Again, Apfelwein

[ Comments Off ] Posted on 03.15.12 under Uncategorized

Of course I had to make it. Apfelwein. Apple juice + (optional) corn sugar + yeast = alcohol. Takes like five minutes to make, five weeks to ferment, and at least five days to consume. Cost per alcohol unit only compares to the prestigious Dubra. But yet it is home made and hand crafted, and seems somehow elevated in status because of these two small considerations.

Last time I made it (2/18 I reckon) I used 3# corn sugar in addition to the juice. The time before I used no corn sugar, so I got to know that the juice itself is 1.050. Along those lines I supposed 3# corn sugar was roughly 0.5 gallons, and calculated the OG of the most recent batch accordingly.

I did 4.5 gallons at 1.050 and then added 3# corn sugar. And that came up with about 1.080. As I kegged it tonight I measured the FG and got about 1.000. Beersmith tells me this thing is well north of 10% ABV.

I am skeptical. Though it is not sweet at all, and tastes mainly like the previous 1.050 6.5%-er, I will have to reserve judgement until I get a cold carbonated glass of the new stuff. That could take a week or so. And even then I’ll have no evidence to dispute either gravity reading. So it will surely stand.

Anticipate more bad mornings in my future. And not just because of some ridiculous work crisis. I think EdWort might just possibly be a m*!&#$@^$%er after all.


[ Comments Off ] Posted on 03.03.12 under Uncategorized

Been dipping into the archives to avoid *gasp* buying beer.

This has led me to one of the last two bottles of my Mind Melter IIIPA. It is a 17% ABV monster made to push the limits of what I could do. It was for a friend for his birthday a few years ago. It was what got me to get kegs. I knew I could not carbonate it in bottles. It is very special to me.

Crafted in the image of DFH120, it must be excellent or be left behind. I was eager and anxious both at the same time as I popped the cap on the bottle I had been cooling for a few days.

The hiss was not much. Evidence of lack of carbonation, which fortunately would be no big deal on a beer like this. I got my little brandy snifter thing out and poured a 6 oz serving. Two beers in one but at least not the whole thing at once.

It had held up remarkably well. No apparent cardboard or sherry. Pretty much matched up with my recollection of what it was all about. It definitely made me want to make it again. Until I stop and think about the raw labor involved.

I did incremental feedings. This meant I was in the garage cooking extract-based wort down to minimal volume three times in the week after I made the main wort (a mere 1.060 affair)

It was very tedious sitting there waiting for volume to boil off. Maybe it would be easier or less tedious now that I have a fancy Android device to serve me with infinite games (at least for the two hours the battery lasts!)

Conclsion: make a huge beer. 15% or more. Sean Paxton has a good technique (which I did not follow or refer to) for making a good quality DFH120 clone. Anyway it is fun and expensive but still a lot cheaper than commercial, and comes out just fine if you do it right.