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Caramel Apple Cider

I’ve only made one batch of hard cider so I’m about as newbie as it comes here. The results were not good but I know what I did wrong. Anyway, I searched the site and couldn’t find any info on my idea and would like some feedback on how this might (or might not) work. I want to make a caramel apple cider using steeping grains. The batch size would be 2-2.5 gallons (using an old Mr. Beer fermenter).

Here’s what I was thinking:

Heat about 1.75-2 gallons of water to ~170*

Add 1.5-2 pounds of crystal malt (C40 &/or C60) for the caramel flavor
Add some honey malt (not sure how much) for some extra sweetness since most of the sugars from the apple concentrate will ferment out.

Steep for 20-30 minutes, remove grains and add as many cans of frozen apple juice concentrate that I need to get to ~1.060-70ish and 2.5 gallons volume (and bring the temp down).

Pour into Mr Beer barrel & ferment with some muntons when it gets to pitching temp

Would this work (well)?


I’ve never tried malt with cider … but my instinct is that the flavors may not play well together for my taste buds. But back sweetening with a touch of caramel syrup (like they use at coffee shops) might get you the flavor you’re looking for … and you can experiment with little effort/cost and whatever cider you happen to have on hand.

Thanks. I’m planning on trying this out for my Christmas brew to give out. I’ll give the crystal/honey malt a try and see what happens. Maybe reduce the amounts used. Being a small batch it’s not much in cost and time and I have plenty of time to adjust with another batch or two.

Hoped for more responses though to see if anyone else has tried something like this.

Without the caramel element, I have tried this following a recipe found elsewhere for “Brandon’s Graff.” It came out very very tart. I like the idea to backsweeten with caramel syrup. But am currently dealing with 15 gal of wine from last fall.

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