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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > best way to back sweeten hard cider
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:37 PM   #1
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Default best way to back sweeten hard cider

well my hard cider is ready to come out of the carboy and goin into my 5 gallon keg... my question is i like my hard cider sweet like wood chuck style.. what would be the best way to sweeten it up , this is my frist time doing a hard cider so i just figured it would be best to ask before i do to make sure i dont screw anything up

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:53 PM   #2
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thaw a can of frozen apple juice concentrate and add it to your keg. Not sweet enough add a second.

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Old 11-09-2011, 11:56 PM   #3
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More apple juice will just ferment out, unless you keep it cold. Lactose and Splenda work well.

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:00 AM   #4
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ok i been cold crashing the cider for about 6 days now.. so i should not have a problem wiht the yeast right?...and i used real apple cider to make this batch of hard cider.. did not use apple juice

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:12 AM   #5
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Cold crashing will *not* reliably drop all the yeast from suspension. If you add any further sugars, once the temp warms back up to where the yeast like it, they'll start fermenting again ... first, just the few survivors, but then their little yeasties, and their little yeasties and so on.

What david_42 said ...
If you just keep the keg cold, then the fermentation won't start. And if you are expecting it to be drank pretty soon, that would be the easiest way to go. Then you don't have to be concerned about artificial sweetners, killing the yeast, etc and can just sweeten with FCAJ (frozen concentrated apple juice).

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob_Marley View Post
Cold crashing will *not* reliably drop all the yeast from suspension. If you add any further sugars, once the temp warms back up to where the yeast like it, they'll start fermenting again ... first, just the few survivors, but then their little yeasties, and their little yeasties and so on.

What david_42 said ...
If you just keep the keg cold, then the fermentation won't start. And if you are expecting it to be drank pretty soon, that would be the easiest way to go. Then you don't have to be concerned about artificial sweetners, killing the yeast, etc and can just sweeten with FCAJ (frozen concentrated apple juice).
what do u consider being drank prity soon like over a month or so? longer shorter?

well how can i get all the yeast out if i think i wont be drinking it very fast cause i want to enjoy it over time...
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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As far as "drinking pretty soon" and fermentation ... let me clarify that ... actually, as long as it's in the icebox ... no worries. The yeast will not start fermenting again.

"Enjoying it over time" ...
as with any "kegged"cider that does not have sulfites in it, keeping it in the cold will help keep it from going stale/bad as quick, but because (I assume) you are not flushing and pressurizing your keg with CO2, not pasteurizing it, and the cider is not high gravity (high alcohol) the oxygen contact will eventually catch up with it. Depends on prior sanitation too. I'd guess 3 or 4 weeks is safe. But I'd keep testing it for changes. Bottling holds it for longer.
If it's not carbonated those boxes called "cask wine" <Uh huh>, or "goon casks" or bag-in-a-box or wineboxes or whatever they call em would limit oxygen exposure too.

If you are looking to just clear the cider, then yes ... cold crash and rack off the lees into the keg ... this does not sufficiently remove the yeast though to avoid fermentation if it is warm and sugar is added. I suppose another alternative ... most kegs draft from a point above the bottom and so if you are not sloshing it around, it will probably fall clear and draft from above the lees anyway. But just for simplicity's sake, crash and allow to fall clear, rack/sweeten/put into the keg and keep under refrigeration.

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Old 11-10-2011, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob_Marley View Post
As far as "drinking pretty soon" and fermentation ... let me clarify that ... actually, as long as it's in the icebox ... no worries. The yeast will not start fermenting again.

"Enjoying it over time" ...
as with any "kegged"cider that does not have sulfites in it, keeping it in the cold will help keep it from going stale/bad as quick, but because (I assume) you are not flushing and pressurizing your keg with CO2, not pasteurizing it, and the cider is not high gravity (high alcohol) the oxygen contact will eventually catch up with it. Depends on prior sanitation too. I'd guess 3 or 4 weeks is safe. But I'd keep testing it for changes. Bottling holds it for longer.
If it's not carbonated those boxes called "cask wine" <Uh huh>, or "goon casks" or bag-in-a-box or wineboxes or whatever they call em would limit oxygen exposure too.

If you are looking to just clear the cider, then yes ... cold crash and rack off the lees into the keg ... this does not sufficiently remove the yeast though to avoid fermentation if it is warm and sugar is added. I suppose another alternative ... most kegs draft from a point above the bottom and so if you are not sloshing it around, it will probably fall clear and draft from above the lees anyway. But just for simplicity's sake, crash and allow to fall clear, rack/sweeten/put into the keg and keep under refrigeration.
i defently will be flushing the air out with co2.. and the alcohol% should be atleast a min of 8% have to take a final gravity readying but the og was 1.070-1.075 range....

i do plan on making a few more batches if this frist batch is good.. to let it sit in a keg and age over the winter but i will have to add sugar to sweeten it up.. so is there anything i can use to kill off the yeast.. i thought i rember reading about something that kills it off.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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CO2 is good. 8% helps (10% to 12% is better ... pretty uncommon with cider tho). Very good sanitation helps a lot too.

Potassium sorbate kills the yeast. If you use it, you would add it along with Potassium metabisulfite. Follow the directions for both and don't over-add.

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Old 11-10-2011, 01:38 AM   #10
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Anyone ever bottle with lactose? I'm thinking this would be better than the laxative risk involved with Xylitol, and I tend to avoid sucralose as it gives me headaches. I'm sitting on about 5 gallons of cider/cyser now in varying stages of fermentation/aging so while I don't want all of it to be "sweet", bottling some to be sweet might be a nice treat for some of my friends who like their cider on the sweet vs. dry side as well.

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