Do you love the sweet and sour taste of apples?
Not sure how to add them to your beer or what kind of apples to use?
Brewing beer with apples is simpler than you think!
Apples can be used in many beer styles – give it a try!
Continue reading, as this article will teach you about brewing with apples!
Brewing Beer with Apples
Apples to Use When Brewing
You may be tempted to throw a bushel of apples into your wort, but that’s not the best way to get that crisp, tart flavor.
Most commercial brewers use an apple-flavored extract instead.
A great option is frozen apple juice.
It won’t leave sediment and tastes the same.
But be aware that the sugars are almost 100% fermentable, so you may want to add some crystal malt for sweetness.
If you add apples during fermentation, don’t use the whole fruit, as it won’t impart the apple taste.
Stick with frozen apple juice.
Try these Orange Beer recipes too.
Amount of Apple to Use
You may want to vary the amount of apple you use in your recipe depending on the flavor you’re aiming for, the beer type, and the apple type (juice, extract, or concentrate).
We recommend frozen apple juice for the best results.
Half a gallon per 5-gallon batch should be enough, but you can add more for a more robust apple flavor.
Avoid using whole apples, dried apples, or crystal malt, as these won’t give you the desired outcome.
Stick to frozen apple juice or apple cider – half a gallon.
How To Brew With Apples
You already know that using whole apples isn’t the best way to brew with apples.
So, how should you use them?
You have two options for adding apple flavoring to your beer:
Adding Frozen Juice/Cider to the Wort
Try using apple juice instead of the whole fruit in your wort.
It’s the best alternative to freshly picked apples.
The juice will ferment without any issues.
If you use apples, they’ll soak up much of the wort, so you won’t get far.
Adding Apple Extract Before Racking
No need to worry about finding the right apple type or preservatives.
This extract will give you a similar flavor and mix perfectly for bottling.
Adding Juice/Cider to Fermentation
You’ll need to wait for secondary fermentation to finish, but it’s much better than using whole apples.
During primary fermentation, add the juice or cider to your beer.
Examples of Beers or Cider Mixes
Simple Apple-Flavored Beer
- 5 kg of ripe apples
- 750 ml Sahara
- 20 g of raisins
- One cinnamon stick
- Five medium-star anise stars
- Pass the apples through a chopper to get a puree.
- Mix the grated apples with sugar in an enormous container, and cover it with cheesecloth.
- Put the dishes in a warm, dark place for four days.
- Squeeze the apple gruel and pour it into glass containers.
- Add spices, cover with a water seal, or gloves with one pierced finger.
- Let the drink sit in a dark, warm place for two months.
- When it’s clear and sediment has collected at the bottom, filter and pour into bottles.
- Close them tightly and leave them in a cool, dark place for three months.
- Make sure the beer doesn’t come into contact with air, or it will turn to vinegar.
You may be wondering what graf is.
It’s a beer with mostly apple juice and a small batch of lightly-hopped pale ale wort.
The result is a cider-forward drink with a subtle beer character.
This is achieved by blending malt sweetness, and low-bitter hops into store-bought apple juices.
This mimics the bitter-sweet and bitter-sharp apples used to make dry ciders.
Brewing the Graf
Try mixing store-bought ciders with your homebrews to see how the flavors interact.
Then, make a few 1-gallon test batches to perfect your recipe before scaling up.
With no style guidelines for graf, you have plenty of room to be creative.
Yeast selection can take it to the next level with the following:
- Belgian-style yeasts add spicy, estery components.
- Lager yeasts prevent apple aromas from being lost.
And don’t forget about spices, adjuncts, and wood-aging for barrel complexity.
You can make graf by mixing apple juice and beer wort.
It’s best to use ale yeast and ferment it at the temperature recommended for that yeast.
Do note that:
- You’ll need a blow-off system or extra head space in the fermenter because it creates a lot of foam. Some brewers ferment the beer and cider separately and then blend them.
- When it’s done fermenting, you can bottle or keg it.
- Carbonate it to the level of the beer style used, or a bit higher for lighter, cider-forward graf.
Other Beers are good with Apple.
- Fruited Sour Ale
- Belgian-style or American Tripel
- American Lager/Pilsner
- American Pale Ale
- American Amber Ale
- American Brown Ale
Here You can also enjoy the perfect summer drink – Watermelon Beer.
Summing It All Up
You should avoid using whole apples when brewing beer with apples.
Instead, add the juices at different stages of the process.
For a 5-gallon batch, add half a gallon of apple juice or cider to the wort when there are about 20 minutes left in the boil.
This will give your beer the perfect apple flavor.
Don’t be afraid to try making apple beers! It’s a simple and refreshing drink.
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