Because You Love It - Apfelwein: Hard Cider

Apfelwein: Hard Cider

This amazing rendition of German hard cider came from a very famous forum member over at HomebrewTalk nicknamed EdWort. I've mentioned it before in my post about starting your own ciderhouse and brewing my recipe for blackberry cider but since so many have asked I guess it's time to re-post his recipe here - because it really is easy and outstandingly delicious. I've yet to meet a single person, cider-lover or hater, that didn't like this brew. The only caveat is that you must let it age a minimum of six months before you drink it. The batches I have that are older than a year, are delightful.

Style & Targets
Apfelwein - Champagne-like, Dry Hard Cider
9% abv
6 gallons Preservative Free Apple Juice (I like Kirkland Fresh-pressed)
2 lbs dark brown sugar (EdWort uses dextrose but I find this adds more flavor)
1 packet Montrachet Yeast

6 gallon Better Bottle (or Glass Carboy)
Stopper & Airlock

Get all your ingredients and save at:
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Sanitize a 6 gallon carboy, Better Bottles work great for this, and dump in the first gallon of juice. Add the first pound of sugar and shake the hell out of the carboy. Add another gallon and give that carboy another round of shaking until the sugar is dissolved. Add the second pound of sugar and repeat violent shaking. You can add half of each of the remaining gallons to the carboy and then shake (in the individual gallon jug) the juice like crazy before you put it in the carboy. Pitch the yeast and let that sucker sit in a cool dark place for 3 months before you transfer it to secondary and wait between 3 to 9 months before kegging and carbonating.

If you haven't figured it out yet, the key is lots and lots of initial aeration! Your yeast and apfelwein consumers will thank you. The more yeast you have and the closer your temperature is to 64 F, the better this stuff will taste.

Love me some Montrachet! This recipe is amazingly easy and requires no boil and under $30 worth of ingredients. You can grow or shrink the recipe to any size, just keep the right ratio and aging time.

As the warning says, this stuff will get you drunk! I haven't personally had issues with hangovers while drinking it but remember that is it like wine and about 9% abv when fully fermented. Oh, and brew two batches at once, a year from now you'll really wish you had more!

Cheers to EdWort!