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/

Molasses Cookie Porter

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

In 2015 and 2016, Dave felt that Jon was stuck in a Pale Ale brewing rut, so he issued Jon a challenge: Dave would write a mystery recipe giving Jon only the ingredients, Jon would stamp his mark on it by figuring out how to brew it.

Dave started this recipe with a distinct goal taste profile in mind: His favorite Christmas cookie recipe, the molasses cookies that his mom used to make. By following the contours of his mother’s cookie recipe, Dave modified a standard porter ale recipe to turn it into a holiday seasonal brew.

This first challenge brew and collaborative brew (collabrew!) was a success. It was thick, sweet, and rang of molasses.

BREW IT

All-grain
6 gal batch size
7 ¼ gal boil size

WATER
London profile

GRAINS
8 lbs two-row pale malt
1 ½ lbs molasses (add near end of boil)
¾ lbs dark crystal 120L
¾ lbs Victory 25L
½ lbs chocolate malt
½ lbs brown malt
½ lbs flaked barley
¼ lbs smoked malt (if not available, substitute with additional ½ lbs molasses)
¼ lbs black patent malt

YEAST
London Ale, English Ale, Irish Ale

HOPS AND ADJUNCTS (When to add, when to add?)
1 ½ oz East Kent Goldings (or Fuggles)
2 sticks cinnamon (or 5 grams powder)
1 tsp ginger
2-3 pieces of clove

Layger Brewhaus Molasses Cookie Porter

Dave sips a Molasses Cookie Porter.

E+D’s Dry Apple Cider No. 41

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

BREW IT

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.

INGREDIENTS

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
small lemon
an orange

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.

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.

Layger Lager Bavarian Helles

A Layger Brewhaus Original Recipe

The goal for this lager was a light and refreshing Bavarian-style Helles. It did not go very well!

BREW IT

Munich Helles
July 2014

MALTS
6 lbs Pilsen liquid malt extract (Briess) (boil 60 min)
2 lbs German pilsner grain (Weyermann) (Steep 30-60 min at 150-170 degF)
1 cup light dry malt extract or liquid malt extract for the yeast starter

HOPS
2 oz Hallertau leaf hops (HopUnion) (1.5 oz for 60 min boil, .5 oz for 5 min boil)

YEAST
2124 Bohemian Lager (Wyeast smackpack) You will need to buy two packages or make a yeast starter to make a lager.

ADJUNCTS
1 teaspoon Irish moss (helps clarify proteins out of the wort)

STEPS

24-36 hours before beginning, make a yeast starter:
1. Activate the yeast you will use. Let sit for 3-4 hours.
2. Sanitize a growler bottle, rubber stopper, bubbler, scissors, and the sauce pan lid.
3. Combine 1 cup dry malt extract or liquid malt extract and 6 cups water in a clean sauce pan. Boil 15 min.
4. Cover the sauce pan with the lid and cool it in a bath.
5. Let cool to room temp then pour into sanitized jar and cover the opening with foil.
6. Sanitize the yeast smack pack, open it with scissors. Pour into the jar.
7. Seal with rubber stopper and bubbler.
8. Leave at room temp for 24-36 hours, occasionally swirling the jar to oxygenate the wort and help yeast to reproduce.
9. During yeast reproduction, the liquid will look milky. When the yeast have finished reproducing, they will fall to the bottom of the jar and the liquid will clarify.

WORT & FERMENTATION

1. While beginning the wort, cool the yeast starter to 50 degF.
2. Add 3 gals water to a pot and bring to a boil for 15 minutes to boil off chlorine, etc.
3. Remove from heat and let cool to 170 degF.
4. Add the German pilsner grain. Soak the grains for 30 -60 min between 150-170 degF.
5. Rinse and remove the grains, discard.
6. Bring the water back to boiling.
7. Add the Pilsen liquid malt extract and bring the water back to boiling.
8. Once boiling, add 1.5 oz Hallertau hops.
9. Boil for 45 minutes. During the boil, do these things:
i. sanitize the primary carboy, funnel, and steel spoon
ii. prepare the ice bath
iii. cool the yeast starter to 50 degF
10. After the 45 min boil, add 1 tsp of Irish Moss (in a sock). Boil for 10 minutes.
11. Then add 1/2 oz Hallertau hops (in a sock). Boil for 5 minutes.
12. Immediately remove the Irish Moss and hops, discard.
13. Chill the wort as quickly as possible in a cold bathtub with lots of ice. Chill down to 50 degF.
14. While the wort is chilling, add 2 gallons of 50 degree tap water to the sanitized carboy.
15. Pour out excess liquid from the yeast starter jar, keeping the yeast slurry and enough liquid to help pour it out. Pitch the yeast slurry into the wort. Stir well.
16. Then pour the yeasted wort into the primary carboy (which should contain 2 gals of cool tap water). Slosh it around a bit.
17. Ferment for 1-2 weeks at 50 degF until the bubbling slows and the bubble cap sinks to the bottom of the carboy.
18. Raise the temp to 55 -60 degF for 2 days to let the yeast eat the diacetyls.
19. Transfer to a secondary carboy.
20. Reduce the temp by 2 degrees per day to 35 degF. Lager at 35 degF for 4 weeks.
21. Keg.