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Old 02-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #1
Cydermon
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Default Cider, sweet, dry, hard, hot, a taste thread

Hey folks, I just wanted to get some input on how folks categorize "taste" and body of Cider. I realize this is very subjective but I figured with numerous replies it would help better establish or at least get an idea of what folks consider these terms to be.

Now being from rural Tennessee, I'm used to drinking some really stout stuff and a few things I might not even admit to in polite company. That being said, I thought when I first started making Cider that I wanted something sweeter and more fruity, but alas, I prefer something that resembles more of a semi-dry white wine of the apple variety. I have never back sweetened and generally just accept what comes out of my gallon storage jugs, as is.

Question is, from what I have gathered, most folks here would consider this a dry cider by my estimate. (SG1.065>1.0/.995FG) So when people back sweeten a naturally dry cider, would this then not make it a sweet Cider, depending upon how much frozen concentrate/sugar was added or does the Cider retain its dryness? Is it not possible to get a 12-15% that taste something along an apple Sangria?

I've been happily chugging along, making my semi-dry/dry 8.5-13% Cider, but I would like to experiment with various levels of "fruity", dry-sweet, in order to meet the demands of guest.

I know this is kind of vague, but curious as to results and tastes of others. Also, is there a point where Cider becomes classified as a wine?

Thanks

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Old 02-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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There is not set rule on it, but I personally consider the border to be in the 9-10% range, when you past that I say you're into wine territory.

If you are backsweetening with wither nonfermentables or stabilizing and using sugars, then yeah clearly your goal is a sweeter outcome. Sweetness is indeed the idea behind backsweetening. You can make a strong and sweet, or strong and dry. And there are several ways of doing both.

Yeast selection has a lot to do with the aroma's and flavors left in a brew. You have to consider its effect on acid, the flavors it adds, and of course its alcohol tolerance. You can use a yeast that won't be able to ferment all the sugars present, this will lead to a cider as strong as the yeast can make, but with residual sugars. Or you can stabilize and backsweeten any strength cider. Or you can backsweeten with nonfermentable sugars, that way you even still have the option to bottle carbonate.

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Old 02-04-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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I have a few gallons of Cider that have cleared and are ready to bottle, so I may try a few variations on back sweetening with non-fermentable, possibly a cranberry and or apple concentrate just to see how the taste compares to straight simple cider.

I have a new batch just in primary with added acid blend as apparently store bought juice is rather without body. I ended up with a little too much in my primary so removed nearly a gallon and set it to primary in a gallon jug with a different acid blend to get a comparison of acids effects.

I have read a little bit here and there but haven't seen much specific discussion on tannin's effects on taste, but I purchased some recently to test on the next batch.

Thanks for the info Tusch

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Old 02-05-2009, 05:32 AM   #4
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Here is one thought. Don't over think this too soon.
Give it some time and get a few more under you belt then you can worry about learning all there is to know. Sometimes you need to relax and let the knowledge find you.

Just a thought.

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Old 02-08-2009, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapaglia View Post
Here is one thought. Don't over think this too soon.
Give it some time and get a few more under you belt then you can worry about learning all there is to know. Sometimes you need to relax and let the knowledge find you.

Just a thought.
While I certainly realize that patience is one of the most, if not the most important ingredient, I only hoped to illicit the opinions of more experienced members concerning their preferences in taste. The reason I ask is because outside of a single glass of cider that was made by my ancient neighbor lady and that which I have made myself, I have little to compare to. I suppose I could spend a few years of trial and error, but that seems to defeat the purpose of why many of us are here, no?
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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I just secondary'd a 3 gal batch of cider and even though it's my first, it worked out pretty well. I like the ease of brewing a cider when its too cold to boil outside. Anyway, I used the Lalvin 71b-1122 Narbonne yeast because it said it was good for semi-dry wines, but then found out it also eats a good portion of the malic acid, and the result is a fairly soft cider. I'm going to throw in a little acid blend and carbonate with juice concentrate to get it just a bit sweeter. It finished at 1.002 and I was hoping to get closer to 1.008 or so. Like I said, this is my first and I have no idea about anyone else, but I did drink a six pack of Amber Woodchuck while making mine. I never thought I would like drier, but after six Woodchucks I think it might be better. Seems like a nice drink for a hot summer day though.

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Old 03-07-2009, 07:18 PM   #7
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I'm with ya hophead, I didn't much think I would really care for a drier cider either, but I find it much nicer than dry wines for some reason. Hard to explain but I enjoy the bite in the cider.

I was recently mixing up two separate five gallon batches, one with s-4 and one with EC-1118 and got distracted, when I got back to adding my sugar, I ended up doubling my sugar in my EC-1118 and adding none to my s-4 batch. So I'm probably going to have to feed at least 2.bs to my s-4 and my EC-1118 will probably end up something like 16% abv, aka rocket fuel. So, will be interesting to have some wide ranging samples to guide me to my next recipes.

1) 5g of apple juice + 2lbs brownsugar+ EC-1118 + nutrient

2) 5g apple juice +4lbs brownsugar+2lbs white sugar+2 apple concentrates + EC-1118 + acid blend, nutrient and tannin.

3) 5g apple juice + 2lbs brown sugar+ 1 apple concentrate +s-4 +acid blend, nutrient, tannin

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Old 03-08-2009, 12:59 AM   #8
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I've used up to 2 lbs of dark brown sugar and the cider has a slight taste tastes and odor like maple syrup. Just slightly more than subtle, but nowhere near overpowering. Very nice touch.

Using 4 lbs, well, you better like maple flavor.

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Old 03-08-2009, 04:47 PM   #9
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Cydermon,

How much acid blend did you add to your batches? I've got a batch that turned out a little flat and I'm not sure how much acid to add to it. I used Lalvin 71b-1122 and it eats up alot of malic acid i guess.

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Old 03-09-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
I've used up to 2 lbs of dark brown sugar and the cider has a slight taste tastes and odor like maple syrup. Just slightly more than subtle, but nowhere near overpowering. Very nice touch.

Using 4 lbs, well, you better like maple flavor.
My first batch, I couldn't really taste the brown sugar but it was dark brown sugar but light brown sugar, so I'm hoping I don't end up with fermented Aunt Jemima.

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Cydermon,

How much acid blend did you add to your batches? I've got a batch that turned out a little flat and I'm not sure how much acid to add to it. I used Lalvin 71b-1122 and it eats up alot of malic acid i guess.
I usually add 3tbs per six gallons
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