Apfelwein German Hard Cider Recipe
Apfelwein (German Hard Cider) - 5 Gallon Batch
This is an exceedingly simple recipe to make a delicious and potent Apfelwein Apple Hard Cider. The finished product should result in about 8.5% abv with a dry, crisp, tart finish. Serve cold in the summer or warm it up like cider on a chilly evening.
- 5 gallons 100% apple juice (pure, no preservatives, ascorbic acid is OK)
- 2 lbs dextrose (granulated corn sugar)
- 1 pack Montrachet yeast
- Clean and sanitize carboy, airlock, stopper and funnel.
- Pour half of a 1-gal container of apple juice into the carboy using the funnel.
- Pour 1/5th of the dextrose into the remaining apple juice in the container, shake well to dissolve sugar.
- Add dissolved mixture of sugar and apple juice into carboy, repeat until all sugar and juice is added to the carboy and fully dissolved except for 1-2 quarts of juice.
- Open yeast, and pour whole packet into opening of funnel.
- Use last 1-2 quarts of apple juice to rinse yeast slowly into carboy.
- Cap carboy with stopper and airlock
- Let sit at room temperature (60-75 degrees) fermenting for 4 weeks minimum.
- There is little need to rack as the cider will ferment very clear. Secondary fermentation is also completely optional.
- Bottle and store between 4 and 10 weeks – the cider will vastly improve with age.
- Patience! Store as long as possible, with flavor greatly improving past 6 months.
- More Sugar = More Alcohol, add 1 lbs more dextrose for an extra boost!
- Champagne yeast such as the Montrachet leads to a very dry, clean cider. For sweeter cider, many prefer to back-sweeten this recipe with more apple juice, lactose, brown sugar, or honey.
- Alternative yeasts (ale, mead) can be experimented with, resulting in a sweeter product.
- Racking, fining, carbonation etc... although not necessary with this recipe, each has their place in a winemaker’s toolbox and can be applied here.
- Make Grog, Mulled Wine, or Spiced Cider with your Apfelwein. Or, add cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin spice, vanilla, cloves, etc to fine-tune the flavor.
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