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Old 01-25-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
benyalom
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Default getting a sweet sparkling cider?

Hi all - I'm a bit confused after reading a few too many threads here!

I'm making my first batch of cider, and would like it not to be bone dry. I'm confused about the relationship between sweetness and carbonation - is it possible to bottle with some sweetness left in the brew - say by back sweetening - and to also have carbonation?

Does the yeast need to be killed off / fermentation stopped? Or can I just bottle it?

Thanks...

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Old 01-25-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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You can, but it would involve pasturisation or force carbonation.

There's a pretty good sticky thread on pasturising somewhere. It basically involves fermenting your cider to a stage that you're happy with, priming it (adding sugar to allow fermentation to create CO2) and finally putting the bottles in very hot water to kill off yeast and stop anymore fermentation from taking place.

Alternatively you could ferment to dry, add a stabaliser, back sweeten and then force carbonate in a pressure barrel using CO2 bulbs.

Either way, i woldn't say it's the easiest of things to do for a begginer. You're better off having it dry and fizzy, or still and sweet.

Dicky

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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Also, after aging a little, the sharp dry edges will smooth out a little...

Since its dried out already, bottle carb like 4 bottles and let them age to different times... Once you find out it you're into it aged, then you can decide what to do...

Backsweetining/forcecarbing is a TON of work and costs if you don't have the stuff to do it with

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:03 PM   #4
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You can ferment till its dry and then backsweeten,prime,bottle and then pastuerize once it reaches the carbonation level that you like. I used the stove top method to pastuerize mine and it has worked great on several batches now. You could also bottle it before its done fermenting when its at a point that you like but you need to keep a very close watch on the carbonation level since it will carb very fast since you bottled before fermentation was complete. Either way will work though.

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Old 01-25-2012, 02:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buffalo
You can ferment till its dry and then backsweeten,prime,bottle and then pastuerize once it reaches the carbonation level that you like. I used the stove top method to pastuerize mine and it has worked great on several batches now. You could also bottle it before its done fermenting when its at a point that you like but you need to keep a very close watch on the carbonation level since it will carb very fast since you bottled before fermentation was complete. Either way will work though.
Yes. If you do it this way, watch VERY CLOSE or you'll have a ton of blowed up bottles one morning
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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Yes you can, this is the recipe I used, and it turned out great:

So, I primed 2 gallons of the cider with 4 oz of maple syrup, at the end of 5.5 days it had carbed up to my liking. I've put them all in the fridge, and just took my first drink of the finished product...it's exactly what I wanted. You can taste the maple syrup on the back end, it still has a lot of apple flavor, as well as a vanilla note in the middle (not sure where that came from). So, for a cheap and quick cider, I think it turned out extremely well, better than I had hoped. Here is the exact recipe in case anyone wants a quick cheap semi-sweet cider:

Treetop 3 Apple Blend Pressed Juice (3 gallons)
White Sugar (1.3 lbs)
White Labs English Cider Yeast
Yeast Nutrient (3 Tbs)

Priming

Maple Syrup (2 oz per 1 gallon)

Bottled at 1.016 and conditioned for 5.5 days.

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Old 01-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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Ever consider Brandon O's Graff? I'm currently enjoying my first batch - its sweet (1.012ish if I remember right) and carbonated and awesome.

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Old 01-25-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
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One thing not mentioned here. If you are timid about pasteurizing using boiling water, you can always ferment a batch to bone dry, then back sweeten to your taste using a non fermentable sweetener such as stevia, splenda, lactose, or several others. Once you have it sweetened to taste, add the proper amount of priming sugar for your batch (corn sugar, table sugar, maple syrup etc). Then bottle. The priming sugar will get eaten by the yeast left in suspension and won't over carbonate provides it was done fermenting in the carboy.

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divi2323
One thing not mentioned here. If you are timid about pasteurizing using boiling water, you can always ferment a batch to bone dry, then back sweeten to your taste using a non fermentable sweetener such as stevia, splenda, lactose, or several others. Once you have it sweetened to taste, add the proper amount of priming sugar for your batch (corn sugar, table sugar, maple syrup etc). Then bottle. The priming sugar will get eaten by the yeast left in suspension and won't over carbonate provides it was done fermenting in the carboy.
Just e careful with different sweeteners. They are VERY different! Stevia is like 10x sweeter than regular sugar!!
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:22 PM   #10
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I ferment my cider all the way dry and keg it with a half cup sugar for natural carbonation in the keg and two pounds of lactose to add a little sweetness and body. It's still a pretty far cry from woodchuck, but closer in sweetness to dessert wine than plain dry white wine.

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