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Crazy idea

I disagree adding juice to extract is way different than mashing with it. Going to make 2 completely different beers IMO

Oh I agree. Adding juice to wort is way different than mashing with it. OP said he’d likely stay away from mashing with juice and if he does he’s simply adding cider to wort whether he makes it himself or uses extract.

I felt it was easier to boil the juice then add the extract. If he makes his own wort he will end up with to much liquid and will need to add concentrate. I’ve made cider from concentrate and really doesn’t compare to using the fresh pressed stuff. But yes you can do it either way.


Gotcha. You’re coming at it from a different angle and that sounds like it would work. Use your cider to boil and add extract to boost the ABV and get ‘beer’ flavor he’s looking for. In that case this is what I would do!

Suggestions noted. But another question concerning hops/bitterness:

Considering how much sugar there is going to be in this brew, how much hops would you suggest to bitter it up, without moving it into IPA territory, and still allowing it to be as malt-forward as possible?

The more 100% fermentables like honey and sugar you add the less hops you want IMO. I would do a calculation and hover around or under 20 IBUs. If you can get actual tangy cider apples rather than just juice you might want to even take it down a bit further in the IBUs

You could adjust the pH of the cider with chemicals such as calcium hydroxide. However lets focus on what you are trying to do. By mashing grain in apple cider you are trying to combine the flavor of beer with apple cider in their two concentrated forms. If you wanted to blend beer and fermented cider, you would just blend. You are trying to maximize the flavor profiles of both.
As others suggested, why not use extract in apple juice to accomplish this?

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You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m trying to maximize the flavor profiles of both. So, why not use extract? A couple of reasons:

  1. I like the total control an all grain mash gives me. I am not beholden to someone else’s work, what I create is entirely my creation, for better or worse.

  2. I’m not sure that I can create the beer style I want using extract, though I’ll admit, this is just because of my lack of knowledge of extracts. I’ve only used them once before. I’m sure there’s an extract for every kind of grain I’d want to use. But, see above.

  3. Part of the point of doing this whole thing was to see if mashing in apple cider was even possible, and if so, if a great result could be achieved. If this works, I may try other things in the future.

But, I’m glad you’re picking up what I’m putting down. :blush:

OK then get some calcium hydroxide and google how to safely handle it. Get a cup of apple cider to titrate with a calcium hydroxide solution. Calcium hydroxide is a strong base so have to dilute it to get a meaningful measure. I am assuming you don’t have a scale that can measure a 1/100 grams. As a first guess, dissolve a tablespoon of calcium hydroxide in a cup of water. Then add this dropwise to the apple juice and measure the pH after stirring. This is a guess you need trial and error to figure out how much calcium hydroxide to add to get to a pH of 5.2 to 5.5. When you know this amount for a cup of cider, you can calculate amount for whatever your mash volume is.

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Having done a lot of experiments like this the only advice I really have is to watch out for any type of preservative a manufacture might add. The only experiment that was trouble was one where I replaced the water in a recipe with ginger ale that had sodium benzoate in it which made fermentation difficult.

These were popular a while back white stout

Going out on a limb here…
Mash as you would… on the dry side… use the malt you want… adjust to desired ABV… Then for yer rinse…(sparging) use the apple juice…
You’d “convert” alot of sugars from the malt… then rinse, “extract”, the sugars with the juice to yer desired volume…
Verify yer gravity… boil… flame out…now its time to add the honey… time to adjust OG…

What do the calculations for doing this look like?

Also, why use calcium hydroxide instead of calcium carbonate (precipitated chalk)? Is there a particular reason for this?

I’m finalizing my recipe now, and the ph is the final sticking point. I’m wondering what will happen if I just leave it at 3.5 - 4, but I’m guessing nothing good.

Enzymes in the mash… Those convert starch to sugar… AND they also temp critical… There is alot of info to can find about it… Palmers book… how to brew… is very technical… but he explains this… and so much more…

Temp I knew about. I’m actually planning a 90 min mash: 30 min at around 142, then 60 min around 155, to try to maximize enzymatic activity. But it’s the ph that had me worried. I know mashing in will drop my ph, and if I start with an acidic 3.5, they can’t be good. I just don’t know HOW bad it would be, or what would happen.

It takes alot more understanding than can be relayed in a thread… Color of malt and how much… water pH… A way to test and verify the instrument is accurate…
Again… make some time to read about pH and its effects on brewing… Perhaps you’ll get to know why it isn’t so simple… Not dissing you… but knowing how to manipulate it will change up yer brewing…

I prefer calcium hydroxide because it is very soluble and calcium carbonate is not. If it does not dissolve, it does not work all that well. Calcium hydroxide is more likely to work. You are pushing the envelope with your trying to mash with apple cider and in unknown territory. The use of residual pH and the programs using the correlations (which are really not that good) may not work very well with apple cider rather than water. Have some calcium hydroxide solution on hand and lactic acid to allow for pH changes during mash and adjust accordingly.

I really think you were given some good advice by others to maybe use a malt extract with apple cider and avoid the mash altogether. This allows you to crawl first before you walk.


I’ve not used Calcium Hydroxide… What very few times I went too low… Baking soda worked… Water is hot… and recirc the whole time, pre-mash corrections… My well water changes… so pH meter and creeping on down is how I fly…

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Just spitballing here…But, if my wort is acidic, will some of my sugars invert during the boil?

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