Author Topic: Cider, Scotch Ale style  (Read 1312 times)

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Cider, Scotch Ale style
« on: October 30, 2014, 07:25:07 PM »
I recently tried a technique from one of the cider talks at this year's NHC. The basic idea is to add enough sugar to some pressed cider to target an initial ABV in the 8-9% range, then sulfate/sorbate and backsweeten with fresh juice. The end result is a hard cider in the 6% range and in the 1.010-1.015 gravity range.

The first batch I did this way came out great, but I wanted to get a bit more apple character in the finished cider. I used brown sugar to fortify the initial batch, so I had an idea - what if I used concentrated cider instead? So I ended up boiling down a gallon and a half of cider to a syrup, then adding it to another gallon and a half of fresh cider. The cider syrup ended up with a delicious caramelly note to it. It was so good that I mopped up everything that was stuck to the pan with marshmallows.

I realized this was pretty much the exact same procedure as making a Scotch ale with boiled down runnings. I figured I'd share. I don't have any results yet, but I'll be sure to keep this thread updated.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 07:39:07 PM »
I recently tried a technique from one of the cider talks at this year's NHC. The basic idea is to add enough sugar to some pressed cider to target an initial ABV in the 8-9% range, then sulfate/sorbate and backsweeten with fresh juice. The end result is a hard cider in the 6% range and in the 1.010-1.015 gravity range.

The first batch I did this way came out great, but I wanted to get a bit more apple character in the finished cider. I used brown sugar to fortify the initial batch, so I had an idea - what if I used concentrated cider instead? So I ended up boiling down a gallon and a half of cider to a syrup, then adding it to another gallon and a half of fresh cider. The cider syrup ended up with a delicious caramelly note to it. It was so good that I mopped up everything that was stuck to the pan with marshmallows.

I realized this was pretty much the exact same procedure as making a Scotch ale with boiled down runnings. I figured I'd share. I don't have any results yet, but I'll be sure to keep this thread updated.

It would be worth it just to eat marshmallows with apple syrup. Chase that down with a hot schotchy and you're in heaven.

I might have to do another cider this winter and try that method. Intriguing

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 07:44:10 PM »
I'll be curious to see how it comes out, in terms of the heat's effect on the apple character. Caramel apple-y ? Could be pretty good.


EDIT  - +1 to a little of that in a hot scotchy on a cold brewing morning. Mmmm.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 07:55:27 PM »
I'll be curious to see how it comes out, in terms of the heat's effect on the apple character. Caramel apple-y ? Could be pretty good.


EDIT  - +1 to a little of that in a hot scotchy on a cold brewing morning. Mmmm.

I've considered bringing my mash tun and stove to the snowmobile park and making a killing, but that whole getting arrested thing keeps holding me back. I guess if people put their own booze in it...

Offline Joe Sr.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4383
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 09:33:34 PM »
I wonder if you'll have any issues with pectin.  When I've made cider I've simply pitched the yeast into the cider and let it do it's thing.  My understanding is that heating the cider can set the pectin and leave you with a hazy cider.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 09:38:43 PM »
I'll be curious to see how it comes out, in terms of the heat's effect on the apple character. Caramel apple-y ? Could be pretty good.


EDIT  - +1 to a little of that in a hot scotchy on a cold brewing morning. Mmmm.

I've considered bringing my mash tun and stove to the snowmobile park and making a killing, but that whole getting arrested thing keeps holding me back. I guess if people put their own booze in it...

There ya go, kind of an adult lemonade stand. As long as $$ didn't change hands you'd probably be good. There's also the driving home thing though. Not sure the DDs would want a virgin hot scotchy.
Jon H.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2014, 09:43:34 PM »
I wonder if you'll have any issues with pectin.  When I've made cider I've simply pitched the yeast into the cider and let it do it's thing.  My understanding is that heating the cider can set the pectin and leave you with a hazy cider.

Yeah that too. I don't have any experience heating fruit for fermenting because of that. I use pectic enzyme in fresh cider but I don't know how effective it'd be after the reduction.
Jon H.

Offline The Professor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 863
  • "In the next life, you're on your own"
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 10:56:52 PM »
Since commercially produced juices and farm ciders these days tend to be from sweeter apple varieties...not to mention that you're gossing up the ABV with some sugar... the process you describe might benefit from the addition of just a bit of malic acid to increase the perception of the apple character.  In addition to that, on the few occasions where I've added sugar to my ciders, I've always gone with brown sugar or apple juice concentrate rather than table sugar, for a bit more character.
Just a thought.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2014, 11:00:23 PM by The Professor »
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3445
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
    • Manty Malters - Meet the Malters! - Dave Taylor
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 12:33:09 AM »
Yeast has a big effect on residual apple character and can either enhance or hide the apple.  I have experimented with a lot of different yeasts for cider and found none better than Cote des Blancs.  US-05 is pretty good too and also the 4184 sweet mead yeast if I recall correctly.  Many other yeasts hide or dull the apple character including English cider yeasts.  The one I would be interested to try and haven't yet is WLP400 witbier.  I use this in my apple ale and love it there... for some odd reason I just never remember to try it in a cider cider.  Next year.

Thanks for sharing the concentrated boil idea -- great idea.  Sounds similar to ice cider except that is concentrated by freezing on the tail end.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2014, 02:58:47 AM »
I wonder if you'll have any issues with pectin.  When I've made cider I've simply pitched the yeast into the cider and let it do it's thing.  My understanding is that heating the cider can set the pectin and leave you with a hazy cider.

Yeah that too. I don't have any experience heating fruit for fermenting because of that. I use pectic enzyme in fresh cider but I don't know how effective it'd be after the reduction.
I use pectic enzyme too, but I've never heated cider before. I added the recommended amount for my pre-boil volume, so hopefully that's enough. From what I understand it's supposed to work as long as you add it pre-fermentation. This is something I'll definitely have my eye on.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 03:21:56 AM »
Since commercially produced juices and farm ciders these days tend to be from sweeter apple varieties...not to mention that you're gossing up the ABV with some sugar... the process you describe might benefit from the addition of just a bit of malic acid to increase the perception of the apple character.
My last batch probably could have used a touch of acid. I'm hoping that the concentrated cider will also bring some concentrated acidity with it as well. My usual orchard's cider has a fair amount of tannin and acidity, but they were sold out and the one I used for this batch was a lot sweeter than I'm used to. The boiled syrup did have a nice tang to it, but if that's not enough I will add some malic acid.

  In addition to that, on the few occasions where I've added sugar to my ciders, I've always gone with brown sugar or apple juice concentrate rather than table sugar, for a bit more character.
Just a thought.
Thanks for sharing the concentrated boil idea -- great idea.  Sounds similar to ice cider except that is concentrated by freezing on the tail end.
I've thought of using either ice cider or apple juice concentrate for chapitalizing the ferment. I went with the boil concentration because I wanted to use the same source of juice and I didn't have time to do the ice thing. But if I might dabble with them next year.

Yeast has a big effect on residual apple character and can either enhance or hide the apple.  I have experimented with a lot of different yeasts for cider and found none better than Cote des Blancs.  US-05 is pretty good too and also the 4184 sweet mead yeast if I recall correctly.  Many other yeasts hide or dull the apple character including English cider yeasts.  The one I would be interested to try and haven't yet is WLP400 witbier.  I use this in my apple ale and love it there... for some odd reason I just never remember to try it in a cider cider.  Next year.
I've used S-04 and T-58 on my ciders in the past, but I decided to give a wine yeast (71B) a try this year. I figure if it makes a good cyser, it will probably make a decent cider.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2014, 11:45:36 AM »
I wonder if you'll have any issues with pectin.  When I've made cider I've simply pitched the yeast into the cider and let it do it's thing.  My understanding is that heating the cider can set the pectin and leave you with a hazy cider.

Yeah that too. I don't have any experience heating fruit for fermenting because of that. I use pectic enzyme in fresh cider but I don't know how effective it'd be after the reduction.
I use pectic enzyme too, but I've never heated cider before. I added the recommended amount for my pre-boil volume, so hopefully that's enough. From what I understand it's supposed to work as long as you add it pre-fermentation. This is something I'll definitely have my eye on.

Yeah, if it works pretty well I definitely see trying it. I like the idea of it.
Jon H.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 05:10:21 AM »
Yeast has a big effect on residual apple character and can either enhance or hide the apple.  I have experimented with a lot of different yeasts for cider and found none better than Cote des Blancs.  US-05 is pretty good too and also the 4184 sweet mead yeast if I recall correctly.  Many other yeasts hide or dull the apple character including English cider yeasts.  The one I would be interested to try and haven't yet is WLP400 witbier.  I use this in my apple ale and love it there... for some odd reason I just never remember to try it in a cider cider.  Next year.

Thanks for sharing the concentrated boil idea -- great idea.  Sounds similar to ice cider except that is concentrated by freezing on the tail end.

I've also experimented with a variety of yeast strains, over the years.  I agree that Cote des Blancs does a great job, and I've had great results with US-05 too.  However, my best cider came from a spontaneously-fermented batch.  I froze a bunch of cider, and after defrosting I was preparing to ferment it, when it began to ferment on its own.  I was surprised that some wild yeast survived the freezing process and took hold.  I let it go, and it turned out to be the best out of 6 yeast strains.  Too bad there's no way to reproduce that one!

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2014, 02:55:21 PM »
I've read about New England style cider using boiled cider syrup to strengthen gravity, but never tried it myself. Seems the cooked apple flavor would be different but could be quite tasty.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958