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Time Machine

Posted 2011/11/05

Homebrew - Graff

Graff is a kind of hybrid mix of beer and cider, I had been dying to make some of this ever since I heard about it. The description I have been going with is "slightly malty cider". The basic idea is to make a small amount of very lightly hopped beer and then add a load of apple juice. This is supposed to make it drinkable much faster than just using apple juice. I looked at a bunch of recipes but ended up rolling my own taking what I thought was the best bits of what I learned.

Ingredients

  • 4oz crystal 120L
  • 1oz torrified wheat
  • 1lb of light dry malt extract
  • 0.25oz of Saaz pellet hops
  • Safale S-04 dry ale yeast
  • 1.8 gallons of simple apple cider

Method

  • Boil 1 pint of water in a kettle and put it in a pint glass to cool.
  • Put 1 gallon of tap water in a 2 gallon pot and heat to 155.
  • Steep 4oz crystal 120L and 1oz torrified wheat for 30 minutes using a grain bag.
  • Add 1 pound of light dry malt extract and bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling add 0.25 ounces of Saaz pellet hops (this is about 20 pellets).
  • Boil for 30 minutes.
  • Cool to 60 degrees and pour through a strainer into a carboy.
  • Hydrate your Safale S-04 dry ale yeast by putting it in your pint of (room temperature) sterile water, give it a good stir.
  • Add 1.8 gallons of simple apple cider to the carboy.
  • Give the carboy a bit of a shake to mix things up and then measure the gravity.
  • Pitch your rehydrated yeast into the carboy, add the bung and airlock and ferment at room temperature for 2 weeks.

I left the wort cooling for too long because I was eating dinner and it ended up being 50 degrees when I added the yeast. This did not hurt it though. I did not fit a blow-off tube and it was fermenting out of the airlock within 24 hours. It was a very vigorous fermentation, I would use a blow-off even if I made it in a plastic fermenter next time.

Brew:        05 Nov 2011, OG 1.049
Bottle:      19 Nov 2011 (14), FG 1.002, ABV 6.22%
Ready:       11 Dec 2011 (21)
Summary:     Primary 14 days, Condition 21 days

I was excited about my first pint of graff. It had the tang of the cider but an edge of maltiness from the beer, you can't really taste any of the hops. I liked it much more than the ciders I have made so far. It was only very slightly carbonated (intentional) since that is the way we like our ciders but I think it would be better carbonated like our beers. Perhaps I will try carbonating with half the sugar we normally use though so it is not too fizzy. I am planning on doing a 5 gallon batch of this with the same recipe but doing the carbonation, that way I will have enough to do a proper drinking assessment of it :)

UPDATE 28/Dec/2011
As I continue to drink these I always enjoy them, they have to be very cold though. I still think some carbonation is a good idea. I gave one to Joseph who suggested that the cider to beer mix was right but it might taste better if the beer part was more malty.

Brew

2011-11-05 0511201116234610.jpg 2011-11-05 0511201117222710.jpg 2011-11-05 0511201118100710.jpg 2011-11-05 0511201118451610.jpg

Explode

2011-11-07 0711201108010133.jpg

Bottle

2011-11-19 1911201114515625.jpg 2011-11-19 1911201115305452.jpg 2011-11-19 1911201116262313.jpg

Ready

2011-12-11 1112201116310630.jpg