Apple Pieder: Apple Pie Cider

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

The goal taste profile for this cider was to bulk up the E+D’s Dry Apple Cider No. 41, which turned out too dry and had almost not body due partly to being watered down to hit the goal batch size. Dave also wanted to add some apple pie seasonings and spice in order to enjoy this cider during the late fall. To add some malty heft to this recipe, the solution was simple: add some malted grains!

The actual taste profile was good and fairly close to Dave’s intentions. The cider was a little too tart, so consider reducing the lemon ingredients. The cider had good body and a nice contribution of malt flavors. The cinnamon was present, but not strongly after almost a year in the keg. The nutmeg flavor faded fairly quickly over time in the keg.

BREW IT

Apple Pieder Apple Pie Cider
5 gal batch size (need a 6 ½ gal, wide mouth carboy), 6 weeks start to finish.

INGREDIENTS

For brew night:
White Labs WLP775 English Cider Yeast, $9
1 ¼ tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
6 quarts Santa Cruz Organic 100% Apple Juice (cloudy, not from concentrate, pasteurized, ascorbic acid) = $14
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
1 lbs Crystal 60
8 oz Crystal 90
8 oz Munich Light
1 cinnamon stick
24 fl oz (2 cans) Tree Top frozen apple juice concentrate (12 fl oz is about 1 lb.)
1 gal distilled water = $1

For secondary:
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 oranges
1 small lemon
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)

DIRECTIONS

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.

Make wort: Heat 1 gal tap water to 158 deg and steep grains for 60 min. Boil yeast nutrient 15 min. Heat 1 gallon sparge water to 180 deg, sparge grain tea.

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 to 140 F and hold at 140 F for 15 minutes.

Remove from heat then add 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. Transfer the juice to the carboy. Top with enough distilled water to reach 6 gallons. Pitch the yeast starter.

Primary fermentation (1-2 weeks): Maintain your yeast’s preferred fermentation temperature until fermentation is under way, then drop temp to the low end of your yeast’s preferred temp range. WLP 775 English Cider Ale yeast’s preferred range is 68-75 degrees. Ferment to dry flavor, 1-2 weeks. If fermentation is slow or smells sulfurish, boil then add ½ tsp yeast nutrient every 24 hours until fermentation seems finished. Make sure to boil the yeast nutrient for 10 min before adding to the wort.

Secondary (4 weeks)

Boil some tap water for 15 minutes to sterilize, then remove from heat. Add these to the pot and cover for 15 minutes:
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice berries or ground allspice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla

Needed for dry hop during secondary:
2 oranges
1 small lemon
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious)

Pasteurize (by steaming for 20 minutes):
8 oz raisins
8 oz dried plums
Grain or hop bag
2 cinnamon sticks

Sanitize:
4 lbs of a variety of tart apples (cortland, granny smith, gala, mcintosh, honeycrisp, braeburn, jazz, golden delicious).
2 oranges
1 lemon
Paring knife and cutting board.

Dice the apples, discarding the stems and bottoms. Zest the oranges and lemon. Add the apples, zest, raisins, plums, and cinnamon sticks to the grain or hop bag. Add all to carboy. The addition of the sugars in the apples, raisins, and plums will cause another small fermentation. Every few nights, stir the grain bag with a sanitized metal spoon to make sure all the “dry hop” ingredients are coming into contact with the cider.

With 1 week left in secondary, you can add 1 oz oak chips if you like. Just boil the chips for 15 minutes to sanitize and pour the oak chip water and chips directly into the carboy.

Kegging

Removing the apples, raisins, and plums will drop the batch size back down to around 5 gallons. Do not top with water at this time! That will noticeably dilute your cider, making it watery. Keg as usual. Carbonate at around 12psi at 45 degrees for one week. Serve at 45-50 degrees.

Notes:
Common cider adjuncts: brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg.
Less common cider adjuncts: all-spice, clove, cardamom, vanilla, orange, honey, molasses, raisins, dried plums, oak chips
Resources: cidersage.com, ciderschool.com, Northern Brewer cider pdf, http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/05/homebrewing-how-to-brew-with-spices.html
http://sweetlandorchard.com/in-lieu-of-raw-cider-for-hard-cider-makers/

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