Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cider (Apfelwein)

Apple juce for Aplelwine

After a recent discussion at my local home brew club meeting I was interested in trying my hand at making a cider.  Researching on the Internet lead me to the now fairly famous recipe for Edwort's apfelwein which can be found here.  Edworts Apfelwein 

This thread on is very long but full of great information on many peoples experiences and recipe variations.  I have not read the thread in its entirety but I did read many pages and gathered enough information to give it a try.  I did modify the original recipe slightly based on some of the information I read and this is what I came up with.

Aaron's Edwort  Cider

2 gallons Treetop 100% apple juice (No preservatives or additives)
1 gallon Treetop Three apple 100% cider (No preservatives or additives)
5 Oz's Dextrose (priming sugar)
1 pkg Lalvin 71B-1122

Add one gallon of Treetop apple juice to the fermenter
Add 1/2 gallon of the apple cider to the fermenter
Combined the dextrose and the remaining 1/2 gallon of cider, close the container and shake well
Add the remaining cider/dextrose mixture to the fermenter
Add dry yeast to fermenter
Top off the fermenter with remaining apple juice (washing any dry stuck to the funnel into fermenter)
Gently agitate the fermenter to blend all ingredients
Attach airlock 
Ferment and bottle once clear (aprox 4 weeks)

This was by far the easiest and cheapest thing I have ever fermented.  The entire process took less than ten minutes and the grand total cost was about fifteen dollars which works out to less than fifty cents per 12oz bottle.  For the simplicity and cost, if this comes out decent I will definitely make it again whenever I have a spare fermenter laying around.  

Deviations from the Original Edwort recipe

1.  The Edwort recipe calls for only Treetop apple juice.  I added 1/3 of the recipe apple cider.  I was not originally planning on this but saw the cider while buying the juice and thought it may give an added dimension to the flavor.

2.  Edwort's recipe calls for 2lbs of dextrose for a five gallon batch giving his apfelwein an ABV of somewhere around 8%.  Scaling his recipe for three gallons I should have added a little bit over a pound of dextrose.  I wanted my cider to be somewhere around 5% ABV and had a 5oz package of priming sugar on hand so that is the amount that I used.

3.  While reading the apfelwein thread I discovered that using the Red Star Montrachet yeast in the original recipe can cause some very unpleasant smells during fermentation lasting several days.  The Lavin yeast I used seemed to produce good results for others on the forum and no unpleasant odors.  

Current Status
My cider has been in the fermenter for almost 4 weeks now and is almost fully clear now.  I had no bad odors during fermentation using the Lavin yeast.  I intend to bottle carbonate my cider as I personal prefer my ciders carbonated but this is just personal preference.  I should be bottling within a week and I will get my first taste then.  I am really hoping it is good because it is so simple to make.


  1. So how did it turn out? I'd be interested in trying this out.

  2. I'm always interested in hearing how people's batches turn out. I make EdWorts Apfelwein all the time. I just aged this last batch with blueberries for a time!

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