Applejack not just for Hard cider

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Plato

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So while browsing through youtube recently I ran across a video making apple jack. The process of freezing wine and then turning it upside down so that while it thaws the flavor and alcohol concentrates. It had me thinking why not try it with other wines I make. However I want to make sure I get it correct.

Step 1 freeze wine in a plastic container

Step 2 flip container upside down and as the wine thaws the alcohol and flaver drop out first.

Step 3 repeat step one and two until clear ice remains

is this correct or am I going about this completely wrong?
It almost seems like this would be brandy....
 

DoctorCAD

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That would be considered illegal in the USA.

I don't think we can even post info like that on this forum...
 

Putterrr

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Not sure it would be illegal as d i s t l l i n g is not involed. One thing I see is that you would lose allot of volume of your starting cider. To go from 5 to 20 abv you would lose 75% of your product. Allot of work for a small output.

cheers
 

Pumpkinman

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I have a few buddies that have been making apple jack the same sort of way for decades, they make a premium hard cider using a variety of fresh pressed apples, ferment and then freeze it, removing the ice and keeping the liquid.
Their best batches are the batches that they have frozen and refrozen numerous times, it renders a real nice concentrated (flavor wise) drink that will cure what ails you. It tastes more like an apple liquor, than a cider or an apple wine.
Now....for those of us that don't want to lose 50-75% of their cider, there is a much more simple way to produce something along the same lines.
I made a hard cider, I started with a SG of 1.120 and fermented down to 1.000, this gave me an ABV of 15.72%, very strong, too "hot" at first, (and to be honest i'll never make it this strong again), but it is a real good recipe and tastes great so I have been letting it sit and age, I'll taste it every 3 weeks or so, and it is mellowing out and tastes almost identical to the Apple Jack. A few more months and I'll bottle it, I still feel that this will become something a little stronger than an apple wine, but not as strong as the Apple Jack.
 

Putterrr

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what did you have to add to get you SG up that high? was it all cider or sugar as well. thx
 

JohnT

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I would find it hard to believe that this method is legal, but being that you are doing partial crystalization and not distillation, Who Knows?
 

Dend78

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yeah I would think that since you arent actually breakin out the still you are fine, plus about the best you can get is 33% abv and thats if you have a crazy cold freezer. I know a guy thats got 3gal of pear wine in his freezer right now :n

but here is a thought on the whole thing if you run your yeast such as EC-1118 to 18% before doing this you would have higher yields correct?
 

Pumpkinman

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I added sugar to raise the SG, if my memory serve me correctly, for 5 gallons of fresh pressed cider, I used 10 lbs of sugar and 2 lbs of honey.
 

Putterrr

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yeah I would think that since you arent actually breakin out the still you are fine, plus about the best you can get is 33% abv and thats if you have a crazy cold freezer. I know a guy thats got 3gal of pear wine in his freezer right now :n

but here is a thought on the whole thing if you run your yeast such as EC-1118 to 18% before doing this you would have higher yields correct?

not sure about pushing a yeast to that extreme. the higher you take the abv the more the chance of off flavours
 

jswordy

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Making what may be called "ice wine" or freezing wine to concentrate the alcohol is not illegal in the USA. Only if the process involves distillation is it illegal, and this process does not involve distillation. Many, many people do this in winter if they live in cold climes.
 

Dend78

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not sure about pushing a yeast to that extreme. the higher you take the abv the more the chance of off flavours

true, there is always that but even if you go to 15% which shouldnt be a problem for most but that will still bump the total yield up, your loss is still great but you end up with some high flavor rocket fuel :se
 

Pumpkinman

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Ice wine isn't made from freezing wine, it is made from frozen grapes.
There are plenty of yeasts that can support 18% ABV, I just don't know if you could drink it like a wine, it would be fairly hot.
 

Dend78

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yeah it would be hot, at least in comparison to the wine before freezing, maybe like a fortified wine ie sherry or port, but at that point you aren't freezing your wine for smooth drinking :D :d
 

Plato

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Well I tried it and it did work. Taste is great and yes it has some bite. I will do some testing and report back.
 

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