Apfelwein – Apple Wine

I started my adventure in home brewing this past weekend. I’ve always been fond of hard cider and really wanted to try making some last fall since I’m in the land of 10,000 orchards now. This recipe for high test (8.5% ABV) Apfelwein from EdWort of the HomeBrewTalk forums was selected for it’s simplicity and affordability. Store bought apple juice is cheap and available all year.
Original forum thread

5 Gallons Apple Juice (no preservatives i.e. benzoates et al, ascorbic acid is OK)
2 lbs dextrose
1 packet (5 g) Redstar Montrachet wine yeast

Clean and sanitize a 5 gallon carboy. Pour half a jug of apple juice into your carboy via a sanitized funnel. Pour a pound of dextrose into the half empty jug and shake shake shake to dissolve the dextrose and oxygenate the juice. Pour the dextrose juice into carboy. Pour half of another jug into the first jug and add half a pound of dextrose to each of those jugs, shake well and add to carboy. Now pour enough juice out of your remaining containers into the carboy so there is room to shake and oxygenate the remaining juice. Add your yeast packet to the last bottle and get all 5 gallons of juice into the carboy. Montrachet doesn’t have crazy krausen properties, so you don’t need a lot of head space. Top the carboy off with a sanitized airlock setup. Wait.

It took my yeasties about 18 hours to start doing much of anything @ ~ 66 degrees F. At that point, I had a little yeast colored krausen ring at the top of the liquid. 64 hours into fermentation and I’ve got a good CO2 bubble every 10 seconds and no krausen. I expect this to take close to 4 weeks to finish fermenting, at which time I’ll bottle with 3/4 cup dextrose primer for carbonation (optional). Add your favorite sweetener in the glass at consumption time if you prefer a sweeter cider.

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