After about a month hiatus in the brewing projects, I think it’s time to get something new going – every year I typically will make a hard cider, but this year I’m leaning towards attempting an apple wine. Cider producers in our area very typically use UV pasteurization over the commonly used heat methods elsewhere, and add no preservatives to their products. Therefore, buying cider is just buying prepressed apple juice, and saves a lot of hassle! Thinking this through, there’s about 384 grams of sugar per gallon of apple cider, or .846 lbs, meaning that in a 6 gallon batch, I’d be looking at about 5.08 lbs of existing fermentable sugars. When you’re looking at this in comparison to grape juice, which (using concord grapes as an example) have about 1.27 lbs per gallon, a 6 gallon batch would be 7.62 lbs of base sugar.
With the apple, I’m planning to make it a semi-sweet, that’s somewhat spiced, I’ll be doing this by taking about 60% of it, and mulling it with assorted spices for 24 hours on warm in the large crockpot. After that time, I’ll be adding the cider, and all spices that are in the pot into the fermentation bucket, and adding the remaining cider. I prefer dry wines, but in this case I feel like I should leave a hint of sweetness just to retain the cider feel, which is something I don’t usually do. So I’m going to add some additional fermentable sugars in my mulling stage. I’m going to add this in the form of Maple Syrup – an average 32oz container has about 1.69lbs of sugar, so I’ll likely add a half of a gallon.
Still making up my mind on a yeast, but leaning towards my standard Lalvin EC-1118, which I’ve had very good luck with in the past. It has a high alcohol tolerance, and because of that should ferment out the majority of the 8.59 lbs of sugar in the batch. I typically don’t add any additional sugars, but am often doing a smaller batch, so we’ll see how this goes!