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Cider Reduction

I’m looking for feedback on an idea I have. Perhaps someone has even tried this already.

My wife and I have a couple of favorite recipes that call for making a syrup or glaze out of apple cider by reducing it in a pan on the stove. The result is delicious. What would happen if I made a hard cider that started out as 5 gallons of fresh cider, plus another gallon that had been reduced down to a syrup?

I expect the alcohol content would be higher due to a higher OG. I hope the apple flavor might be a touch stronger. I’m guessing it might add a bit of a caramel flavor.

I have not tried this but it sounds wonderful. Go for it!

Dave isn’t that was cause pectin haze? Thats why I ask about RO to remove the water and leave the juice in a concentrated manner. You could always add some of the water to find a gravity that would balance a bit more alcohol and apple. Sneezles61 :blah:

RO is an interesting idea for concentrating apple juice. Not sure I would try that though, might mess up your RO system. But if you had an old one that you didn’t much care about, it’s an interesting suggestion and should work.

Sounds kind of similar to ice cider (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cider), except you are heat reducing the water instead of ice-reducing it. I’ve been wanting to try ice cider at some point, but as I don’t have a reliable source for apples, I haven’t been able to yet. And this year’s harvest is terrible, so I don’t expect anyone to offer. Maybe next year…

I would be concerned about a couple issues: pectin as Sneezles brought up is easily fixed with pectic enzyme. In fact, I recommend that for any cider if you want it to be clear. The other issue is the carmalization flavors. They may or may not be recognizable after the yeast get done with the fermentation. Or it may get turned into something horrible. But the only way to know is to try it.

Let us know how it comes out.

Last year, I made a cider that was blended between a gallon of fresh cider and a gallon that I, ahem, accidentally freeze concentrated. I left a gallon out overnight, and the next morning it was nice and slushy. I inverted it over a quart jar and the syrupy concentrate dripped out, leaving mostly ice behind. These were blended and fermented. I have yet to bottle it, but when I last racked it, the concentrate definitely added a flavor boost. I’d absolutely do this again.

Reducing on the stove to a syrup would also work, but heating it will certainly drive off some of the aromatics and change the flavor. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’ll just be different. Let us know how it works!

After doing some reading online I think I will abandon this idea, at least for my first cider attempt. Many folks seem to think that boiling cider will be pretty detrimental to its flavor. I do really like the idea of freeze-concentrating some of it prior to fermentation though. I may give that a try.

I wouldn’t abandon it entirely… but what about making the syrup separately from the fermented cider and adding a shot of it to the glass at serving? If you like the flavor of the syrup, I’d roll with it. This way you aren’t sacrificing an entire batch if it doesn’t pan out, but still get the flavor and sweetness boost.

I actually did this for my last cider, and the results were interesting. It was quite good, although it did have some drawbacks. Overall I prefered the syrup version than the plain.

Basically the finished product ended up being Darker, Sweeter, More ‘appley’, less clean and crisp, and Fuller Bodied than my previous batch without the syrup. Final gravity was 1.005, the highest ever from any cider I’ve made!

It also ended up with a touch of stewed-apple flavour, but it wasn’t hugely pronounced. Whilst it probably is strictly an undesirable aspect, it wasn’t offputting, and most non-cider-drinking people that tried it didn’t notice until it was pointed out to them.

One question. Is anyone concerned about methanol concentration in freeze concentration of cider

Not really. Consume only in moderation to avoid nasty headaches.

I freeze/concentrate all of my cider. It goes straight from the press into glass gallons and straight to the freezer. After partial thawing, I get 1.06 to 1.07 SG which makes for a shelf stable cider - no preservatives or refrigeration. Not only is the sugar concentrated but also the flavors.

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