Just in time for fall, we now have Brewer's Best Cider House Select premium craft cider kits available. They contain 5.3lbs of apple juice concentrate that has been balanced for flavor and color. Easy to follow instructions are conveniently printed on the back of the package. You will need 2lbs of corn sugar, or honey, and some Cote De Blanc wine yeast, or Wyeast Cider Yeast The kits are designed to make 6 gallons but have more intense flavor if you make 5 gallons. We are happy to have a good cider extract finally available after a long absence. The concentrate would also be good to add to a mead for another delicious fall beverage.
|Corn Sugar- 2lb bag||$4.00|
|Cote De Blanc- Dry yeast for hard cider.||$.69|
|Wyeast Cider Yeast- A liquid yeast that is clean and well balanced. Using this yeast will really make your cider stand out in the orchard.|
Here's a great recipe for the Fall which requires some additional work if you're used to making extract beers. Although the spices used in the recipe provide much of the flavor in this brew, the pumpkin adds some body. This beer should come out every bit as good as the spiced pumpkin ales that will soon start to appear on the shelves of your favorite liquor store.
This recipe calls for the use of real pumpkin which needs to be prepared ahead of time. Although you can use canned pumpkin meat, we do not suggest doing so for several reasons. The main drawback is that, after fermentation, the residues from the pumpkin meat cause a concrete like slab to form on the bottom of your fermenter. Furthermore, the pulpy consistency of the canned pumpkin mush will invariably lead to a lot of chill haze in the finished product (although this can be corrected by using pectic enzyme). If you are dead set on using canned pumpkin, make sure that you use a brand that contains no preservatives. Otherwise, your pumpkin ale might not ferment.
Includes the following ingredients: 3.3 Lbs Liquid Amber Malt Extract, 3.3 Lbs Liquid Gold Malt Extract, 1 Lb Crystal 60 L, 1 Oz. Willamette Bittering Hops, 1 Oz. East Kent Goldings Aroma Hops, 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves, 1 teaspoon Irish Moss
3/4 - 7/8 cup dextrose, Yeast. You will have to supply 4lbs of pumpkin.
1. To prepare pumpkin, slice it into 6 or 8 equal sized wedges, remove seeds and rinse well. Place wedges skin-side down in a roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil and cook in a preheated oven at 300 F. for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is soft. When it has cooled, divide the pumpkin into 2 equal portions. Scoop out the pumpkin meat from one portion and set aside. This will be added to the brew pot and the remaining wedges will be added to the fermenter.
2. Crush specialty grains and pour into a muslin grain bag and steep grains in 3 gallons of water heated to 140 - 170 F. for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove the grain bag after steeping, allow excess liquid to drain and discard.
3. Remove pot from heat and dissolve malt extract in brew pot and add Willamette bittering hops at this time. Bring to a boil. When boil begins, add cleaned pumpkin meat and boil for 45 minutes.
4. After you have boiled for 30 minutes, add the Irish moss. Add aroma hops after you have boiled the wort for 35 minutes. Add the spices after you have boiled for 40 minutes. Boil for another 5 minutes and remove pot from the stove. Allow spices to steep for 5 - 10 minutes before cooling wort. Although you can use a wort chiller, if you do not have one you can immerse you brew pot in a cold or ice water bath for about 30 - 40 minutes.
5. After cooling the wort, pour it into your fermenter, and then top off with cold water. We suggest that you use spring water or any good drinking water that does not contain any chlorine compounds. At this time, you can also add the pumpkin wedges. After the wort has cooled down to at least 80 F, add your yeast and ferment as usual.
6. After 7 - 10 days, transfer to a secondary fermenter or bottle. If desired, you can add a small amount of cinnamon and nutmeg if you want your beer to have a very strong spice flavor. 7. Enjoy (in moderation, of course).
Ask Dr. Zoot -Your Brewing Questions Answered
Q. Q. How should I handle a fermentation with lager yeast?
A. If using liquid yeast, it is best to have a large starter ready ( 1 - 2 liters ), or use a Wyeast Activator package. With this much yeast, you will be able to pitch the yeast at a cooler temperature, than if you used a smaller amount of yeast. Conducting the entire fermentation process at lager temperatures will result in a much smoother beer. You should do the initial fermentation at about 50 - 55 F. for best results. Secondary fermentation should be 5 -1 0 degrees cooler than that (the traditional method is to lower the temperature 1 degree every day until 32 F is reached). Most lagers are best after at least 3 weeks of cold secondary fermentation (lagering). If using a dry lager yeast, you can increase the initial fermentation temperature up to about 60 F.
Q. How can I replicate the smoothness of a lager using ale yeast?
A. For starters, using liquid yeast will result in a cleaner flavor, generally speaking. The strains mentioned in the article are good places to start. The other key is fermentation temperature. If you can brew the beer at 60 F or below you will end up with a very clean flavored beer . This will allow the maltiness to shine through and minimize the fruity/estery flavors. Finally, make sure that the beer does not linger in the primary fermenter, this can also be a source of unwanted off flavors that will detract from the enjoyment of the beer.Q. Can I make cider from apple juice?
A. Yes! You will need to find a supply of apple juice that doesn't contain any preservatives or additives. The best option is to buy it from a local orchard in your area. Usually orchards have fresh pressed juice available, just make sure you let them know you are going to make it into hard cider and don't want any preservatives. It is simply a matter of adding the fresh pressed juice to your fermenter and adding either a Wyeast Cider Yeast or a Cote De Blanc dry yeast to the fermenter. I ferment it out until the active fermentation is over and then transfer to a secondary and wait for it to clear before bottling. Some add yeast nutrient and acid blend during the fermentation, but I only do this if the fermentation is slow or the acidity is way off. If you need more information just give us a call we will be happy to help with any questions.
Happy Brewing, and Cider Making!