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Hard cider fortified by partial freezing

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#1 ladybugseattle

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 01:03 PM

This was mentioned casually as a traditional way of fortifying hard cider in the Midwest in a memoir with recipes I'm reading (Stina the story of a cook by Herman Smith, 1942, M. Barrows and Co. Chicago.) The author equates it to Calvados although its not distilled. This seems like an obvious and often naturally (in northern climes) ocurring method to fortify brews of all sorts but just havent heard of it being done before. Has anyone tried this? and at what concentration of alcohol is freezing stopped?

#2 jsolomon

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 01:11 PM

You mean applejack?

If you look at this site it says that a 10% V/V aqueous solution of ethyl alcohol (read 20 proof) will freeze at ~25 F or -4 C. Given the nature of such a beast, when the water freezes out, you'll have concentrated ethanol and whatever else is in the mixture excluded (generally) from the ice crystals

Actually, crystallization is a great method of purification, so if you're interested in trying it out, go for it!
I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

#3 jackal10

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 01:21 PM

Its called Applejack, and it is still illegal without paying excise. Do a google search for appljeack and freezing

The yield is very low, and you may need a couple of freezing steps to get any reasonable concentration. As the mash cools the water freezes out first, and you can filter off thre ice. Its the same process as "ice filtered" beer.
It needs to freeze slowly, or go through freeze thaw cycles, otherwise the alcohol can get trapped in the ice.

Make cider (about 10% ABV).
Put it in a deep freeze in a plastic container. Wait until its is solid, then invert it over a bucket and drain off the liquid - maybe 10% by volume, and about 17% ABV.
Freeze the resulting liquid, and repeat for greater concentration. A normal deep freeze is about -20C, where the equilibrium point is about 25% ABV alcohol.

#4 Jason Perlow

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 01:26 PM

Actual commercial Applejack is distilled though. The most notable company in the US (and the oldest distiller in the US) doing is is Laird's. They make an excellent 12-year-old apple brandy.
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