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Old 02-13-2006, 12:58 PM   #1
Talcottsk
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Default how can i sweeten

I want to test out different ciders by changing some things in each batch, for example, sweetness, spice, mixture of fruits, etc...
How can I change the sweetness (i know I can load up the sugars, but that will also load the alcohol level) I want to hit about 5-8% sweet cider
ale yeast?

thanks

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Old 02-13-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
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You need a non-fermentable sugar, like lactose or you can stop the fermentation with campden tablets or sorbate (sorbic acid). You an also chill the cider to near freezing and hold it there. Sterile filtration is commonly used by commercial operations, but is impractical for homebrewers.

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Old 02-13-2006, 06:53 PM   #3
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wot about those sweetner pills people put in there coffee?/non fermentable,just crush em up. just an idea,never try'd it.

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Old 02-13-2006, 07:01 PM   #4
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I've tried artificial sweetners. Haven't found one that does the trick, although I admit most of them don't taste very good to me under the best situations.

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Old 02-13-2006, 07:08 PM   #5
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I sweeten my cider up with honey gives it a more complex taste.

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Old 02-13-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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I have tried several methods and here is what works for me. After primary fermentation is done I wrack it into a secondary with a little potassium sorbate and cold chill it for at least a day (2 seems better). Then I backfill with juice and sample to check flavor. Then I cold condition it for at least another 3-5 days and it should be ready to bottle.

The last few batches I have used a 1/4 cup of lactose as well and have been happy with the result. I don't know how it holds up after months of bottle conditioning but I will find out. For me, a little sweetness seems to bring out the fruit flavoring. I have a cranberry peach that I will bottle this afternoon that is very promising.

Also, as a sidenote. I primed my last batch of spiced cider (after sorbating) and found it did slightly carbonate in the bottle after conditioning (didn't mean to prime, old habits are hard to break). I might worry about continued fermentation over time but I don't think it will last that long.

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Old 02-14-2006, 03:09 AM   #7
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how about using an ale yeast (lower alcohol tolerance right?) and then loading up the sugars? Might be a bit high alcohol % but...can't ferment all of it right??

just an idea--i like testing and then stopping the ferment too, good idea

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Old 02-14-2006, 11:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talcottsk
how about using an ale yeast (lower alcohol tolerance right?) and then loading up the sugars? Might be a bit high alcohol % but...can't ferment all of it right??

just an idea--i like testing and then stopping the ferment too, good idea
Non fermentable artificial sweetner added to taste in a (lower ABV) dry cider works if you want 'Fizz'. The yeast is still live and the cider can then be primed - Carbonation helps to 'mask' the 'un-natural' sweetner taste that david_42 rightly mentioned.
I wouldn't bother aging it though - with my experiments the sweetner will settle out fairly quickly.
If you want to just keep 'feeding' a cider (with freshly opened pasturized juice) I'd rack it off the lees regulary until you get no more airlock activity. Just ensure you keep everything sterilized when you expose it for 'topping up'.
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