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Old 12-28-2011, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Need help rescuing my first cider!

Loving this community, tons of great advice, thanks all!

So, i made a 2 gal batch using Grandpa's Cider Mill Honey Crisp cider from whole foods, added about 3/4 pound of brown sugar and some wine tannin, pectin enzyme and acid blend (at the suggestion of the local HBS). Went into the primary at 1.070 and 9 days later it's down to about 1.002! As you could guess its very dry and strong and is also really cloudy. Guess I should have checked it sooner!

My question is... How can I salvage the batch, and how can I go about back-sweetening it?

It is in a 6 gal plastic bucket now, was planning in racking to two 1 gal glass carboys.

Any help or advice is much appreciated!

Thanks.

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:36 AM   #2
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Sounds like it's right on track to me, no need to "salvage" anything. From your description all you need to do is rack & wait till it clears, then bottle.

If you feel the need to backsweeten, there are a few things you can do. Backsweeten with a nonfermentable sweetener like stevia. This will allow you to prime & carb with no issues. You can also sulfite & sorbate, then backsweeten with a fermentable sugar like you would with a wine, but this limits you to bottling still.

You could also backsweeten, bottle & allow to carb, then pasturize; this runs the risk of exploding bottles from 2 different directions: 1 from too high a heat during pastuerization, 2 from the heat not high enough & live yeast overcarbing in the bottle & excess pressure causing the bottle to explode.

That being said, there are several people who have had no problems with stovetop pastuerization, in fact, there is a whole thread about how to do it here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/

Then again you could always just wait till it's clear, bottle & let it age for a year.
There are a few options, it's your choice.
Regards, GF.

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Old 12-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #3
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Thanks GF. I guess I didn't expect to see it so low so fast and got worried over nothing.

I'm thinking I will let it clear and then maybe back sweeten one gallon with stevia and in the other use apple juice concentrate and try pasteurizing that one.

Any recommendation of how much stevia or juice concentrate? Also, should I add that to the bottling bucket like I would add priming sugar?

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Old 12-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jjhachey View Post
Any recommendation of how much stevia or juice concentrate? Also, should I add that to the bottling bucket like I would add priming sugar?
normally I use 3 cans of concentrate to a 5-6 gallon batch, your tastes may be different.

What I do is add my campden tablets, wait a day (at least, normally I wait 2) then put it in a bottling bucket and add my concentrate (to taste) then keg.
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Old 12-28-2011, 05:43 PM   #5
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I uses stevia for my first batch. I bought a 10g little container of it. I used two teaspoons for a 5 gallon batch to sweeten it. I then primed the batch for bottling using one can of frozen Apple juice concentrate.

The yeast will eat the sugar in the aj concentrate while in the bottles and carb it nicely for you while the stevia is natural and sweetens nicely.

The stevia I bought was a concentrate from my lhbs. It is labeled steviol glycosides.

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Old 12-30-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhachey View Post
Thanks GF. I guess I didn't expect to see it so low so fast and got worried over nothing.

I'm thinking I will let it clear and then maybe back sweeten one gallon with stevia and in the other use apple juice concentrate and try pasteurizing that one.

Any recommendation of how much stevia or juice concentrate? Also, should I add that to the bottling bucket like I would add priming sugar?
Can't help you on either one, I never use nonfermentable sweeteners & I've never had a need to backsweeten anything I've made. Sounds like pumba & divi know what they're talking about, you might try their advice. There's always the handy search function too, I'm pretty sure there are a couple of threads (at least a couple) on both those topics. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.
Regards, GF.
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