Author Topic: Crystal Cider  (Read 1504 times)

Offline pete b

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Crystal Cider
« on: November 08, 2015, 12:10:06 AM »
I have already made cyser, apple ale, 3 ciders (ale yeast, wine yeast, wild) but its such an abundant season that I'm still getting fresh cider to play with. I want to do something different and was thinking about something with increased body without backsweetening. I have the idea that I could steep some crystal malt in the cider before fermentation. the idea is that this would give a little body, sweetness and carmel notes.
thoughts?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2015, 12:20:31 AM »
I've made a lot of cider, Pete, and that's an idea I haven't tried. If I were to do it, I think it'd be a better idea to steep the crystal in 155-160F water, cool then add to the cider - you'd extract better crystal character that way than in room temp cider. It would likely keep your FG from finishing so low and like you say, it might take away the need to backsweeten. If you do it I'd be really curious how it comes out for you.
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Offline smokeymcb

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2015, 12:45:30 AM »
I think you would need to steep hot as Hoosier says then boil to sanitize.  At that point, you might as well add some hops and make graf...
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Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 01:47:49 AM »
I think you would need to steep hot as Hoosier says then boil to sanitize.  At that point, you might as well add some hops and make graf...
Is graf synonomous with apple ale. I just made some using 1 galloon of cider in a 3 gallon batch. I'm looking for something that's unmistakably cider but with added body.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2015, 01:51:03 AM »
I've made a lot of cider, Pete, and that's an idea I haven't tried. If I were to do it, I think it'd be a better idea to steep the crystal in 155-160F water, cool then add to the cider - you'd extract better crystal character that way than in room temp cider. It would likely keep your FG from finishing so low and like you say, it might take away the need to backsweeten. If you do it I'd be really curious how it comes out for you.
I guess I assumed I would just heat the whole mass of cider to 160, drop in a mesh bag of a crytal malt, not sure what variety yet, hold for awhile, then cool and pitch yeast, nutrient, and pectic enzyme.
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Offline smokeymcb

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2015, 01:53:53 AM »
I think you would need to steep hot as Hoosier says then boil to sanitize.  At that point, you might as well add some hops and make graf...
Is graf synonomous with apple ale. I just made some using 1 galloon of cider in a 3 gallon batch. I'm looking for something that's unmistakably cider but with added body.

Probably.  When I made my graf, I used 2 gallons of cider in a 3 gallon batch and it came out much more of an apple cider with some malty sweetness than an ale with an applieness...
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Rob C.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2015, 02:32:16 AM »
A friend of mine tried to sweeten cider with maltodextrin, figuring that it is unfermentable. It kind of worked but the sweetness didn't last. It did give the cider extra body which was nice. Crystal is worth an experiment, but my gut says it's going to overpower the apple flavor. No reason you couldn't steep, boil, and ferment separately and blend either.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 01:51:16 PM »
A friend of mine tried to sweeten cider with maltodextrin, figuring that it is unfermentable. It kind of worked but the sweetness didn't last. It did give the cider extra body which was nice. Crystal is worth an experiment, but my gut says it's going to overpower the apple flavor. No reason you couldn't steep, boil, and ferment separately and blend either.
Good to know. I will use a very small amount of crystal. I'm not concerned about the sweetness fading as long as the body stays. I might as well steep on the side.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2015, 02:19:55 PM »
Have you considered lactose instead of crystal malt? Another option is malt extact, especially something in the Amber color range. This could be added right to the must without needing a separate steep or boil.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2015, 02:40:48 PM »
Have you considered lactose instead of crystal malt? Another option is malt extact, especially something in the Amber color range. This could be added right to the must without needing a separate steep or boil.
Thanks for chiming in Eric. I'll probably do this today and I don't have lactose and the only extract I have is the extra light I keep around for starters. I've never used lactose, does it provide body? My thought with crystal is that I could get some body without too much flavor by using a small amount, thinking maybe 1 to 1.5 ounces for 2 gallons. What flavor it does provide theoretically should play well with apple. My apple ale came out good but I would like to try something that is clearly cider but with just a bit more body.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 02:52:28 PM »
I think it could be a pretty good idea. The dark crystals would probably be more assertive than I'd want in cider, but I might give C20 or 40 (or maybe even 60 ) a shot some time. I'd be curious to see how crystal affects FG in cider.
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2015, 11:54:43 PM »
I ended up splitting this into two 3/4 gallon batches, a careful batch and an "all in" batch. After chewing on (literally) my crystal/carmel malts I decided to go with 1 oz of 60l carmel malt for the careful batch and 1 oz of the same plus .25 oz caramunich III, .2 oz Gambrius Honey malt, and .2 oz Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate for the  All In batch. The All In batch will also receive a goodly dose of apple cider syrup after primary dies down. I have already made so much cyser, cider, and apple ale and can get more cider if I'm willing to press it so I figured screw it, why not.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2015, 11:57:05 PM »
I ended up splitting this into two 3/4 gallon batches, a careful batch and an "all in" batch. After chewing on (literally) my crystal/carmel malts I decided to go with 1 oz of 60l carmel malt for the careful batch and 1 oz of the same plus .25 oz caramunich III, .2 oz Gambrius Honey malt, and .2 oz Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate for the  All In batch. The All In batch will also receive a goodly dose of apple cider syrup after primary dies down. I have already made so much cyser, cider, and apple ale and can get more cider if I'm willing to press it so I figured screw it, why not.

Cool. I look forward to seeing what you think !
Jon H.

Offline pete b

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2015, 07:34:48 PM »
Just took gravity samples 3 months out. The fg of the one with just crystal was just under 1.001 and the one with the extra dark grains was just over 1.001 so the effect on fg was minimal. The effect on body, however was significant. Both had a fuller body as well as less perceived tartness compared to ciders I made recently. I got no grain flavor or roastiness. It just tastes like cider with a bit more body and balance. I look forward to trying it side by side with my traditional cider.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Crystal Cider
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2015, 07:38:26 PM »
My first thought was crystal pepsi.  I was wondering how fine a filter you'd need to make a clear cider.
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