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General Category => Zymurgy => Topic started by: jmsetzler on November 07, 2014, 04:28:11 AM

Title: Current Issue: Ice Cider
Post by: jmsetzler on November 07, 2014, 04:28:11 AM
I was reading some of the currenty Zymurgy issue at lunch today and I particularly enjoyed the Ice Cider article.  I have been brewing hard ciders for a long time and never really considered this technique.  I'm looking forward to trying it.  I have some reservations about it due to the 'waste' factor of only getting 25-33% yield from the starting quantity of cider.  But I also think that the natural concentrated sweetness of this method would be significantly better than my current method of adding dextrine to boost the gravity. 

I have made ciders several different ways.  I mostly use Montrachet yeast which ferments a very dry result.  I typically start out with an OG in the realm of 1.080 to 1.090 and it finishes at 1.000 to 0.998.  VERY DRY!  I'll let this sit in the fermenter for three months and then bottle it and let it sit for another six months before even touching it.  When I want a sweeter cider, I let it ferment with the same technique and then add potassium sorbate and let that sit for two or three more days.  I had been back-sweetening with apple juice concentrate and brown sugar to bring the gravity back to the 1.020 level with that technique and then bottling. 

I guess my question about the Ice Cider technique is in regards to boiling the cider to concentrate it rather than freezing it.  Would that work or would boiling change the game entirely?
Title: Re: Current Issue: Ice Cider
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 07, 2014, 04:44:00 AM
Some others have made iced cider, and I like it! Concentrates the flavor like an eiswein or eisbock.
Title: Re: Current Issue: Ice Cider
Post by: Jimmy K on November 07, 2014, 02:45:34 PM
Boiling will give you a cooked apple flavor. Plus you'd need to boil of at least half of the water so the flavor change would be extreme. You'd probably get a lot of caramel flavor and darkening too.

The waste is just water - OK there are some sugars wasted because the system is not perfect - but it's nearly all water.

I've had a few ice ciders and they are wonderful. You could try cyser if you want less work and waste, but the intense apple flavor will not be the same.
Title: Re: Current Issue: Ice Cider
Post by: nathanw on January 07, 2015, 06:34:33 PM
(Replying late after a web search led me to this post)

I'm glad you liked the article, and I hope you've given it a try.

Boiling does change the game and gives you an entirely different product - as Jimmy K notes, it gives a very cooked flavor, and takes a long time and a lot of heat. One thing I've seen done that's related is to ice-concentrate as usual and then boil down the remaining ice/melt down to a syrup that is added back in. That keeps you from wasting the sugars, but it does bring a sort of caramel flavor to the party, which might or might not be welcome.

Another suggestion I've seen - and I don't know if anyone's done this - would be to use the residue/melt as the strike water for a batch of beer, so you start the beer up a few points (my last ice cider batch, the meltwater measured 1.008) and with a hint of apple flavor.
Title: Re: Current Issue: Ice Cider
Post by: dbeechum on January 07, 2015, 08:34:04 PM
Another possible option (and I don't remember if it's covered in your article Nathan) is to use the residue as the basis for a ciderkin or false wine. Basically take it and blend in a ton of sugar to pull the gravity up somewhere reasonable and ferment it.