Hey Guys! This is my first post on the forum. I usually lurk, but figured I'd speak up for this niche topic. I'm new to homebrewing (six 5 gal bottlings so far), so take it with a grain of salt.
I' m currently midway through second fermentation on my second cider. I wanted to infuse a caramel flavor into it and tried a couple attempts. I started with 4 Gal of UV filtered non-preservative cold pressed cider with 16 oz of a product called 'boiled cider' (essentially apple maple syrup - find it on amazon). To this add 1.5 tablespoon pectin enzyme a double pitch of champagne yeast. In the first week it dropped from SG 1.058 to 1.020. At this point it was going into dormancy at 55 deg F and running through its initial fermentable carbos. Time for the caramel. First I tried making a full fat Dulce De Leche then 'fat washing' it with everclear, there was no seperation so I ended up with some highly alcoholic ice cream topping (lemonade out of lemons ehh). So I went and bought a can of fat free condensed milk, boiled it for 4 hours just like the prior, cut 50/50 with hot water to easy integration into the hard cider. Poured and fermentation quickly picked up. I'm three days after the introduction of the Dulce, the carboy is bubbling every 4 seconds or so. I haven't noticed any floating 'skum' which would indicate fats or curdling, so it's well incorporated. I taste tested and thought we're on the right past but it's too weak as far as flavor and alcohol. I think I'm going to add one additional can of fat free Dulce and perhaps additional boiled cider. It's a lot of lactose from my understanding, but I kinda like the idea of residual lactose which doesn't ferment to have carry over sweetness (assuming this doesn't start bursting bottles a couple months after capping). I'll keep this thread appraised if anyone is interested. Thanks for all the initial dialogue that got me here. Cheers!