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jburtner

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I came across this at the store and said why not.... Guess I'll mix it all together and add some nutrient. Take an SG reading. Think it'll be close enough to 1070/1080 w/2g honey and 5g juice?

Any advise?

Thank you!
-jb

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bkisel

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Is that raw unpasteurized cider? I've got 12 gallons of apple cider to wine going right now. I use honey, brown sugar and frozen apple juice concentrate for back sweetening. Reason I've got 12 gallons going now is because of how well last years 6 gallon batch turned out.

So... Apple wine back sweetened with honey!


Ps. You could also make something else but my research suggest it might be illegal.
 
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jburtner

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It is pasteurized but no preservatives. Will the 2g/5g ratio provide good ABV or do I need more? Figure this will make 7g at least so i'll end up with a solid 6g. Should I add some apples too?

Cheers,
Jb
 

bkisel

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I think you're okay with pasteurized but no preservatives but not 100% sure. Unless you've got a recipe showing ratios I would shoot for 10-12% ABV using a hydrometer. Starting SG of 1.080 to 1.090 would probably be good. I'd back sweeten to taste.

I've used raw cider which has a lot of pulp so didn't need or want apples. With pasteurized maybe adding some apple for body would be a good idea.

Here is my recipe compiled from several others...



Primary Ingredients...

6 gallons non-pasteurized, no additive apple cider
1 tsp. tannin
3 tsp. yeast nutrient
1 tsp. yeast energizer
3 tsp. pectic enzyme
3/4 tsp absorbic acid
6-9 tsp acid blend
3-5 tsp bentonite
6-8 pounds sugar - SG 1.080-1.090 - 11% to 12% potential abv
1/4 tsp k-meta
1 packet yeast (EC-1118 or some other white wine yeast) - after 24 hours of above

Degas/Stabilize/Clear...

2 tsp Potassium Sorbate
1/4 tsp k-meta
1 packet(s) SuperKleer

Back Sweeten...

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup honey
2 cans frozen apple juice concentrate
 
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jburtner

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4x4Lbs so 16Lbs and two gallons of Honey. Any way to determine approx SG with thise numbers?

Thank you!
-johann

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Johnd

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4x4Lbs so 16Lbs and two gallons of Honey. Any way to determine approx SG with thise numbers?

Thank you!
-johann
The average Brix of apple is 13.3, or SG=1.0538, but you'll need to measure what you are using to see what yours is.

Using Fermcalc with the following parameters, Honey @ SG 1.4142, Target SG of 1.080, Initial SG of 1.0538, Initial Volume of 5 gallons, you would need 4.379 pounds of honey to get your SG to 1.080, and you'd have 5.37 gallons of liquid.

If my sugar parameters for the juice and honey are correct, and you use all of the honey, your beginning must would have SG=1.134 and be 6.33 gallons. Beginning SG of 1.134 would yield a wine with ABV approaching 20%. Since no yeast will ferment to 20% (EC-1118 will do +/- 18%), you'll end up with rocket fuel and residual sugar.

Having said that, were I you, this is what I'd do, start with 6 gallons of juice to make sure you end up with a solid 6 gallons, and add your honey slowly, mixing well to ensure proper readings, and use your hydrometer to get to your target of 1.080. As a guideline, using the same parameters as above, 6 gallons of juice would need 5.25 pounds of honey to get to the target 1.080. Again, your juice and honey may have different SG's than the ones I assumed. Hope this helps.
 

bkisel

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How good is your math? One cup honey roughly equals, I've read, two cups of sugar. On average I've used about 7 cups of sugar to get each of my 6 gallon apple cider musts up to ~ SG 1.085.

I've no idea how the sugar content of your cider compares to what I used so so we're just WAGing it. I recommend again that you get yourself a hydrometer or find a recipe using ratios.
 

jburtner

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Thank you JohnD and Bill!

Yes I have hydrometer and Brix meter so will open a jug of the juice and measure when I start it up.... Maybe I can brix meter the honey too but it might be off that scale. Low and slow with mixing the honey in sounds good and I'll check out fermcalc for reference... I thought I would be using much more honey but that's ok as it looks like I'll have extra for some different meads then and I'll pic up another gallon or 1.5 of the juice so there is some extra for top-up and tasting as we go :)

I've never had mead so am very interested in trying this liquid gold nectar of the gods and incorporating it into our cellar with different recipies :)

Thank you for the input so far it's very helpful!

Do these typically need any additional acids? We don't really ever drink sweet wines so very interested to see how it tastes dry. I imagine that this would take some oak very well too....

Cheers,
johann
 

Johnd

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Thank you JohnD and Bill!

Yes I have hydrometer and Brix meter so will open a jug of the juice and measure when I start it up.... Maybe I can brix meter the honey too but it might be off that scale. Low and slow with mixing the honey in sounds good and I'll check out fermcalc for reference... I thought I would be using much more honey but that's ok as it looks like I'll have extra for some different meads then and I'll pic up another gallon or 1.5 of the juice so there is some extra for top-up and tasting as we go :)

I've never had mead so am very interested in trying this liquid gold nectar of the gods and incorporating it into our cellar with different recipies :)

Thank you for the input so far it's very helpful!

Do these typically need any additional acids? We don't really ever drink sweet wines so very interested to see how it tastes dry. I imagine that this would take some oak very well too....

Cheers,
johann
Apple juice contains a lot of malic acid, which is fairly sharp and strong, so you'll definitely have some acid in there. If you have a meter, go ahead and take a pH reading just to see where you are, your ferment will be sound as long as you are above 3.2 or 3.3, and your wine will be stable as long as you are below 3.6 or 3.7. Since your must will be fairly light in color, you may be able to use the pH test strips, which are harder to read for red wines.

I do note that Bill's recipe contains a couple of different acid additions, he may know something there about apple that I do not, so I'll defer to his experience on that matter.

If you're in the 3.3 - 3.6 range, you should be safe to ferment, and you can do some bench tests later to see if you want to adjust the acid for taste before you bottle your batch.
 

BernardSmith

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Better to weigh sugar than measure it by volume. One pound of table sugar dissolved in water to make a gallon will raise the gravity by 40 points. One pound of honey dissolved in water to make a gallon will raise the gravity by about 35 points (there being some moisture in the honey that is not in the sugar). How much a cup of either will raise the gravity... I have no idea. How granular the sugar is may result in two cups having very different weights...
 

jburtner

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I'm going to start this batch this weekend....

Planning to add enough honey to make it in the 11-12% ABV range but keep it pretty much straight Apple Cider & Honey - Planning to add 10# of mixed apples instead of another gallon of juice.

To enhance mouthfeel I have heard of adding banana. Any idea of range of how much for a six gallon batch?

Any recommendations on type of Tannin?

Might I consider a # or two of white grapes?

Oak in primary & during Bulk Age?

D47 for yeast?

Thanks and I'll update with details / etc as it goes..

Cheers,
johann
 

jburtner

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Ended up with this -

6x gallons cider no preservatives pasteurized
8x lbs honey
2x lbs golden raisins - rehydrated a d chopped
10x lbs honey crisp apples. Sliced cored chopped.
2x bananas chopped no skins
1tsp wine tannin
4oz medium american oak shavings.

Sat overnight - sg~1090. Then strained into a grain bag. Tied it off.

Rehydrated lalvin D47 with warm water and 1tsp yeast energizer. 30m. Pitched.

Will add some fermaid k once AF starts then remaining dose @ about 1/2 way through AF.

Off to the races!

Cheers,
Johann

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jburtner

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Despite ambient temp of 59F in the cellar (and in the must) the yeasties are doing their job as of this cold morning and I rewarded them with about 4g of Fermain K. My brewbelt does not seem to be providing heat either so I nabbed a heating pad and wrapped it to the side of the brute can.

Before I pitched the yeasties I was blown away by the wonderful smell of the apple / honey blend but it really brings a very nice aroma to the whole cellar now with the ferment kicking in.

I have another heating pad - slightly larger- if needed. I'll be checking tonight.

Cheers!
-johann

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jburtner

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It was down to an SG of 1020 yesterday so progressing without issue. I step fed the fermaid k and I feel like I noticed better smell a couple hours after mixing it in. Racked to secondary yesterday too and its bubbling away nicely. Should go dry within a day or two now. I forgot to mix in the bentonite slurry at the start so I mixed in a couple teaspoons this am since it looks like there is a lot of sediment. I'm hoping I can get it to drop nice and compact. Had a cyser volcano when I mixed the bentonite which was fairly exciting but the camera wasnt ready...

Cheers!
-jb
 

Bodenski

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I've been following this for a little bit. What made you choose Honeycrisps as the apples? Most things I've read have said you want to use more of a sour apple for brewing (thinking hard cider) than a sweet one, and honeycrisps are definitely in the sweet category. I'm just curious what influenced your decision to go with those.
 

jburtner

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Nothing in particular but I usually like to eat that kind and I wasn't too worried because it was just 10# fresh apples compared to 6 gallons of cider...

BTW, when I transferred to secondary the apples in the bag were just about completely gone - just oak chips were left in the brew-bag... So pretty much all 10# converted to juice - and sediment...

Cheers!
-jb
 

jburtner

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Lee's are slowly "compacting" and it's still bubbling so hoping to get a full 6 gallons out of this one with some top up.

Cheers!
-johann

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jdeere5220

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I back-sweetened one 6 gallon batch of dry apple wine I made last year with 1 lb of honey. Might have been the best apple wine I ever made. I like the dry apple wine too, but that slight sweetness and honey flavor were REALLY good. Too bad it's all gone now....:h
 

jburtner

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This is tasting pretty good so far. I added a small bag of dried mango slices and it's sitting on the fine lee''s which I stir up regularly. May add another once I let it sit for a while..

Cheers!
-j
 

jburtner

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The mango bits are getting swirled. Lost a bit of headspace in rackings. Might top up with "some juice and honey" just for fun. Pretty cold in the basement but it bubbles a little since I added the dried mango.

Cheers!
-jb

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