A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe
A Leafblower Cider brewed by Erin and Dave.
5 gal batch size, 6 weeks start to finish, serve between 45-50 degrees.
Goal taste profile: Dry apple cider with some apple flavor.
Actual taste profile after kegging: Definitely has alcohol over 5%. Dry, no sweetness. Some apple flavor left. Some tang from citrus. Body is very thin, almost watery. I shouldn’t have topped it off with water to 6 gallons. Great apple cider aroma, but not a lot of flavor to back it up.
For brew night:
White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, $9
1 ¼ tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
3 quarts Santa Cruz Organic 100% Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, ascorbic acid) = $8
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice Honeycrisp Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
1 gal Tree Top Fresh Pressed 100% pure juice 3 Apple Blend (clear, not from concentrate, pasteurized, no additives) = $2.50
2 lbs dark brown sugar
24 fl oz (2 cans) Tree Top frozen apple juice concentrate (12 fl oz is about 1 lbs.)
2 gals distilled water = $2
For dry hopping during secondary:
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
0.8 oz oak chips
1-2 nights before brew night, make a yeast starter. Substitute apple juice for half of the water. Use light dry malt extract powder and yeast nutrient.
On brew night, add to a 3 gallon or larger boil kettle and begin heating:
All the apple juice except the frozen concentrate.
2 lbs dark brown sugar (one pound sugar in a 5 gal batch = 1% more alcohol)
While the juice is heating, add 1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient to 2-3 cups water and boil 10 min then add to the kettle. (1 ¼ tsp yeast nutrient for a 5 gal batch is more than the usual amount of yeast nutrient one would use for beer. Northern Brewer says this compensates for the lack of yeast nutrients in apple juice that are normally present in malt-based wort.)
Bring the juice to 165 F and hold for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add:
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 lbs frozen apple juice concentrate (About 24 fluid ounces. This just adds sugar and helps cool the “wort”.)
Cool the wort to 80 degrees. Sanitize a carboy then add 1 gallon distilled water to it. Transfer the juice to the carboy. Rinse the kettle with 1 gal distilled water and add it to the carboy. Top with enough distilled water to reach 5 gal batch size. Pitch the yeast starter.
Primary fermentation (1-2 weeks): Maintain 70 degree temp until fermentation is under way, then drop temp to the low end of your yeast’s preferred temp range. Preferred ferm temp for WLP775 English Cider Ale yeast is 68-75 degrees. Ferment to dry flavor, about two weeks. If fermentation is slow or smells sulfurish, boil then add ½ tsp yeast nutrient every 24 hours until fermentation seems finished (up to a total of about 2 ½ tsp for the batch. More than that can add yeast nutrient flavors.). Make sure to boil the yeast nutrient for 10 min before adding to the wort.
Rack to secondary (4+ weeks) at cellar temp (50-70 degrees, whatever ya’ got!).
Dry hop: With 2 weeks left in secondary, add to a hop bag:
Pasteurize 8 oz raisins and 8 oz dried plums by steaming for 15-20 minutes.
Boil 0.8 oz oak chips for 15-2- minutes, then add chips and boiled water to wort.
Sanitize 4 lbs variety of tart apples. Discard stems and bottoms and dice.
Sanitize a small lemon and an orange, then zest. Do not add pith or peel. Just zest.
Keg. Remove the fruit. Top with distilled water to 6 gallons. I ended up adding 1 gallon distilled water to replace the volume removed when I removed the fruit and zest. This was a mistake!
Dave’s brew timeline for this recipe:
Sep 5: brew night, primary around 62 degrees (which was my basement temp)
Sep 8: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient
Sep 10: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient. I added a heater to the room to raise temp to 69 because I realized that the yeast’s preferred ferm temp range is 68-72.
Sep 12: added ½ tsp yeast nutrient. I raised the heater temp to 72.
Sep 18: racked to secondary. Cellar temp ranged from 68-70 during secondary.
Oct 9: Added the dry hop ingredients.
Oct 23: Kegged. Dropped temp to 40 degrees and force carbonated. Later raised temp to 45-50.