HOW-TO: "APFELWEIN" RECIPE
So as I promised, here is the MOST basic recipe of "APFELWEIN," a german form of Apple Wine Cider. I am very interested in brewing of any sort, and hope to have some great affordable recipes developing along our great journey. This was the cheapest way to ferment large amounts of alchohol to begin stocking us for our trip- although I DO plan to explore other recipes for honey mead, whiskey mash, good 'ole moonshine, and other cheap alternatives to keep us tanked throughout our great american journey!
TRADITIONALLY "APFELWEIN" (apple wine in german) is a style of cider, that ups the alchohol content of hard cider, by fermenting not only the NATURAL fermentable sugars in apple juicem but the additional 2 pounds of corn sugar that is added to the recipe. This results in a higher gravity beverage that is closer to the content of wine, than hard ciders. It can be made as quickly as 1 month (although for conneseur tasting purposes, it needs closer to 6 months). It can be served carbonated, or not carbonated depending on your preference.
I will post an advanced recipe that works off of this simpler version in the future, but for now, heres your easy step by step for making 5 gallons of your very own APFELWEIN!
- Purchase 5 gallons of apple-juice. Should be 100 percent apple juice, no preservatives. Sugar free, or regular will be fine, as we will add corn sugar ourselves and the natural fermentable sugars in the juice cannot be removed.
- Boil large amounts of water to carefully sterilize your fermentor and airlock. Any traces of bacteria can SERIOUSLY ruin an entire batch!
- Using either a 6 gallon fermentor (carboy) OR (for the first timer) a 5 gallon water jug (this will be your fermenting chamber)- pour half a gallon into the "fermenting chamber," and mix in 2 lbs of CORN SUGAR, being sure to shake the hell out of the second half gallon until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the remaining gallon, with added sugar into the fermentor, then proceed to add the remaining gallons of juice. (if you have a 5 gallon office water jug, use a few liters less so you have an inch or two of space before reaching the top).
- Add one packet of "WINE YEAST," (I used RED STAR), and fit your airlock onto the jug snugly.
- CORN SUGAR, WINE YEAST, AND AIRLOCKS, can be found at a local brew-store, and all three should only run about 5 bucks. HOMEMADE airlocks, can be contrived as well, just check online for methods.
- Let sit for 1 month, and then bottle (preferably glass, and ALWAYS sanitized and air tight)
- If you want your brew carbonated, add 3/4ths a cup of boiled sugarwater to your 5 gallon batch right before bottling. This adds an extra bit of fermentable sugars for remaining yeast particles to ferment during your bottling.
I have 15 gallons fermenting currently, and will be ready to bottle on the 10th of OCT. Since this is my first time with THIS recipe, I have not made variations (aside from a few sticks of cinnamin in one). I will post updated recipes in the future, as I have many good ideas to improve this one already- once I bottle this 15 gallons, I plan to get more going A.S.A.P- A whole 5 gallons cost me about 16 dollars to brew! Thats just craziness. Until we meet again...