Apfelwein (Hard German Apple Cider)

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by smurfe, May 22, 2009.

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  1. smurfe

    smurfe Senior Member

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    I had a request to post the recipe for Apfelwin which is a hard apple cider recipe. I have made this before and it is sort of hard to describe. It is a cross between a beer and a wine. It is pretty tasty. I will post the recipe I use here as well as a link to our sister site Homebrewtalk.com of the post for the recipe creator, EdWort to give him full credit for this tasty recipe. Here is Ed's recipe:

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-i-love-apfelwein-14860/

    Award Winning Apfelwein Recipe (German Hard Cider) Apple Wine Recipe

    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 entries).

    Ingredients

    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

    Equipment

    5 Gallon Carboy (I use a Better Bottle)
    Carboy Cap or Stopper with Airlock
    Funnel

    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 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)

    Apfelwein really improves with age, so if you can please let it sit in a carboy for up to 3 months before bottling or kegging, then let it sit even longer. Here's what some folks think.

    If you want to bottle and carbonate, ¾ cup of corn sugar will work fine. Use as you would carbonate a batch of beer.

    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!


    GENERAL QUESTIONS
    compiled by Dammed Squirrels from the first 37 pages of this thread. Thanks DS!

    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. It gets better with age and at 6+ months, the apple flavor really comes out.

    How do you sweeten it?
    Many folks back sweeten it with Wine Conditioner. Wine Conditioner is a blend of sucrose and sorbic acid. The addition of 2-4 oz. per gallon adds sweetness and prevents renewed fermentation. It can be purchased as any LHBS that caters to wine makers. Others will use Splenda or lactose (other non-fermentable sugars). Germans who prefer it sweet (or Suß as they say) will add a splash of Sprite or 7up to a glass. This is the easiest method as you don't have to make a whole "sweet" batch that way.

    What is the difference between Apfelwein and hard cider?
    EdWort says, “Most ciders are a bit sweeter. Ciders and Apfelwein are about 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 liqeur 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 experienced cider-makers.

    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?
    EdWort says, "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 right up."
     
    Jocelyn likes this.
  2. Inassunda

    Inassunda Junior

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    Apfelwein Hard German Apple Cider

    Maybe some of you knowledgeable folks here can help me. This past weekend I had a concoction which was described to me as a hard cider. It had no carbonation but did taste like a heavily liqoured cider. Heres the thing--Im relatively sure this wasnt something that they fermented and bottled. Im pretty sure it was just a mixture of a few different liquors--mentioned were rum, vodka and some Everclear--and something like apple juice and cinnamon. My problem is that no one was forthcoming with the recipe--it was one of those "secret" things.

    My question--anyone have a recipe which would produce a drink like I described? Something that could be bottled up in some extra bottles I have around and would keep safely? I know Im short on details here, but thats the info I have. Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  3. Old Philosopher

    Old Philosopher Amateur

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    This sounds close. Mix it by the glass, pitcher or barrel. Just don't plan on remembering what you did next.

    The Beavis
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ingredients:
    1 oz Everclear
    1 oz Purple passion
    1 oz Vodka
    1 oz Cider (White lightning)
    1 oz Southern Comfort
    1 oz Bacardi 151 proof rum
    1 oz Plum Wine
    1 oz Water
     
  4. Courtney

    Courtney Member

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    I know that my boss made apple shine with a recipe like this one. It was amazing. I will get with her and get you the recipe if you would like.

    -Courtney
     
  5. arcticsid

    arcticsid Arctic Contributor

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    I actually made this recipe a few months ago, and it was quite good. I shared that gallon with my neighbor up the road and it was quite intoxicating! It is quite simple and worked exactly as Steve said it would.
     
  6. crazyx2

    crazyx2 Member

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    I'm going to put this recipe (or my cider skills) to the test, as I haven't tried doing a cider before. But this recipe sounds really nice, I think the only thing I'll change is the yeast to try and get the finished product a little sweeter.. but definately don't want to lose the kick haha
     
  7. arcticsid

    arcticsid Arctic Contributor

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    It'll work crazy. Some may say, if you like to add a cinnamon stick or two. But if you want to do that wait tillit is almost finished. That cinnamon seems to do its own thing and could overpower it before you know it.

    It is a good recipe, and it will work. Just don't try to change it until you tried it at least once.
     
  8. arcticsid

    arcticsid Arctic Contributor

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    Crazy, take a look at some of the threads in here about Skeeter Pee. It uses bottled lemon juice, it has a kick, it is refreshing. it is simple, inexpensive to make and can take a high alcohol if you desire. It is also versatile and can be tweaked abit with other flavours.
     
  9. nursejohn

    nursejohn Senior Member

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    I just started a batch of this 2 days ago and it is fermenting like crazy. It has the whole room smelling good. Can't wait to try it. I'll try to keep everyone updated on it. Thanks Smurfe for sharing the recipe, John.
     
  10. nursejohn

    nursejohn Senior Member

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    Almost 3 weeks into this and it appears like it is starting to clear. Smells wonderful. My question is, should I rack to another carboy to degass before bottling? I know to add K+Sorbate if I back sweeten, just didn't know about degassing. Thanks for any advice, John.
     
  11. nursejohn

    nursejohn Senior Member

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    I have a question that I hope that someone can help me with. I am making a batch of Apfelwein and I think I goofed! It was in its 4th week and it was clearing nicely. Here is what I did: I thought that I would degass it and did so. Now it seems that it won't clear at all. I put in some SuperKleer a few days ago and it is still very cloudy. Any suggestions that might help. I know now that I should have left it alone and just followed the directions to the letter. Thanks for your time to reply, nursejohn.
     
  12. Goodfella

    Goodfella Senior Member

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    How long has it been since you degassed?

    I think a little patience will take care of this for you...
     
  13. BIGJEFF

    BIGJEFF Senior Member

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    I want to make that wine, the apple juice I.m thinking about using has vitamin C in it (the ingredient list doesn't say ascorbic acid but just vitamin C).
    Other than that it only has juice from concentrate and juice from fresh fruits.

    It's also "mild-low acid"??

    Thanks!
     
  14. Drez

    Drez Senior Member

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    Receipe Changes?

    I think I'm going to start a batch of this but curious about a couple substitution questions regarding the recipe.

    1) I could not find Dextrose, can I use other sugars? I.e. Fine cane sugars that will dissolve well?

    2) I have Lalvin EC - 1118 (Prise de Mousse) yeast, will work just as well? The description from my limited knowledge appears to suggest it would work just as well, specifically the low foam aspect but I'm a newb...

     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  15. Drez

    Drez Senior Member

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    Found dextrose at the beer shop, $3 a Kilo so pretty much on par with other sugars it seems, except maybe white refined. Used the Lavin EC 1118 and seems to be working so far pretty well. A head has formed so def fermenting ok and no so wild that I'm worried about overflow. used 19.5 L of juice to give it room in case of wild foaming but true to its description so far its pretty low foam, I suspect the last 500ml would have fit.
     
  16. gesnipes

    gesnipes Member

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    You can use other sugars. The reason dextrose is used is because it doesn't alter the flavor. You can use sugar crystals, but you will get a different taste.
     
  17. gesnipes

    gesnipes Member

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    I moved my first batch of completed muscadine to gallon jugs to free up my carboy. Now I can make my first batch of apfelwein. Most everyone raves about it, so I'm eager to give it a try. I started the batch last night, and it's lightly foaming. Can't wait to get my first sampling :)
     
  18. Drez

    Drez Senior Member

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    Update, things were fermenting quite well so I figured I would add the spare AJ that I was afraid to add in the beginning in case of significant foam from the Lavin yeast switch (after boiling and cooling the opened AJ that is).

    Topping up closer to the neck was a back idea, foam was spurting right out of the airlock. Allowing an inch or two before the neck gives easily two or three times the surface area for foam to break and so I had to take it right back out again to prevent overflow. Just an FYI for anyone else doing this as some of us are new and were not used to primary fermentation in the carboy.
     
  19. cheesecake

    cheesecake Junior

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    Brought a bottle of this to the local brew shop and they said it was pretty goiod. :br
     
  20. Repsolal

    Repsolal Laundry rm Wine kit maker

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    I made 5gal of this using ec-1118 and regular white sugar and it turned out very good. I bulk aged for just over 1 year, not completely intentionally....... I forgot about it for a long while and then always seemed to have something else that got bottled ahead of it. But after a year it is excellent !
    I have another batch fermenting now and a 2 1/2 gal batch with added blackberry jam. At a buck a bottle its hard to beat.
     

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