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Old 04-01-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default Making Apple Juice less fermentable

In thinking about making ciders, I'm thinking I want something semi-sweet. I'm a bottle conditioner, so I can't have a sweet carbonated cider.

The issue is that apple juice is very fermentable. Would it be possible to make it less fermentable? I know extended boiling of wort can carmelize the wort- would this apply to apple juice?

At the very least, boiling the juice would reduce the liquid, and make for a higher OG.

Any thoughts or experience with this?

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Old 04-01-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
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You could let it ferment out and add some potassium sorbate to retard further fermentation then add straight frozen concentrate AJ (no added water) to get the flavor sweet again, or use some Splenda.

I've done both at the same time and was pleasantly surprised.

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Old 04-01-2010, 01:55 AM   #3
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I know that route, but am wondering if it's possible to convert some of the sugars in apple juice into unfermentable sugars.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:41 AM   #4
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I'm gonna go out on a limb here and show my inexperience but.....

Instead of boiling your whole wort what about the idea of taking a smaller quantity of good quality juice say maybe >1 ga, depending on your batch size, and throwing it on the stove and very slowly reduce it to the point where you have a syrup. At that point kill the heat and let it cool and finish reducing. Once its cool return it to the medium/medium high heat and highly carmelize it much like you would a roux.

You could then take that syrup after it has cooled a second time and blend it cold into your cider wort and pitch your yeast. The idea being that the smaller amount of syrup would provide unfermentable sugars without you having to boil your entire "wort" and hopefully minimize the amount of hazing in the final beverage.

**Note I don't know how well this would work, I'm going on the premise that some carmelized sugars may be less fermentable and would contribute to the overall sweetness and mouth feel of the final beverage. Please feel free to correct me if I'm heading towards disaster with this idea.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:45 AM   #5
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think this is what you looking for

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/unfermentable-sugars-47805/

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:52 AM   #6
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I've used malto dextrine, and it was ok seems like more body than sweetness, not sure about lactose though. I've heard some people have good luck with it.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:52 AM   #7
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It wont work, carmlized sugar is not that sweet anyway. and you cant make the mono sugars poly again and even if you could thay dont taste that sweet eather.
its the big sugars that are unfermentable not the little ones.

why not just make some wort with a hot mash (unfermentable sugars) and then add concentrate AJ too the small amount of wort and the add that to your apple juice.

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Old 04-01-2010, 02:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the correction Clayton. If I'm not mistaken isn't what you're talking about basically what Brandon is doing with his graff receipe?

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Old 04-01-2010, 04:07 AM   #9
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Well, the problem with the sugars in apple juice is that they are simple (and therefore very fermentable) from the get go. The organism that is the apple tree spent a lot of it's energy breaking down the starches in the fruit into sugars in the ripening process. Although caramelization can cause some sugars to become unfermentable (assuming that's what happens to crystal malt), it also changes them completely, flavourwise. I've made syrup out of apple juice before, and boy is it ever tasty, but to cook it to the point of a full caramelization would make some pretty bitter stuff, I imagine. Maybe doing that, as was mentioned above, would give something unique, but also probably something like a dark, stout-like cider. Moreover, from what I understand, caramelization of some sugars actually breaks them down into simpler (and therefore even more fermentable) sugars.

It's just damn near impossible to make a bottle-conditioned sweet cider of higher ABV outside of pasteurizing the bottles, which can be dangerous to do nonetheless. Myself, I like my cider really dry, but I do enjoy a good sweeter cider, so I'll have no problem putting aside some dough for kegging gear. It's really the only practical option.

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:20 AM   #10
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boiling the juice is a bad idea. (or so I have heard). Some people say it gives the cider a cooked juice taste, also it will set the pectins and make it difficult to clear.

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