Maple Caramel Apple Cider

A few weeks ago my parents were out grocery shopping and found Apple juice on sale. Like any other normal person they proceeded to buy 15 gallons of it. My parents are the best.

The very first cider I ever made was a Caramel Apple Cider. I found the recipe over at www.homebrewtalk.com and had great success with it. It got me thinking about what other kinds of flavoured ciders I could try and create. So I experimented with the recipe and this is what I have come up with. I've changed quite a bit of it to make it my own and I'm very happy with the end result. 

Here is the recipe for one of the three ciders that I made. It is my ode to fall. 

Maple Caramel Apple Cider

Cider Ingredients:
5 Gallons 100% Pure Apple Juice 
6 Cups Sugar 
6 Cans Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate 
1 Package of Nottingham Yeast 

Maple Caramel Syrup Ingredients:
2 Cups Brown Sugar
2 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Tablespoon Maple Extract 
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract 

Apple Cider Directions:
In a 6 gallon Carboy funnel in 1.5 gallons apple juice and add 6 cups of sugar and swirl until sugar is dissolved. Funnel in the rest of the apple juice and add yeast. Put the airlock on and let ferment at 65 degrees F for 2 weeks. When the 2 week fermentation process has elapsed it is ready to bottle! Funnel Cider into a bottling bucket and mix the Maple Carmel Syrup (Directions below) and 6 cans of apple Concentrate until everything is mixed well. Bottle and let carbonate. I test this by bottling one portion in a pop bottle and keep testing the bottle against a unused pop bottle. When it is as firm as the pop bottle I know it is ready to pasteurize. I pasteurize using my dish washer on the normal wash cycle because its easy and no risk of creating bottle bombs. 

Once the cider is finished carbonating and you have pasteurized it chill and consume! Please let me know if you make it and tell me what you think of it! 

Maple Caramel Directions:
In a small pot add sugar, water and cinnamon and mix together. Over medium high heat stir until it is reduced to half. Add the maple and vanilla extract and mix well. Set aside.