*Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway - Enter Now!*

Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > First Hard Cider; Too Dry. Backsweeten and Keg with Carbonation?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-03-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
girdwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default First Hard Cider; Too Dry. Backsweeten and Keg with Carbonation?

So I'm pretty new to this whole brewing thing, I only have a Red, Doppelbock, Imperial IPA, APA, and now a cider under my belt. I got the cider recipe from The Beer Essentials (LHBS). I think there was a mis-communication on my part when I told him what I was looking for. Here's the recipe:

5gal Apple Cider (fresh pressed, unpastuerized from a local cider mill)
1 2/3lb sugar
2.5tsp pectic enzyme
2.5tsp energizer
5 Campden tablets, crushed
2 dry yeast packets (I didn't write down what kind...big mistake)

I put the juice into the fermentor, added the crushed Campden tablets and pectic enzyme immediately. I then poured in the sugar and energizer, mixed it together, covered it, and left it for 24hrs. I then added the yeast and let sit at ±65*F. I don't remember what kind of yeast, but I do know it was a 'champagne' yeast.

OG was 1.074, FG of .998 It's very dry and 'winey' tasting (I don't have the palate for wine). I was going for more of a Woodchuck style cider. I'm very disappointed because the cider I used was so delicious (and $7/gal) and it just seems like a cheap box wine now (maybe it tastes like an expensive one, I don't know haha).

I want to keg this. From what I'm reading, some people add 2-3 cans of AJC and/or brown sugar to taste and call it good. I'd really like to get the flavor of the original cider back into it (if I pour a gallon into it though, will it be too much content and not enough flavor to make a difference?). I'm still a little confused of the backsweetening process. Do I put the yeast into hibernation by cold-crashing it, then rack off the sediment, then sweeten it, then keg? Any input would be greatly appreciated as this is by far the biggest disappointment in my recent endeavors. Thanks!

__________________
girdwood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2013, 02:55 AM   #2
Cyclman
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Cyclman's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Aurora, CO
Posts: 4,288
Liked 393 Times on 345 Posts
Likes Given: 122

Default

Yeast float, to a degree even in a sedimented product, you have to kill them off if you want to go that way.

Or, take the easier route- add sugar or honey when serving, or, add non-fermentable sweetener (Splenda). Just dose it first in a small amount, then scale it to the batch. It is easy to oversweeten a cider.

I like cider very dry, my wife likes it sweet, so just a tiny amount of honey in a glass, pour over that, and it is just perfect for her.

__________________

Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, and waste a lifetime! Bill Owen quote

Join the Beacon Point (Aurora, CO) Brewclub on Facebook- casual, fun brewing, drinking, socializing!

Cyclman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
dog_gone
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 88
Liked 16 Times on 12 Posts
Likes Given: 67

Default

I make a simple and quick cider to fill my pipeline using Costco apple juice. For a 6-gallon batch - and depending on the gravity, my mood, and/or interest at the time - I will use two to three cans of apple juice concentrate, or ACJ with another berry flavor added in the concentrate.

To do this, I bring the ACJ to room temperature and add it to the cider as I keg it. Once kegged, I force carb the cider for a few days.

I don't go out of my way to cold crash; if there's room in the kegorator, I'll throw it in there while force carbing. I'm not too worried about clarity, either.

__________________
dog_gone is offline
2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
girdwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I suppose I should have stated how long it's been fermenting as well. I added yeast on 28 March and 19 May is when I checked the SG of .998 It has been in the primary the entire time.

I'd rather not have to bother adding anything when serving, I'd like to have it be good out of the tap. I think I will use a gallon more of the original cider and maybe a can of ACJ and/or add sugar to taste. As far as 'killing' off the yeast before sweetening and kegging, the LHBS said to add 3/4 tsp/gal 5 days prior to sweetening. Is this correct? (I trust all the other guys at this LHBS, but this guy seems to be the least confident/experienced) And should I rack into a secondary before adding the potassium sorbate? Or should I rack it into a secondary (or just into the keg) after the potassium sorbate but before sweetening?

__________________
girdwood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #5
girdwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I kegged it at .5*C for a day, pulled ±1gal out for 'Apple-Jack' and added 1gal of the original unpastuerized cider, ±4oz pure maple syrup, and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar. It's still not where I would want it to be, but I'm out of room to add sweeteners In the process of force-carbing now. I'll let you know how it turns out.

__________________
girdwood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
girdwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I don't recommend doing what I did... this tastes horrible. I'm trying a new batch on Monday with no added sugar and an ale yeast instead of champagne.

__________________
girdwood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
jefflane510
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: East Conway, NH
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by girdwood
I don't recommend doing what I did... this tastes horrible. I'm trying a new batch on Monday with no added sugar and an ale yeast instead of champagne.
Sorry to hear you're not getting the results you'd hoped for. Me, I like my cider very, very dry, which is probably what you tasted and didn't like. My ciders are simply fresh pressed cider and yeast plus nutrients. No extra sugar required. In part that's because I like them in summertime and want them to be drinkable even early in the day. Who needs a coffee break when you can gulp down a quart of ice cold, bone dry hard cider?

Anyhow, a couple thoughts...

If you want that "apple-y" flavor, you may need to wait a long time to get it from a dry cider. By long I'm talking years, not weeks. Dry cider left to sit for a couple years will mellow and taste less "winey." In a keg at home that's hard to do, but it will get there if you can wait. I think most of the reason so many people back sweeten with concentrate is because they don't have the ability to wait this long, and they don't always have access to fresh pressed cider.

If you can still get cider, freeze a gallon then tip it upside down as it thaws, letting the runnings go into another container. When it's about half empty, back sweeten with the concentrated runnings. The leftovers are still good to drink, just won't be sweet or as flavorful.

Rather than ale yeast, get a cider yeast from wyeast or white labs. They'll give a more multidimensional taste profile in the short term than champagne or ale yeast.

Hope this helps. Keep us updated on how it turns out.

Jeff
__________________
jefflane510 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-10-2013, 04:26 PM   #8
jefflane510
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: East Conway, NH
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Sorry, my last post was mostly from reading your first post, not the latest.

What is it about the taste of the sweetened version that you dislike?

Did you use ale yeast? How's it coming?

__________________
jefflane510 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-11-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
girdwood
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ft. Lewis, Washington
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Thanks, jefflane510! I used some type of White Labs wine yeast (I didn't write it down or keep the container... rookie mistake). It tastes somewhat bitter and really dry. I'm thinking there was some type of wild yeast/bacteria that infected it. When I backsweetened it, it turned out with a final specific gravity of about 1.010 and didn't taste any better than before. However, it made for a decent Applejack (the keg is now empty, I transferred it all).

I'm actually going to check the SG of the new cider I did and see how it's coming along. This time, I brought 5g of the fresh cider to 160* for about 10min, cooled and transferred to the primary and added the yeast. I couldn't get an SG at the time because my hydrometer and tube fell and broken when I was drawing a sample So no way to replicate it this time, but I'm hoping it still turns out better.

__________________
girdwood is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
About to backsweeten and keg cider Butcher Cider Forum 4 07-18-2012 02:35 PM
Cider backsweeten question Bhunter87 Cider Forum 4 12-09-2011 01:23 AM
Still cider - backsweeten with cider and bottled - how to prevent bottle bombs ashyg Cider Forum 11 10-20-2010 03:10 PM
Backsweeten/Carbonation guscampag Cider Forum 8 11-29-2008 07:25 PM
Carbonation and Hard Cider Kris Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 4 01-24-2008 06:17 PM