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Old 09-23-2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default Back-sweetening cider

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some advice on how to back-sweeten a back of hard cider that I have sitting in a second fermenter.

I'm considering just adding Camden tablets to make sure the yeast is dead and then adding apple juice concentrate with brown sugar dissolved in it. I'm pretty sure this would work well, but I'd really love to hear y'all's techniques. Please be as specific with process as you can.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #2
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I currently have my first batch of upstatemikes Caramel Apple Cider fermenting as well, should be done around Tues or Wednesday. Im looking for a sparkling as opposed to still and I want it sweeter rather then dryer so im going to be adding 5 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate along with his caramel syrup recipe. If all goes well i may try another batch and do the same thing but with pear juice concentrate instead for the second batch. What kinda cider are u aiming for, sweeter or dryer?

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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I'm planning on force carbonating it in a 5gal Corny keg, so sparkling is the way I am going.

I tasted it this morning when I racked it into my 2nd carboy. It is has a nice smooth, not dry, but tart finish. I just want to add a little sweetness just to balance it all out.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:17 PM   #4
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I cant really comment on how much brown sugar to add, but i'd say start by adding one can of the concentrate at a time and then mix it lightly and then taste it. once it gets to ur liking ur good to go. If ur going to for carb in the keg, u don't need to add much sugar for that fact, just to get it to the sweetness u desire.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Also, something else u may want to read, even if u don't wanna do this, its nice to know the info is out there. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cold...g-cider-46017/

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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I think that I will effectively be cold crashing it once I rack it into my keg and get it into my kegerator; however, I would prefer to make sure that the yeast isn't continuing to chew through my brown sugar by adding some Camden tablets. As someone used to brewing just beer, I am not used to killing yeast, so I am unsure if this is all I need to do. Otherwise, I got to this about using artificial sweetners (yuck) or something bizarre like lactose or stevia.

As for the graduate approach to adding brown sugar, I think that is likely the way I ill need to go.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsterdamm View Post
Hey everyone,

I'm looking for some advice on how to back-sweeten a back of hard cider that I have sitting in a second fermenter.

I'm considering just adding Camden tablets to make sure the yeast is dead and then adding apple juice concentrate with brown sugar dissolved in it. I'm pretty sure this would work well, but I'd really love to hear y'all's techniques. Please be as specific with process as you can.
Campden doesn't kill yeast, so if that is why you're adding it, you'd have to add so much to kill the yeast that the cider is undrinkable!

Sorbate doesn't kill yeast either, but it can be used in a finished cider to prevent yeast reproduction. Sorbate isn't 100% reliable, but it works most of the time IF the cider is cold crashed first, racked off of the lees, and is combined with some campden. Sorbate works better in the presence of sulfites, that is why the campden is added with the sorbate.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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Camden does kill yeast? Forgive my ignorance, but I thought that is why it is used in wine making; to kill the wild yeast before you pitch your own.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
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Camden does kill yeast? Forgive my ignorance, but I thought that is why it is used in wine making; to kill the wild yeast before you pitch your own.
Well, it's used in winemaking in three ways, actually. One, in a very strong solution as a sanitizer. Two, as an antioxidant and preservative, and three, to sanitize the must.

The thing with sanitizing the must with campden (and why it works) is that it doesn't kill yeast. It kills other microbes, like bacteria, and some wild yeast strains, but doesn't kill most yeast strains and it doesn't kill wine/ale/cider yeast. That's why winemakers use it- wine yeast and brewers yeast strains are tolerant of sulfites.

Most winemakers keep sulfites at 50 ppm (parts per million), as that is below the taste threshold. It has properties as an antioxidant and preservative, but it doesn't affect the yeast.

In order to kill brewer's yeast with campden, you'd have to make it such a strong solution that it would render the cider undrinkable.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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Thank you Yooper. You have contributed to my knowledge and allowed my powers to grow. /hat-tip

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