Apfelwein finishing

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Apfelwein finishing

Postby ScottK on Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:09 pm

I have a two year old apfelwein that I tried today for the first time in over a year. It is very clean, almost too clean, if that's possible. There is only a subtle hint of apple in it and no boozy taste at all. I'm pleased with the absence of alcohol taste as it's 9%, but I was really hoping for more apple. I was thinking about kegging it and then adding to it in the glass to taste, but not sure how to go about it. I can drink it as is, but I'm thinking about the holidays and my family that knows nothing about taste and wanting to spice it up a bit for them. Have any of you spruced up a cider or apfelwein? Bwarbiany?
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Re: Apfelwein finishing

Postby bwarbiany on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:33 pm

I've never done anything to spruce it up. I think one of the great things about it is how clean and easy to drink it is, and how deceptive that 8.5-9% is. At the very same time, I think one of the things I hate about it is how clean and neutral it is, as it doesn't have a huge blast of flavor or character. I think that's what you get when you get a few gallons of grocery-store apple juice, a bag of sugar, and wine yeast ;-)

If it's for family, I'd almost err on leaving it as-is. The apple is present but not assertive. Going for *big* flavor can backfire with that group, especially if it's for holiday events when the alternative might be white wine for some folks. We, as brewers, want big, aggressive flavors. Most of our families, however, probably don't.

That said, if you want to spruce it up, especially for the holidays, I'd consider sprucing it up along an "apple pie" idea -- back-sweeten it, add some traditional apple pie spices like cinnamon, and see where it goes. Of course, this is just a back-of-the-envelope idea, it might not work. But if I wanted to rework an apfelwein into a "holiday" beverage, that's what I'd do.
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Re: Apfelwein finishing

Postby ScottK on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Thanks Brad. I think I'm leaving towards leaving it alone and telling the family to suck it up and enjoy. I might keep some mulling spices on hand just in case. Thanks for the input. I will experiment a little with some cinnamon maybe.
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