Alex's Alcoholic Apples

Table of Contents

1 Recipes   ATTACH

1.1 Craft A Brew Cider Starter Kit

This recipe is for dry sparkling cider

1.1.1 Equipment

  1. 1GAL Carboy Fermenter
  2. Airlock
  3. Rubber Stopper
  4. Racking Cane
  5. Transfer Tubing
  6. Funnel
  7. Yeast
  8. Sanitizer
  9. Large pot
  10. Bottles
    • Swing-top "Grolsch" bottles
    • Bottles + capping kit

1.1.2 Ingredients

  1. Juice

    The base of your hard cider will be natural apple juice, which you will need to provide.

    You will nee a total of one gallon of juice that is without preservatives (Ascorbic Acid is okay) and 100% natural. If you would like amore traditional cloudy hard cider then you can purchase unfiltered apple cider juice, but if you would like a clear finished product then you will use apple juice.

  2. Yeast

    Yeast is a living organism that is technically a fungus. It grows and multiplies by eating the sugar in the juice, converting the sugar to alcohol and then releasing Co2 (yeast will eventually help carbonate your cider).

1.1.3 Sanitation

Proper sanitation is regarded as the most important step in making cider. Yeast is the only organism you want touching your cider, any other bacteria will eat the sugar and spread quickly making the cider sour and undrinkable. So make sure everything that touches your cider is properly sanitized and rinsed off before using. A good way to keep things sanitized is to mix in half of your packet of sanitizer with about one gallon of water (save the rest for bottling) and place this mix into a bucket or pitcher. Next sanitize your equipment by soaking the components for 60 seconds in the mix, rinse and then place the equipment on fresh paper towels.

Before you begin the fermentation process you will need to sanitize the rubber stopper, airlock, funnel, and one gallon carboy (jug).

1.1.4 Fermentation

This is the process to make hard apple cider, if you would like to see some variations on this recipe turn to the last page before proceeding. This cider kit comes with enough sanitizer and yeast to make three batches so be sure to only use one packet of each per batch.

  1. After you sanitize your equipment for fermentation you will add one gallon of apple juice directly using the included funnel.
  2. Next, add one packet of dry yeast.
  3. Take your sanitized rubber stopper and plug up the top. Now you need to make sure the yeast has oxygen to multiply so you will need to aerate the juice. Take your clean thumb and place it over the to of the rubber stopper hole. Shake the carboy vigorously for over a minute.
  4. Take out your airlocj and remove the cap. Fill this half way with water up to the "fill line" as indicated and insert into the rubber stopper.
  5. Put the carboy in a cool 60-75F dark place for 10 days to ferment. After 10 days your cider will be ready to bottle.

1.1.5 Bottling

We recommend using swing top bottles, the same ones that Grolsch beer is bottled in. You can usually ask for extras at a bar or just go buy two six-packs, empty (drink), and then use those. Another option is saving "pry off" bottles and buy our capping kit. Try practicing siphoning with just water before bottle to ensure no cider is accidentally spilled. Having a friend to help bottle your cider will make the job much easier.

  1. Rinse bottles with warm water insuring that there is no sediment at the bottom.
  2. Next you will sanitize your bottles, racking cane, tubing, and a spoon for mixing. Mix the rest of your sanitizer in a bucket or large pitcher with one callon of warm water. Sove Soak all of the bottles and components in the solution for 60 seconds each to sanitize, rinse off then place everything on a fresh sheet of paper towels.
  3. In a large pot (over a gallon) add 1.5 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of table sugar. The sugar will give the remaining yeast food to carbonate your cider once bottled. Heat on medium-high and stir in the sugar until fully dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes then cover and let cool.
  4. Once the pot and sugar water are completely cool it is now time to siphon the cider from your glass fermentor into your pot (this transfer is t oensure the sugar properly mixes with your cider). To do this, get a bowl of fresh, clean water; dunk your tubing into the water (with clamp open) and let the tubing completely fill with liquid. Next close the tubing clamp and attach the non-clamped end to the racking cane, this will be your siphon starter.
  5. Insert the racking cane into the fermenter making sure the end is far enough away form the sediment at the bottom so as not to suck it up. Place the clamped in as low as you can and unclamp. This will start the flow of cider into your tubing. Use a glass to catch the water and clamp the tubing once the cider starts to freely flow out the end.
  6. Transfer all of your cider into the pot with the sugar water. Mix gently and thoroughly with a sanitized spoon.
  7. Next, repeat steps 4-5 in order to start a siphon into the bottles. Fill the bottles slightly higher than where the neck starts, cap and repeat.
  8. Store the bottles in a warm dark place for 10 days to let the cider condition and carbonate.
  9. Refrigerate, drink & enjoy!

1.1.6 Recipe Variations

  1. Apple Cinnamon Cider

    After 2 days of fermentation add 2 whole cinnamon sticks directly to the carboy, continue to ferment and bottle as usual.

  2. Apple Peach/Berry Cider

    After transferring the juice to the carboy you will need to make a fresh peach or berry juice to add to your cider. Blend a few peaches or a few handfuls of berries until they become a thin puree, add water if necessary. Strain this mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. Boil for 5 mineutes, let cool and add directly to the carboy before fermenting. Proceed with fermentaition and bottling as usual.

1.2 Modified Edworts Apfelwein

This recipe is based on Edworts Apfelwein, but scaled down for 1 gallon and with the dextrose (corn sugar) switched for regular sugar.

1.2.1 Ingredients

Original:

  • 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

Modified:

1.2.2 Fermentation

  1. First sanitize the carboy, airlock, funnel, stopper or carboy cap.
  2. Open one gallon bottle of apple juice and pour half of it into the carboy using the funnel.
  3. Open one bag of Dextrose and carefully add it to the now half full bottle of apple juice. Shake well.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3, then go to step 5.
  5. Pour in the mixture of Apple Juice and Dextrose from both bottles into the carboy.
  6. Add all but 1 quart of remaining 3 gallons of apple juice to the carboy.
  7. Open the packet of Montrachet Yeast and pour it into the neck of the funnel.
  8. 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.
  9. 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

  • When bottling, use 7.5tsp of sugar to bottle carb
  • 7.5tsp = 30g

2 Brews

2.1 [2019-01-22 Tue]–[2019-02-11 Mon] First Brew: 1GAL apple juice

2.1.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-01-22 Tue]
  • Bottling date: [2019-02-01 Fri]
  • Refrigeration date: [2019-02-11 Mon]
  • Fermentation duration: 9.5 days
  • Bottling duration: 10 days

2.1.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Starter Kit

  • 1GAL Martinellis pasteurized apple juice
  • Kit yeast
  • Sugar + water for bottling

2.1.3 Lessons Learned

  • Fermentation is easy!
  • Siphoning is hard, next time I need too look for an alternative/better siphon.
  • Having 5GAL containers would make sanitation easier

2.2 [2019-08-11 Sun]–[2019-08-31 Sat] Second Brew: 1GAL apple juice w/ Cinnamon

2.2.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-08-11 Sun]
  • Bottling date: [2019-08-21 Wed]
  • Refrigeration date: [2019-08-31 Sat]
  • Fermentation duration: 10 days
  • Bottling duration: 10 days

2.2.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Starter Kit with Apple Cinnamon Cider Variation.

  • 1GAL Organics apple juice with ascorbic acid
  • Kit yeast
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • Sugar + water for bottling

2.2.3 Lessons Learned

  • Fermentation is easy!
  • Siphoning is easier with more people.
  • Having 5GAL containers would make sanitation easier… we should get one

2.3 [2019-09-24 Tue]–[2019-10-14 Mon] Third Brew: 1GAL apple juice w/ Cinnamon

2.3.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-09-24 Tue]
  • Bottling date: [2019-10-04 Fri]
  • Refrigeration date: [2019-10-14 Mon]
  • Fermentation duration: 10 days
  • Bottling duration: 10 days

2.3.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Starter Kit with Apple Cinnamon Cider Variation.

  • 1GAL Wegmans apple juice with ascorbic acid
  • Kit yeast
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • Sugar + water for bottling

2.3.3 Lessons Learned

  • Fermentation is easy!
  • Siphoning is easier with more people.
  • Using the gray bucket makes cleaning easier

2.4 [2019-10-04 Fri]–[2019-10-24 Thu] Fourth Brew: 1GAL apple cider (new yeast)

2.4.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-10-04 Fri]
  • Bottling date: [2019-10-14 Mon]
  • Refrigeration date: [2019-10-24 Thu]
  • Fermentation duration: 10 days
  • Bottling duration: 10 days

2.4.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Starter Kit.

2.4.3 Lessons Learned

  • Broke the racking cane
  • Tastes drier so far

2.5 [2019-11-09 Sat]–[2019-11-29 Fri] Fifth Brew: 1GAL apple juice w/Cinnamon

2.5.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-11-09 Sat]
  • Bottling date: [2019-11-19 Tue]
  • Refrigeration date: [2019-11-29 Fri]
  • Fermentation duration: 10 days
  • Bottling duration: 10 days

2.5.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Starter Kit with Apple Cinnamon Cider Variation.

2.5.3 Lessons Learned

  • Auto-siphon is super nice
  • Getting down to a process
  • The big swing top bottles are working well for sharing

2.6 [2019-12-01 Sun]–[2019-12-21 Sat] Sixth Brew: 1GAL apple juice + sugar

2.6.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-12-01 Sun]
  • Bottling date: [2019-12-15 Sun]
  • Refrigeration date: Ongoing, saving some
  • Fermentation duration: 14 days
  • Bottling duration: Ongoing, saving some
  • Original Gravity: 1.062
  • Final Gravity: 1.02
  • PH: 3.9ish

2.6.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Modified Edworts Apfelwein.

2.6.3 Lessons Learned

  • Getting the process to work well
  • Interested to see how the new recipe works
  • Need patience… and bottle labels
  • Final SG was 1.007ish when bottle opened
  • Tried measuring + adding malic acid
    • Default: 3.9ish – kinday
    • Default: 3.6ish – tart, good, alive
      • 1/8 tsp malic acid for 100mL
    • Default: 3.2ish – tart, bad, puckery
      • 1/4 tsp malic acid for 100mL

2.7 [2019-12-26 Thu] Seventh Brew: 1GAL apple juice w/Cinnamon

2.7.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-12-26 Thu]
  • Rerack date: [2020-01-20 Mon]
  • Bottling date: [2020-02-26 Wed]
  • Refrigeration date: Ongoing, saving some
  • Fermentation duration: 14 days
  • Bottling duration: Ongoing, saving some
  • Original Gravity: 1.035
  • SG@Rerack: 1.016
  • Final Gravity: 1.0175
  • PH: 4.0ish before malic acid
  • Added 4.5 tsp malic acid
  • PH final: 3.4

2.7.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Modified Edworts Apfelwein.

2.7.3 Lessons Learned

  • Well refined process
  • 7 and 8 can compare the difference between sugar
  • Added bottle labels
  • Probably added too much malic acid
  • We'll see how dextrose affects the bubbles
  • This format is messy for data

2.8 [2019-12-26 Thu] Eigth Brew: 1GAL apple juice w/Cinnamon + sugar

2.8.1 Metadata

  • Fermentation start date: [2019-12-26 Thu]
  • Added 8tsp sugar
  • Rerack date: [2020-01-20 Mon]
  • Bottling date: [2020-02-26 Wed]
  • Refrigeration date: Ongoing, saving some
  • Fermentation duration: 14 days
  • Bottling duration: Ongoing, saving some
  • Original Gravity: 1.058
  • SG@Rerack: 1.02
  • Final Gravity: 1.0225
  • PH: 4.0ish before balic acid
  • Added 4.5 tsp malic acid
  • PH final: 3.4

2.8.2 Recipe + Ingredients

Recipe: Modified Edworts Apfelwein.

2.8.3 Lessons Learned

  • See batch 7

2.9 [2020-02-16 Sun] Batch 9: 1GAL Carlson Orchards

Date SG PH Intervention
2020-02-16 1.045 3.8 Initial Fermentation
2020-02-23 1.015 3.8 Rerack
2020-03-29 1.013 4.2  
2020-03-29     Bottled 2 Cups of Water + 30grams of sugar

Ingredients:

2.10 [2020-02-16 Sun] Batch 10: 1GAL Carlson Orchards w/Oak + sugar

Date SG PH Intervention
2020-02-16 1.045 3.8 In Bottle
2020-02-16 1.054 3.8 Initial Fermentation (with sugar)
2020-02-23 1.016 3.8 Rerack and add 3/4oz oak
2020-03-29 1.015 4.2  
2020-03-29     Bottled 2 Cups of Water + 30grams of sugar

Ingredients:

Lessons Learned:

  • Aging really helps

2.11 [2020-03-29 Sun] Batch 11: 1GAL Motts Apple Juice Winter Blend

Date SG PH Intervention
2020-03-29 1.047 4.0 Initial Fermentation
2020-04-08 1.020 4.2 Re-racking
2020-04-08   3.8 Add 1tsp malic acid
2020-04-08     Water + cinnamon, nutmeg, and oak
2020-05-17 1.015 3.8  
2020-05-17     Bottled 2 Cups of Water + 30grams of sugar

Ingredients:

Addition:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 oz oak

Lessons Learned:

  • Adding malic acid causes the cider to bubble up
  • Tastes good, maybe a little more acidity next time

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