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Cider Wheat Ale

So I was pretty busy last weekend, had one last extract bottle, and a few ounces of a few tasty grains. Getting into the fall spirit, I tried my hand at a cider beer. Maybe not the best idea, as all of the apple beers I’ve tried have been…well, gross. Here’s to hoping this works out better!

1.8 lbs Flaked red winter wheat
.25 lbs Pale 2-row
.25 lbs Caramel 40L
.25 lbs Special B
60 min @ 150F

6 lbs Golden LME

1.5 Domestic Hallertau @ 60
0.75 Domestic Hallertau @ 30
0.5 Domestic Hallertau @ 15
0.25 Domestic Hallertau @ 5

Chilled, transferred to primary, pitched Safale S-04.

Tried to get the hop additions to the upper 20s because I figured bitterness would go down with the apple cider additions.

Next day, I was searching for cider but even the orchard I could get to adds potassium sorbate to theirs, so I ended up using Trader Joe’s spiced cider (pasteurized, shelf-stable, but no additional preservatives and still has a good, full apple flavor). I topped with a little over two gallons of the stuff, plus 3 teabags boiled and steeped 10 min in about a cup and a half for extra tannins (just to try as I’ve seen people do it when making ciders). Final volume after cider addition was about 5 gallons. It ended up making pretty good use of the blow off tube for the next two days (carboy now contains less than 5 gallons)…but it smells like beer and apples so far, which is pretty much what I was going for, and almost entirely unlike what I’ve tried from commercial breweries so far.

2 gallons Trader Joe’s spiced apple cider
1.5 cups Trader Joe’s spiced apple cider + 3 tea bags

SO…that’s where it’s at now. I wonder how it’ll work out.

I think this might turn out really nice. I’m curious how it will turn out with the tea in there – it could be overpowering, but maybe not. Best of luck to you! I think I see another apple ale in my near future!

Thanks! I’m pretty excited for it.

I hope the tea doesn’t do anything too funky - it steeped for a strong tea if it were to be had straight, but the actual bags of weren’t tossed into the primary. Huh. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

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