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-   -   Blending Fermented Cider with Fresh Cider (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/blending-fermented-cider-fresh-cider-145071/)

Scut_Monkey 11-04-2009 05:13 AM

Blending Fermented Cider with Fresh Cider
I started fermenting two UV pasteurized batches on Saturday and I'm trying to achieve a relatively sweet cider at ~1.008-1.010. Each batch is four gallons fermenting in 5 gallon cornys leaving a 1 gallon void for krausen.

My original plan was to chill the kegs to stop the fermentation when they reached my desired SG. However, I started thinking that I could possibly let them ferment out and then blend them with fresh UV pasteurized cider to achieve the SG I desire. They would remain in the keg and at approximately 40 degrees F so fermentation would not kick off.

1. Do you think I would get a better flavor by stopping the fermentation at my desired SG or by letting them ferment out and then blending with fresh cider?

2. What temp would I need to take the cider down to to stop fermentation?

3. How soon would these ciders be ready to enjoy depending on which method I use?

Tusch 11-04-2009 05:38 AM

I wouldn't want to use juice to backsweeten. Your cutting cider with juice (cider = hard) so by backsweetening you are also cutting the alcohol content. If you use juice concentrate, sugar, honey, etc this loss in alcohol content is negligible since you don't have to use much to reach your goal FG. But using juice would increase the volume a decent amount lowering alcohol.

But that would make the answer to 3 be REALLY fast haha. If you cut the cider's alcohol and sweeten it, then you would be able to drink it pretty much right away. Seeing as lighter and sweeter ciders both tend to be ready quikcer.

eeebigeee 11-04-2009 12:19 PM

I think we need to do a few more experiments to determine your answer to number 1. I suspect that stopping the ferment before all of the sugar is used up will yield the best flavor, however letting it ferment all of the way out is much more convenient.

Check out this awesome discussion on the brewing network that describes the same process but done commercially by Two Rivers Cider out on the west coast.


I see where you are coming from Tusch, but if you let the cider ferment out all of the way, there is more alcohol in your cider so it might be ok to cut it just a little.

I just tried some backsweetening on one of my batches but I was using un-pasteurized cider. I ran everything through a rough plate filter to try to get all of the yeast out after cold crashing. I'm not sure quite yet if that got all of the yeast or if I should also put the polish mat in the filter and run it through twice. That was last week, I'll check the gravity & taste and report back.

Kevin can probably answer the temp question for #2. I just chilled everything down to about 35F.

flyweed 11-04-2009 03:50 PM

I've posted on this same topic before. my recommendation is to stop the ferment early to your "taste"....fermenting dry and then backsweetening with anything, at least to me, simply tastes "backsweetened".....where stopping the ferment at your desired gravity will yield a full, original taste without the obvious backsweetening additions. Remember, most of the large scale, store bought hard ciders are fairly sweet, and aren't real high in alcohol content, usually less than 8%. For cold crashing, I like bringing temps down to about 36F for a week and then kegging and keeping cold.


wreckinball9 11-04-2009 06:51 PM

+1 on cold crashing at the desired sweetness. backsweetening, as kevin points out, should be what you do when you f#%k up a batch, not what you set out to do.

Scut_Monkey 11-04-2009 07:13 PM

I'm not really worried about diluting the ABV content by adding some fresh cider as it will still be around 4.5% which is good for me. Also, it really won't make much of a difference because I would be letting it ferment out further thereby giving it more alcohol to dilute down.

I think normally when people discuss back sweetening it's in regard to adding a type of sugar only and not the sugar and "flavor" that comes with back sweetening with fresh cider. It's this fresh cider flavor that I think would be interesting. We all know that as fermentation continues a lot of the apple flavor is stripped out. By adding fresh cider I feel that I can regain most of this flavor and balance it nicely with the hard cider flavors.

I think what I might end up doing is stopping the ferment early (1.008-1.010) on one keg by crash cooling it while the other I can ferment almost out and back sweeten with fresh cider after I crash cool it. I figure I have two batches and it might be worth it to try both and compare side by side.

JtotheA 02-26-2012 07:57 AM

Nice thread. I'm definitely new to cider-brewing, or any brewing for that matter. Saw that this was an old thread but had to revive it again because I've already had great success by combining a couple batches that had been racked for at least a couple months. One, a more bland and dry and older batch...two, a newer tart batch that had some berryness in it. They combined to make a REALLY good final product. They were actually my first two consecutive batches that ended up making love and the offspring was the best I could ask for!! Ha.
This thread made me want to really try to rack my stuff early to salvage some of that appley goodness that is hard to add back. If I like my cider nice and sweet but close to 6% alcohol, can't I start heavy like 1.07 and tame it somewhere around 1.02? I also don't like the idea of adding sulfites to stop things from happening. If it's kept cold, I assume the risk of bottles blowing would be slim, right? Like I said I'm new and I gather that most people like it dry but not me. I love the farmfresh cider taste and sweetness...but with some kick.

Scut_Monkey 02-27-2012 03:44 AM

Welcome to HBT.

So this was a couple years ago that I was trying cider. One of the batches got infected with a wild yeast and gave me some funky results that are actually turning out to be pretty good 2 years later. I found the bottles tucked away and had about given up on them.

Getting back on topic. I found that my favorite cider was indeed made by blending fully fermented cider with some fresh cider. I really didn't take a scientific approach to it. I simply let the cider ferment out and then added in about 2 gallons (guessing) to about a 5 gallon fermented batch. It did add a lot of fresh cider flavor and some sweetness. I kept the cider rather drinkable and not overly sweet but not with the dry tasteless results you sometimes get with a recently fermented batch. I'm sure purists wouldn't approve of this technique but it was well received by family/friends and myself over the holidays when I made it. If that's the flavor you are looking for I would try it. I don't remember how long it kept for but keeping it in the keezer I think it very slowly fermented but it stated rather nice until the keg was kicked. Let me know if you have more questions and I'm glad your cider blend turned out good.

drmark50 03-21-2012 12:57 PM

My 2 cents...

I have only made a handful of ciders, and I like a little bit of sweetness. So with a recent batch, OG 1.066 (used cane sugar to up the OG). I let ferment to completion and then backsweetened with fresh cider that I had frozen and partially defrosted. Nothing scientific. I probably put about 1/2 gallon of concentrated fresh cider into 4 gallons of fermented cider. served it at a party and all was drank! I had 5 beers on tap as well, so it wasn't a selection issue. My brother and his wife to be have requested it for their afterparty of their wedding. I have just fermented 15 gallons and am considering using frozen apple juice concentrate for conveinance.

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