what you can get. In our case our apples would never make it to display - I don't spray them so they have a mulitude of peck and bug marks. Those don't show in a wine so....:i
What I have is a mystery. A native Wisconsin Apple perhaps? The apples are kind of small and they look pretty rough but the flavor and the sweetness is all Very good.
I had been ignoring those apples for years until my mom told me to make applesauce. It was amazing. After that I’m thinking apple cider is going to be really good to.
 

Scooter68

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What I have is a mystery. A native Wisconsin Apple perhaps? The apples are kind of small and they look pretty rough but the flavor and the sweetness is all Very good.
I had been ignoring those apples for years until my mom told me to make applesauce. It was amazing. After that I’m thinking apple cider is going to be really good to.
"Pretty" don't always give the best results. It takes me a lot of time to cut up our apples and remove those peck and bug spots but the apple, juice, Raw applesauce, cider and wine are pretty doggone good. Fact, now that you mention it I need to go up to the other house where my 'winery' is located and grab a bottle of cider to try. Well, It's aged nicely. Solid taste but since it's a cider the alcohol level is so low you hardly get much sense of it. Very happy with it.
 
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Mead Maker

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"Pretty" don't always give the best results. It takes me a lot of time to cut up our apples and remove those peck and bug spots but the apple, juice, Raw applesauce, cider and wine are pretty doggone good. Fact, now that you mention it I need to go up to the other house where my 'winery' is located and grab a bottle of cider to try.

—————————

A few years back I picked up a few hundred pounds of my mom’s northern Illinois apples.

I just ran them all through the grinder— stems, seeds, worms and all — just like they do at the local cider mill.

The apple wine is quite tasty.
 

skyfire322

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So I started the a few days after the original post.

I used five gallons of apple juice (Top Tree), dextrose, and hydrated Montrachet yeast. Here's where things get interesting. There was a whoopsie moment on my part. The recipe I used (EdWorts) said to use 2 lbs of dextrose, but my scale broke so I just eyeballed it. The SG was 1.105 (just to be on the safe side, I triple checked and made sure the hydrometer was calibrated properly) and didn't think much about it because I've never added sugar into a brew before. I started to ask myself why my SG was so high because with 2 lbs, a lot of people said theirs started off at 1.060-1.080.

Well, I was able to get my hands on a new scale yesterday, and it looks like I put a little under 3 and 1/4 lbs of dextrose.

I've checked the SG for the past three days and its holding steady at 1.000. I've used all of the ABV conversions from the FermCalc app, as well as the Brewers Friend calculator and they all have it coming out to be around 13.75%-14% ABV. The high SG can easily be attributed to the whoopsie amount of sugar I put in, and the Montrachet yeast has a pretty high alcohol tolerance, which makes sense.

It's sparkly and dry, and I'm not complaining by any means that the ABV is so high. I did want to add a little bit of concentrate to get more of an apple flavor but I'm very hesitant to put these in 12 oz bottles, as my lady who loves the taste, would probably get sloshed after two.

At this point, I'm tempted just to put them into wine bottles, then just have the people sweeten it to their taste with Sprite like they do in Frankfurt.
 
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