Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...

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Growster...

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Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« on: September 15, 2012, 17:02 »
Got an interesting project going at the moment...

It's been pretty difficult to get hold of some Calvados round here, as only the big stores seem to stock it, and the off-licences are in the town and not close by, so we bit the bullet on a whim, and I went to the Maidstone Wine Making Centre in Hardy Street(recommended), and bought a kit to make 30 bottles of vodka...

The plan is to make it with apple juice, and so far, it's romping away, which is not surprising, as the yeast packet weighed several ounces, and the nutrient package was nearly half a pound, so we should really expect some action!

For the record, I used 18 litres of apple juice, with an O.G. of around 1.045, and boiled up 5 kg of sugar to add to it.

The recommended amount of sugar for 23 litres is 7.8 kg, and I had to search the net to get an idea of what the apple would provide in the way of O.G., before the calculation came out at the figure above.

The total mix has (had) an O.G. of 1.056, which actually seems a bit low, as they expect the resulting  brew to have an alcohol content of 21%!

Admittedly, I have over-stretched the total quantity by a litre, although we were very strict on the amount of water we used to dissolve all that sugar, so the 'bulk', of the sugar is probably why that happened, or the litre cartons of apple juice were slightly over in each case.

Has anyone any views on how the O.G. will attain the alcohol content at all? I'm slightly mystified, and probably not seeing the obvious! It is supposed to get down to total dryness at between 0.980 - .990, in three weeks.

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Auntiemogs

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 17:59 »
Wow! That sounds great Growster.  :tongue2: I had no idea you could make the stronger stuff or even that they were there.  Just fired off an email to ask for a pricelist.

Mags  :) 
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than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it...✿~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

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SG6

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2012, 19:22 »
An SG/OG of 1.056 will give about 7.5-8% alcohol.
To get 21% area you need 1.150.
You are a long way off.
Did you make a measurement of the SG/OG ?

The above assumes that it ferments out to 1.000, could go to 0.996. Difference is so small it is not worth considering.

By the way you will get a strong Apple Wine, not Calvados.
21% is not a spirit, as it is a strong wine it may also take well over a year to be drinkable, as in 3+ years.


Quick check: You need a total of 9.2Kg sugar in 23 litre's, assuming the apple adds what you say then 7.8Kg sounds about right.
Assumption is that you read the hydrometer wrong and took 1.150 to be 1.050.

Did the pack specify the yeast variety ?
You may need luck to get it to ferment out.
Best I know of is to add say 2/3 of the sugar, get it going them when it slows add a bit more, then repeat several times until all the sugar is used. This seems to be the best way to getting a high alcohol level.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 19:34 by SG6 »

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sunshineband

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2012, 19:52 »
Calvados was a really exotic drink when I was a child: Dad used to get some occasionally from sailors over from France.

It certainly jazzes up an apple crumble  :D

Perhaps Growster is going to (illegally of course) distil his apple wine to create something stronger......

Or freeze it of course and take out the ice  :unsure:
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arugula

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2012, 20:00 »
Calvados ..

..is a lovely apple brandy. It would be great to think you might achieve an end product similar in flavour without any recourse to distillation. :D
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ilan

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 21:17 »
That sounds great never used one of those kits and not sure if it will work .Many years ago I tried to make a strong wine and used to make a sugar fruit syrup to feed the fermenting wine It took some months as it would get to the stage of adding a few table spoonfulls every few weeks There is a danger of adding to much sugar too soon and the yeast stopping
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GrannieAnnie

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 22:17 »
Not in the league of calvados, but when we lived in Essex, I bought 2 kits.  One was for a vodka 'tastealike'  the other one was a cherry brandy sort.

They were lovely, especially the cherry brandy one!

The vodka one was strange as it had charcoal or something that you put in the mix, which turned the whole thing black, but as the days went by, it turner ever clearer!  Don't know if they still do them!

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2012, 05:35 »
Those are the numbers I was working to SG6, thanks, and I'd arrived at the same conclusion too!

The instructions are here: -

http://www.dikom.nl/gebruiksaanwijzingen/postorder/eng/vinlandvodkakitENG.pdf,

...and my question was, if the starting S.G was 1.056, how has this turned up with 5kg of sugar and 18 litres of apple juice in the mix! Just checked again and the hydrometer says 1.046! I reckon the apple juice may be the odd one here, as although I researched the values, and checked the actual stuff I used, it was the magic figure of around 1.050 which was the same all round!

Of course it isn't the real thing, that's obvious, but if it approaches the quality of a dry Merrydown, which used to be made near here, that will be fine by us!

They don't mention the O.G in the instructions, which may be something to ponder...

I agree with you, that if there is good strength inthe fermentation later on, then I'll add more sugar, or perhaps glucose.

Thanks for your observations and points anyway!

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2012, 05:37 »
Wow! That sounds great Growster.  :tongue2: I had no idea you could make the stronger stuff or even that they were there.  Just fired off an email to ask for a pricelist.

Mags  :) 

Goferit Moggie!

Hardy St is just behind the prison, off the North East corner, half way up the hill. They really do keep a huge amount of stock, and it's always a bit chaotic there, depending who serves you...!

The kit we're trying is as the link in the post to SG6!

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 05:41 »
Calvados was a really exotic drink when I was a child: Dad used to get some occasionally from sailors over from France.

It certainly jazzes up an apple crumble  :D

Perhaps Growster is going to (illegally of course) distil his apple wine to create something stronger......

Or freeze it of course and take out the ice  :unsure:
KC! Wash your little mouth out with soap!

Actually, the poteen method was tried out a few years ago (many in fact), and it wasn't really worth the effort. They do sell stills at MWMC (apparently legally), but we don't really want to consider liver damage at our time of life, and prefer just a quaffing plonk to keep the conversation going!

The Calvados theme comes into it's own about now, as we still have a few Lord Lambournes (been a bad crop this year), and they really are a treat with a couple of measures of apple brandy...

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2012, 05:43 »
Calvados ..

..is a lovely apple brandy. It would be great to think you might achieve an end product similar in flavour without any recourse to distillation. :D
It truly is Arugula!

The best we ever had was direct from a farm in Normandy, and at £36.00 a bottle, (back in 1995) which was slightly eye-watering, it was the smoothest we'd ever had!

I'll try and dig out the name of the farm - it's well known locally down there!

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2012, 05:45 »
"Or freeze it of course and take out the ice "

She hasn't been anywhere near us KC...;0)

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2012, 05:46 »
That sounds great never used one of those kits and not sure if it will work .Many years ago I tried to make a strong wine and used to make a sugar fruit syrup to feed the fermenting wine It took some months as it would get to the stage of adding a few table spoonfulls every few weeks There is a danger of adding to much sugar too soon and the yeast stopping

Know what you mean Ilan!

I'm amazed at the diversity and strength of yeasts these days. Back then we only ever had Yeast 67, which was pretty hit and miss...

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2012, 05:48 »
Not in the league of calvados, but when we lived in Essex, I bought 2 kits.  One was for a vodka 'tastealike'  the other one was a cherry brandy sort.

They were lovely, especially the cherry brandy one!

The vodka one was strange as it had charcoal or something that you put in the mix, which turned the whole thing black, but as the days went by, it turner ever clearer!  Don't know if they still do them!

That Vodka one sounds the same as the one we have Grannie! The charcoal is the fining element (see instructions on SG6 post's reply)!

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Growster...

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Re: Calvados - a 'must' in the apple season...
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 07:12 »
Update - just a minute ago!

I think I have hit on the quandary with the O.G. reading SG6 and all!

Looking at the fermenter, the sugar is forming a 'syrup' layer about two and a half inches thick at the bottom!

It was all totally dissolved when we put it all together, but this explains why the reading was so low at 1.056!

The fermentation is going very quickly, so I will wait and stir it in a week or so, to get it all working, but slowly!



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