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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Half still sweet, half carb'd dry cider, will this work?
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:40 PM   #1
BierKoning
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Default Half still sweet, half carb'd dry cider, will this work?

Hey All, long time lurker, first time poster here. Might I say that HBT is filled with some very helpful people!

I want to make my first batch of hard cider, but I want to mix it up a bit. Here's my plan for making cider once my equipment arrives from AustinHomeBrew.com this weekend, I want to make sure this concept will work without any flaws that my ignorance is overlooking. Thanks to everyone for all the help you've already provided in the 100s of posts I've already read, and for whatever help you can offer on this one!

Thanks for aekdbbop for the recipe from a 2008 post!:

5 gal cheap stuff Apple Juice with nothing but vitamin C
2lbs dark brown sugar
1 five gram packet of Nottingham Dry Ale Yeast

Directions:

1. Sanitize Everything!
2. Empty all but 1 gallon of apple juice into your carboy.
3. Bring that last gallon to a boil, remove from heat, and dissolve your dark brown sugar.
4. Let that cool a bit, and add it to the carboy.
5. Sprinkle your yeast on top.
6. Let ferment @ 68* until SG reaches desired sweetness (1.02-1.009, to taste)
7. Rack, carefully, 3 gal to secondary carboy and 2 gal to bottling bucket.
8. Air-lock the 3 gallons and let that continue to ferment until dry (~4 more weeks)
9. Bottle the 2 gal of sweet, still cider and immediately stove-top pasteurize to cease fermentation. (2 gal batch = done)
10. After 3 gal batch is done fermenting, rack to bottling bucket with ~2.5oz priming sugar.
11. Bottle 3 gal batch and let naturally carb (3 gal batch = done)

The carb'd dry cider will probably need to age for a few months to achieve a good flavor

How does this sound to everyone? Any major flaws in my logic? Any points to be especially careful of?

If I really don't like the taste of the fully dry cider I figure I can always back-sweeten with about 9.5oz of lactose. Or, I can prime it, bottle half (1.5gal) of the dry cider, then back-sweeten the remaining cider (final 1.5gal) with about 5oz of lactose and bottle that for sweet, sparkling cider!

Sound good to everyone?

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:19 PM   #2
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Bringing our last gallon to the boil will activate the pectins and leave it possibly cloudy for permenant...if you don't want that, use water instead. A llittle water in your brew won't make much difference.

If you want your cider still and sweet, it's as simple as adding k-sorbate and some campden just in case - no need to pasteurize as this is just a method that's required when bottles need to be sweet AND carbed. dry and carbed you don't need to pasteurize, just prime with enough sugar so they won't explode. sweet and still you don't need to pasteurize, just kill it completely.

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:04 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip on boiling that last gallon! I definitely would like clear cider, so I'll use your water suggestion to dissolve my sugar.

I want to pasteurize the still sweet cider because I hadn't wanted to use any chemicals to kill the yeasties, keep it all natural, if you will. No risk of bottle bombs obviously since it's still and not carb'd, but then I don't have to add the k-sorbate.

I won't pasteurize for dry and carb'd cider, that's just bottling with primer sugar like normal.

IF I want sweet carb'd cider, I'll back-sweeten with non-fermentables like lactose or splenda. Then prime and bottle like normal.

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:26 PM   #4
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I would highly recommend pasteurizing your sweet and carbed - sweetening non-fementables tend to suck, and if you're used to the process, why not? this also opens up your opportunities to try different sugars, flavour with juices, etc

As for chemicals, fair enough! In that vein, did you know you can use an egg shell as a clearing agent? works wonders apparently.

You should be fine to just stir your sugar solution into the main brew but let it cool slightly as a precaution. I love cloudy cider, but your friends and family probably don't. :P

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:37 PM   #5
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just to clarify, even if you aren't planning on doing it, adding sorbate and sulfite to an active ferment will not stop fermentation. anyone who thinks it will should try it once

do make sure you don't have a lot of headspace in whatever carboy you rack to or your cider will very likely go very bad after oxidizing

the young stuff you pasteurize is going to be awfully yeasty tasting, i would give it a while to settle out, and then pour carefully. well, to be honest i wouldn't employ that strategy to begin with... but experimenting is fun. and everything tastes better after a few months

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Old 08-17-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
the young stuff you pasteurize is going to be awfully yeasty tasting, i would give it a while to settle out, and then pour carefully. well, to be honest i wouldn't employ that strategy to begin with... but experimenting is fun. and everything tastes better after a few months
Hmm, good point. What strategy would you use to bottle sweet, still cider without using any chemicals and without having to back-sweeten?
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #7
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dunno, i've never done such a thing, but i suppose i would start by cold crashing just as it was getting to the desired gravity. then rack it off the yeast cake and keep it in the fridge to avoid fermentation restart? just an idea
yeast is pretty inactive at 4 degrees (fridge temp in C for Correct degrees) but if you have a lot of them you will notice some activity even in the cold, probably depending on the strain, so rack off the yeast as soon as the cider is clear. if you fridge it in a sealed bottle you can get carb pressure even in the fridge and then when you open it to rack it's fizzy and instantly cloudy (speaking from idiotic experience)

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Old 08-18-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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also there's nothing wrong with stovetop pasteurizing, it's easy and works very well, especially with still cider which won't explode when heated, i would just want it to be clear before bottling or you will have a big glump of cooked yeast in each bottle, so i would cold crash first

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