View Full Version : Apple Cider Wine/ Apple Jack?

09-02-2013, 07:16 AM
I'm making an apple grinder and Press for the apple on my 5 Apple Tress.

I had a guy at work say "Hey, you can make AppleJack!"

Well I have read that people freeze it and then you can go blind from drinking it...( kinda makes me wonder if it's an old wise tale like Mom saying "if you XXX too much you'll go blind" lol!)

But anyway I wanna make a nice Apple Cider Mead ( why use sugar when you can us honey!)

Just wondering if anyone has any recipes for a good Cider/Cinamon Mead?

I'm sure I can figure it out but it's nice to have something to go by... and even though mom was wrong (lol) I still don't wanna go blind!

09-02-2013, 08:01 AM
It sounds like you are aiming for a cyser. Here is a thread I have bookmarked about that: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8258. I am oaking my first cyser now but the last time I tasted it, it was very good and I want to drink it NOW. This is what I used for a 5 gallon batch.

4 gal Apple juice
8.5 lb of Clover honey
⅓ cup Molasses (trying for brown sugar without the sugar)
5 Cinnamon sticks
⅓ cup Raisins
4 cans Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate (to backsweeten)
stick medium+ french oak spiral
Lalvin 71B-1122
1 tsp Pectic enzyme

Everything but the juice concentrate and oak went in the primary. After it fermented dry, I stabilized it and added the juice concentrate and a little more honey to get to it my desired sweetness, 1.020 in this case. This is my first oaking experiment so I went VERY light but plan to leave it in for 6 weeks. I also used the following items for pH, pectin and yeast food (using SNA):

6.5 g Potassium Bicarbonate
9.1 g Fermaid K
9.1 g Diammonium Phosphate
3 tsp Pectic enzyme

09-02-2013, 10:21 AM
The going blind tales go back to the early days of the colonies when Cider was a beverage of choice and fermentation standards loose. Fractal distillation will strengthen impurities, so if a ferment is impure, and has let's say, a lot of fusel alcohols from imperfect brewing, then these will be strengthened after skimming off the water. If you have a clean ferment, it should not cause any problems --- having said this, fractal distillation is supposed to be illegal in the States...

Chevette Girl
09-03-2013, 07:10 PM
I've done freeze-concentration a few times (it's legal here). Still not blind.

I like adding a cinnamon stick per gallon as a starting point. I did a cyser with home-pressed cider (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18584) and a bottle-carbonated hard cider (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18668) two years ago and am gearing up to doing another cyser this year.

09-03-2013, 07:20 PM
I have to admit, I accidentally left a bottle of cider in the freezer, and what I poured off tasted like a fine, smooth bourbon without the bite...

Chevette Girl
09-03-2013, 07:23 PM
Freeze-concentration does just that, if it was good to start with, it's really good, if it was meh to start with, it's just more potent meh... if there were flaws, they'll be concentrated too.

09-04-2013, 09:09 AM
Technically, freezing and removing the water leaving higher alcohol content behind is not leagal without a license in the US. Sadly, the feds define distillation to include freezing. :( However, unlike traditional distillation, there really is no hardware to find. So, unless you talk about it publically, like on this board, you will never get charged with it. :p

As for going blind, that is the methanol. Concentration "might" leave more behind, but very, very, very unlikely enough to make you go blind. Even regular distillation seldom has enough to make you blind. A half way knowledgeable distiller knows to dump the first pint or so which contains all of the methanol since it evaporates at the lowest temperature.

Next you get the "heads" or coginers which have flavor, but also give bad headaches. Middle is the "hearts", or ethanol, which is the "vodka" or pure drinking alcohol. Finally near the end you get the "tails" or fusel oils/alcohols. Those just taste bad and usually also smell bad. Kind of oily on the fingers too. None of these will make you go blind. They just taste or smell bad and may cause headaches. This is why "good" liquor costs more, they are stingy about only keeping the hearts and dumping the heads and tails except a small amount to give them their house flavor/aroma.

So why the wive's tail about going blind? Because there is not as big of a market for methanol, and the woody parts of plants produce it making it a cheap base ingredient. So people looking to make a fast buck would make liquor and fortify it with pure cheap methanol. That is what makes people go blind. Purposefully adding methanol and passing it off as ethanol, not accidently concentrating it!

That said, don't try this at home without a little training, and of course a license.