Oct 03 2007

Making Sparkling Apple Wine – traditional and quick recipes

Published by myamii at 6:00 am under -Alcoholic, Beverages

For the past 2 months we have been on a sparkling wine-making frenzy. At first we just made a small 3 liter batch to see if it would work…and it did…so the next batch was 5 liters….and the one after that was 12 liters…ok, so we didn’t drink it all by ourselves…was served it at my birthday party and brought some to friends’ places when we were invited over. We’re making another batch again. This time it’s 5 liters.

There are only 3 ingredients required: apple juice, champagne yeast, and sugar (or fructose). (see recipe bellow)

We have tried different varieties of apple juice: “conventional” 100% apple juice and direct press (unfiltered) organic apple juice. There is actually a significant difference between the 2. The conventional apple juice will give you a clear, dry, and light flavor, while the direct press juice will give you a hardy, “typical” American cider (with fizz added). It is hard to chose which one I liked more. We did a taste test to compare them side by side, but still, they are really both excellent.

We also made a quick low alcohol version (see recipe bellow) that took 2 days to make. The fizzy-ness was really great (the same as with other champagnes/sparkling wines), but there was a much sweeter apple juice flavor there. We tried it with the direct press juice, and tonight I’ll try it with a conventional apple juice. I didn’t enjoy the sweetness of it b/c I’m generally not a big apple juice fan. That’s why I enjoy sparkling apple wine so much b/c it has the great apple flavor without the overwhelming sweetness of apple juice.

Sparkling Apple Wine (4%-6% alcohol content):
Equipment & Ingredients:
-any sized glass wine balloon or other “brewing” container from your local home-brewing store***
-a cork or plug with a water lock
-a siphon
-a funnel
-swing-top or flip-top beer bottles (the same amount as the amount of juice you use)
-granular sugar* or granular fructose
-100% “conventional” or “natural” (unfiltered) apple juice (any amount you want, just make sure you only fill up your container 3/4ths of the way!!)
-Champagne Yeast (won’t leave a bread flavor and will make really really tiny bubble – like in sparkling wine!)

Make sure the container you are using is really really clean (try a clorox/water solution).

Pour in your desired amount of apple juice and 1 packet of champagne yeast. Notice that I don’t tell you what size a packet is. In all actuality, it doesn’t matter since the amount of yeast will only determine the length of the process.

Place your water lock/stopper on the container and set it in a room-temperature/semi-warm location that is not in direct sun light.

It will start to bubble and you water lock will bob up and down. When the water lock sits flat and doesn’t move up any more, then the first stage is complete. But, don’t drink it just yet!

Using a funnel add 4-5 grams of sugar to each bottle. Then, siphon in the fermented apple juice into each bottle, making sure to leave about 4-5 centimeters of empty space at the top of each bottle.

Flip on the caps, turn a few times to mix the sugar, and then place the bottles on their sides in a dark room-temperature location (like in a cabinet or in your pantry). Depending on how cool or warm your home is the second stage of fermentation will take between 7-14 days (ie: the warmer it is, the faster it will go). You can let it sit longer to really work in. The best tasting one that we had sat for about 3 weeks before we drank it.

You can drink it at room temperature, but I find it tastes best really really cold, so store it in your refrigerator for a whole day before enjoying!
(did I miss any steps, husband??)

Quick Sparkling Apple Wine (1%-2% alcohol content):
Equipment & Ingredients:
-a 1,5 liter plastic bottle with lid (like a used water bottle that you can squeeze)
-1 liter of 100% apple juice (conventional or natural)
-1/8 teaspoon of Champagne yeast

Using a funnel, pour the apple juice into your plastic bottle. Pour in the champagne yeast, screw the lid on really tight, and twirl a bit to mix.

Place the bottle in a warm locations out of direct sun light. This should take about 6-12 hours to harden – squeeze the bottle and you will notice that it’s getting harder and harder to squeeze. Once it’s really hard (can’t squeeze anymore**), place it in your refrigerator. Let it cool – the rest of the day – and then drink!

It’s that simple!

***When we lived in the US, we got our equipment at Austin Homebrew – they ship in the US. Everytime we go back, we bring some of their Champagne yeast with us…it’s just great stuff!

**If you forget about your bottle, it may explode and gush apple wine all over the immediate area. So, make sure you remember, or leave it in your bathtub/shower just in case. This has never happened to us making the sparkling apple wine, but has happened to my husband when brewing beer.

*If you have a sugar intolerance, like I do, don’t worry, once the fermentation process is complete, the sugar will all be gone (the yeast eats it). However, if you are worried that you will drink it before the process is complete (as in you are making a batch in a 7-day hurry instead of a 14-day hurry), you may use granular fructose and achieve the same exact flavor and effect.


See comments #7 & 8 bellow for the straw explanation.

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14 responses so far

14 Responses to “Making Sparkling Apple Wine – traditional and quick recipes”

  1. [...] Just got dropped this pretty cool blog link about easy cider making from my girlfriend Heather… Thanks babe! http://forfood.rezimo.com/?p=409 [...]

  2. elaraelon 03 Oct 2007 at 9:50 pm

    Wow, this is a great idea, thanks for sharing!

  3. Jacobon 03 Oct 2007 at 11:13 pm

    The husband here. I just have a few corrections. I was using dextrose and not regular sugar (sucrose or glucose). Although in all actuality almost any sugar will ferment, the difference is the amount of flavor the sugar will impart. Dextrose I believe is more neutral. But a home brew supply place can advise better on that one.
    Its also REALLY important that the first fermentation phase is done before you try to add more sugar or bottle. If the sugar content of the cider is to high before bottling, then the bottles can explode or leak.
    My beer explosion was also because the hops clogged the water lock, which won’t happen with cider since there is no particulate, but its still important to make sure that your bottle has enough space inside for the cider to foam up. Otherwise it will come through the water lock and get everything sticky and attract a lot of fruit flies.

  4. steamy Kitchenon 11 Oct 2007 at 12:47 am

    great idea!!! i’ve never tried making my own before, but it sounds easy enough.

  5. victoriaon 22 Oct 2007 at 11:56 pm

    i don’t know if you’re still checking these comments, but i hope so. i am making this right now thanks to you. About how long would you say it takes for the air lock to stop bobbing up and down? Does is depend on how much wine you’re making? Thanks…

  6. myamiion 23 Oct 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Victoria: I check all my comments! My blog emails them to me, so I will always get your comments! Thanks for commenting by the way!

    Ok, so the air lock will stop bubbling depending on a few factors:
    1: is it winter or summer where you live? If it’s warm it will go faster than if it’s cold.
    2: do you have air conditioning or heat on right now? If you have air conditioning on it will probably go a bit slower.
    3: the natural sugar amount in the fruit juice you are using. Since you can use any 100% fruit juice to make sparkling wine, I cannot say for sure how long it will take. With our apple juice it takes a really large batch of 12 liters (about 3 Gallons) takes about 3 days in the summer and 10-15 days in the winter for the air lock to stop bubbling). If you only made about 1-2 Liters it could be done in 24 hours to 7 days.
    4: how much yeast you add. This only makes a difference at the beginning, eventually, the yeast will have multiplied so much that it won’t make a difference.

  7. gary don 09 Jan 2008 at 9:14 pm

    i have a 2lt coke bottle with balloon as air lock no hole in balloon its inflated half way it on 2 months any tips dont know how long it will take first time trying with balloon will it deflate its self gar d

  8. myamiion 10 Jan 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Gary: I consulted with my husband on if the balloon idea would work, and he said that the problem is that the air needs to escape. He suggested using a straw that you can twist into a lightning bolt shape or a hard plastic children’s straw that is already twisted into a shape where water will sit in the straw rather than draining out. It needs to go up and then down and then up and the top opening needs to be higher than the peek of the first part that went down. Wow…I think I just confused myself (see drawing that I added to the bottom of the post). Pour a bit of water into it so
    that it sits in the straw and when the gas is released from the bottle, it will “burp” letting gas out and no air in. Just make sure that the
    “exit” section is twice as long as the height of the water line so that when it “burps” the water doesn’t come out too.

  9. lillianon 15 Jan 2008 at 1:00 am

    Well we made hard apple cider and have fizzed with co2. Problem is the brew is too sour. Question is how to sweeten it now? Would potassium sorbate added and then sweetened with sugar do the trick? Anxious to commence sipping beside the fireside so any help would be appreciated.

  10. lillianon 15 Jan 2008 at 1:04 am

    Have made hard applie cider by squeezing apples and, after fermentation, added fizz with co2. Problem is brew is too sour. Would adding potassium sorbate and then sugar be a solution? Anxious to begin sipping beside the firepalce so any help/ideas would be appreciated.

  11. myamiion 15 Jan 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Lillian: About the potassium sorbate. I have never added that to any of my brews – I am against preservatives. I know that it’s added to wine to help stop/slow down the fermentation, but I found that the longer you let the cider naturally ferment, the better it tastes. I would definitely NOT add it.

  12. Blakeon 24 Jan 2008 at 2:09 am

    Hey, I had a quick question. Is it ok to use Bakers bread yeast? Will it extract as much alcohal as regular wine yeast? I know it tastes very bready, but I want to make sure theres alcohal in the wine. Thanks,

  13. seidlbergon 16 Apr 2008 at 7:08 pm

    I have brewed 5 or 6 batches of hard cider, and have been less than excited about the result each time.

    The recipe I used called for 3 gallons of apple juice, (I have used both brewers and champaign yeast) and two gallons of apple juice for bottling.

    The end result is a very dry, bitter beverage which is not very good–although it does mix well in a stout. I have thought about adding a higher concentration of juice at bottling, and then dropping the temperature of the bottles down rapidly to prevent the bottles from blowing up.

    Has anyone else tried this method?

  14. [...] May 14, 2009 by Richard Kelly Drinking Wine And Wine Business The Benefits That One Can EnjoyFor the Love of Food Making Sparkling Apple Wine traditional …   Posted in: Wines and [...]

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