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Old 11-01-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
WhiteBirchBrew
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Default Backsweetening Hard Cider - Need Advice

My neighbor and I attempted our first batch of hard cider this year. 5 Gallons fresh cider, 3 pounds brown sugar and 1 packet Lalvin Bourgovin 218 (if I remember correctly). Primaried 2 weeks and racked to secondary. It's as dry as the desert with hardly any apple flavor. We're looking for some good ideas on how to sweeten this stuff up a bit. I've heard some about backsweetening but no real details. Any suggestions?? Thanks... Matt

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Old 11-01-2008, 08:33 PM   #2
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Do you plan to carbonate it or serve it still?

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Old 11-01-2008, 08:41 PM   #3
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We were thinking maybe half and half to try it out... Open to any suggestions. Whatever could be fitting around a backyard campfire...

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Old 11-01-2008, 09:29 PM   #4
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For flat, try killing off the yeast and adding in some cans of apple concentrate.

Carbonated is tougher. If you can keg and force carbonate, do it just like flat. If you have to bottle carb, then you need the yeasties. Then, you'd have to backsweeten with something non-fermenting, like milk sugar or nutrasweet.

Another option is to bottle as-is, and sweeten with whatever you like (Sprite, sugar, whatever) at the time you drink it.

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Old 11-01-2008, 09:37 PM   #5
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Assuming you don't have kegging equipment:

For still brew.
Wait until fermentation is complete, as confirmed with consistent hydrometer readings over a week or so. Stabilize the cider with k-metabisulphite and sorbate. This will prevent any renewed fermentation. Now just adding any sweetener you like, turbinado, table, corn sugar, honey, maple syrup, juice concentrate, fruit juice, whatever. When you have it at your preferred sweetness (I suggest going till it is almost sweet enough, as it blends with age) just bottle as you normally would, no need for priming sugar.

For sweet brew.
Let it ferment completely, then add a nonfermentable sugar to your bottling bucket. This could be stevia, splenda, lactose, etc. Be wary of how much you add, because these tend to vary greatly in sweetness from real sugar. Then go ahead and add your priming sugar to the bottling bucket, and rack your cider into there allowing the sugars to mix. Bottle as per normal.

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Old 11-03-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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I've backsweetened a dry apfelwein by adding potassium sorbate to stop further fermentation. Waited 2 days then added 1 can of frozen concentrate (NO WATER) and 1/2 cup of Splenda.

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