Monday, December 31, 2007

Apfelwein Anyone?

I believe that my next brewing adventure will be an excursis into Apfelwein: a German hard cider or apple wine. I love hard cider and as I was buying a six-pack of Woodchuck Dark Draft ($9.95) I thought, "Hmm.. I bet I could brew something like this!" I started researching hard cider and viola! I found Apfelwein!

This hard cider seems to be popular in Germany and actually has a special 0.3 liter glass that is used to quaff it called a "Geripptes" or a "Schoppen." For larger quantities, Apfelwein is served in a 1 - 1.2 liter stoneware jug called a "Bembel" that is gray with blue detailing. Look out eBay!

The recipe seems simple:
5 gal Apple Cider
2 lbs Dextrose (corn sugar)
1 packet Montrachet yeast

After fermentation and clearing, I will try my hand at carbonating with more corn sugar and into either flip-top bottles or growlers. The Apfelwein should finish dry (FG: 0.99) and be quite quaffable (ABV: 5-7%). The best part is that I should be able to make 5 gal for less than $20.

-Safari Bob

Friday, December 7, 2007

More Racking Fun: 3-007 Buckwheat

Today, in a desperate attempt to stave off the inevitable writing of a paper, I racked 3-007: The Buckwheat Traditional. This is a show mead in that it is simply buckwheat honey, water, and yeast. I was cautioned against this by some other mazers but I wanted to try it.

Wow! The must tastes sour with some coffee-like bitterness that is not at all unpleasant. I cannot wait to try it after it matures. OG: 1.102; SG: 0.996; ABV: 14.7%

-Safari Bob