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Old 07-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #1
benjita
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Default Backsweetening with Pressed Apple Cider (Juice)

Hey Group,
I'd like to backsweeten my cider with some apple cider. It looks like a lot of folks us apple concentrate. I have some left over cider from the pressing that I've had in the freezer. Would there be any issues with using it? I was thinking of adding Campden and sulfiting it when I do the same to the cider a few days before bottling. No carbonating. Suggestions?

Thanks

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:32 AM   #2
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Hey ben,
I just started a apfelwein myself.. curious, did you use pressed juice for the main body of your cider? Or did you use a concentrate? I'm curious to see if there's a difference in the final product.

Also, depending on the yeast used I've heard there can be quiet a range of sweetness. Not to mention aging for the flavors to come through...

I've got about a month left in primary...so I don't have a clue as to how mine will turn out... but you might want to save one bottle that hasn't been sweetened just for a baseline at a later date.

As far as back sweetening with pressed... I thnk your on the right track.. as long as you sulfate it up, I don't think you'll have much trouble

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Old 07-24-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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The main body is 100% pressed.

I tasted it before moving to secondary and it seemed to not have much "apple flavor". I have two batches, so I'll probably backsweeten one and carb the second.

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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I am planning on doing the same thing. I have pressed my 5 gallons for the cider, as well as two other 5 gallon batches of cider, andI pressed an additional 5 gallon batch of fresh cider, put it in plastic gallon jugs and froze them. My concern is that I don't want to water down the cider, lowering the ABV, but get as much of the sugars into the cider, to backsweeten it.
I even thawed out two gallons of the fresh cider and boiled it down to concentrate the sugars and remove a majority of the water. I think I over did it though. My two gallons of cider is now about three cups of brown, sweet goo. It's too thick to even get a Brix reading on it. I think I am going to add some cider back to it to thin it out a bit.
Has anybody tried concentrating their own cider like this ?? What would be a "good" ratio. Like starting with a gallon and ending with a half gallon?? I was hoping to be able to get a Brix reading on it, but it went a bit too far, I will definitely have to add some liquid back to it.
Any suggestions on what would be a good amount of concentrate to add to 5 gallons of cider ??

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombo80 View Post
I am planning on doing the same thing. I have pressed my 5 gallons for the cider, as well as two other 5 gallon batches of cider, andI pressed an additional 5 gallon batch of fresh cider, put it in plastic gallon jugs and froze them. My concern is that I don't want to water down the cider, lowering the ABV, but get as much of the sugars into the cider, to backsweeten it.
I even thawed out two gallons of the fresh cider and boiled it down to concentrate the sugars and remove a majority of the water. I think I over did it though. My two gallons of cider is now about three cups of brown, sweet goo. It's too thick to even get a Brix reading on it. I think I am going to add some cider back to it to thin it out a bit.
Has anybody tried concentrating their own cider like this ?? What would be a "good" ratio. Like starting with a gallon and ending with a half gallon?? I was hoping to be able to get a Brix reading on it, but it went a bit too far, I will definitely have to add some liquid back to it.
Any suggestions on what would be a good amount of concentrate to add to 5 gallons of cider ??
I do quite a bit of baking and have had to buy "apple cider syrup" for a recipe and it was EXPENSIVE! (about $12 a pint)so I would use it as a pancake syrup! or for fancy apple pie drizzle. I am too much of a newby to even try to figure out how much to use for back sweetening your hard cider tho... sorry..
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Old 10-15-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
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Alright ...... I did some internet digging and found some interesting information.

Concentrating fresh cider is something that was done a very long time ago. Historical documents note the use of "bolied cider" as far back as 1677, in Massachusetts. It was commonly referred to as "apple molasses". It also states that to make boiled cider, you would need to heat fresh cider and reduce the original volume to one-seventh. Or in otherwords, boiling one gallon of fresh cider down to 18.28 oz.. They also add that this could be taken and reduced further to make cider jelly. This is one-ninth of the original volume, and could be used to spread on toast, baked goods, or used for a ham glaze, etc..
After finding this, I went WAY overboard on reducing my cider. I am going to have to almost double the volume I have now, just to get it back to the boiled cider level. Well, I learned something useful, and thought I would pass this along to everybody else.

I also found an article on freezing fresh cider to concentrate it. Obviously you don't want a full gallon jug. It suggests to remove 3 cups from a gallon (I never fill my jugs full anyway) and freeze the remaining cider in the gallon jug. Once fully frozen, remove it from the freezer am allow it to thaw, and collect the first 5 to 6 cups of juice. This is going to be the sugar, acid and flavors. The remainder is going to be the rest of the water, since apples are mostly water anyway. I plan on trying this and taking notes on what Brix readings and volumes, for future reference.

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Old 10-15-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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The key is not to let it ferment out too far in the first place. But sometimes it happens.

I find that when mine run out of sugar, the best sweetener to use is very batch dependent - depending on what is missing in the taste. Sometimes orginial juice works well, sometimes a mix of cane and corn sugar, sometimes agave.

Cane/corn sugar mix works if the juice has a decent apple taste but too thin, agave is good if there is a big sour note but not any sweetness up front and original juice is good if not much taste at all.

If you sulfate it, I strongly suggest you try a little taste of it first. It will definitely affect the taste of your batch. Some people are OK with the taste, most not.

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Old 10-15-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombo80 View Post
I also found an article on freezing fresh cider to concentrate it. Obviously you don't want a full gallon jug. It suggests to remove 3 cups from a gallon (I never fill my jugs full anyway) and freeze the remaining cider in the gallon jug. Once fully frozen, remove it from the freezer am allow it to thaw, and collect the first 5 to 6 cups of juice. This is going to be the sugar, acid and flavors. The remainder is going to be the rest of the water, since apples are mostly water anyway. I plan on trying this and taking notes on what Brix readings and volumes, for future reference.
This is the way to do it. Boiling changes the flavor. You actually boil off alot of flavor. Its easy to do the freez method in milk jugs. Then you can do a full gallon. Freeze, and then turn upside down over a container. The stuff that percolates out is intense and sweet!
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