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Old 11-20-2010, 04:51 AM   #1
BCEagles
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Default New To Making Cider- I Have Some basic questions

So I have 5 gal. of cider in my carboy, and it has already been racked. I don't have anything to measure sg or any instrumentation of that sort. I am trying to get a semi-sweet, sparkling/carbonated cider.

I used apples and pressed them for the juice. I used 5 cups of white sugar and 5 cups of brown sugar as called for the recipe.

Some quick questions from a noob:

- Can someone create a step-by-step procedure for backsweetening and bottle carbonation for me please? I have never done it and don't know the proper ingredients, amounts, and steps used.

- For backsweetening, I see people mentioning the use of Splenda and corn sugar. I have Splenda, but would corn syrup work the same as corn sugar for carbonation? Or do I need to go and get corn sugar?

- 6 months of aging in the carboy is recommended by the recipe I'm using, and I'm on that step. I hear this brings out the apple flavor and mellows the cider. If I'm aging the cider for 6 months, do I need to worry about it turning to vinegar? Will the alcohol content get significantly higher the longer the cider is aged, or at this point is the alcohol content pretty well established?

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
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without a hydrometer u cant tell if u have a semi sweet or a dry. get a hydrometer, for real there cheap

if your bottle carbing then your back sweetening options are limited to unfermentable sugar like splinda and lactose

if your kegging then you could use potassium sorbate to stop the yeast from multiplying and creating bottle bombs but from the sound of it you carb in the bottle.

and as with any aging, keep an airlock on ur carboy and youll be ok.

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCEagles View Post
- Can someone create a step-by-step procedure for backsweetening and bottle carbonation for me please? I have never done it and don't know the proper ingredients, amounts, and steps used.

- For backsweetening, I see people mentioning the use of Splenda and corn sugar. I have Splenda, but would corn syrup work the same as corn sugar for carbonation? Or do I need to go and get corn sugar?

- 6 months of aging in the carboy is recommended by the recipe I'm using, and I'm on that step. I hear this brings out the apple flavor and mellows the cider. If I'm aging the cider for 6 months, do I need to worry about it turning to vinegar? Will the alcohol content get significantly higher the longer the cider is aged, or at this point is the alcohol content pretty well established?
1.) Check out the the Pasteurization Sticky at the top of the forum. Also search for a post called "Cider House Rules". That has allot of info in it.

2.) Back sweetening and priming for carbonation are 2 different things. Splenda will sweeten but is not fermentable, so that won't work for bottle carbonation. Many think it gives a off taste. For more info refer to #1

3.) I'm not sure if it is typical to age that long or not for regular Low alcohol content cider. If you are more into the Wine alcohol level that might be. It doesn't appear that you used a ton of sugar so I'm guessing its not real high in alcohol. Guessing maybe 7% or 8% (didn't do the calculations for the sugar you added). If the ferment was done when you started your "Aging", no more alcohol should be produced.

As far as the vinegar, as long as Air doesn't get to it, you won't get vinegar. I don't know how long folks leave in a bucket though.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCEagles View Post
I am trying to get a semi-sweet, sparkling/carbonated cider.

I used apples and pressed them for the juice. I used 5 cups of white sugar and 5 cups of brown sugar as called for the recipe.

Some quick questions from a noob:

- Can someone create a step-by-step procedure for backsweetening and bottle carbonation for me please? I have never done it and don't know the proper ingredients, amounts, and steps used.

- For backsweetening, I see people mentioning the use of Splenda and corn sugar. I have Splenda, but would corn syrup work the same as corn sugar for carbonation? Or do I need to go and get corn sugar?

- 6 months of aging in the carboy is recommended by the recipe I'm using, and I'm on that step. I hear this brings out the apple flavor and mellows the cider. If I'm aging the cider for 6 months, do I need to worry about it turning to vinegar? Will the alcohol content get significantly higher the longer the cider is aged, or at this point is the alcohol content pretty well established?
You are making wine now, with an expected alcohol content of 11.85%. It will definitely need 6 months minimum to be good, probably longer. Whether you age it in a secondary glass carboy or in bottles doesn't matter much.

Since you want it semi-sweet and carbonated, the devil is in the details. If it were me, I'd leave it in a glass carboy for six months to a year. Then I'd add small amounts of splenda to a measured 8 oz sample until I liked the taste, then calculate how much to add to the entire batch. Then I'd add 5 oz of regular sugar and bottle it in swing-tops or "flip tops", basically Grolsch bottles that are clear, and you can observe activity. Leave them at room temp for 3 weeks, then back in the cellar for another 6 months or so.
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Old 11-20-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fletch78 View Post
You are making wine now, with an expected alcohol content of 11.85%. It will definitely need 6 months minimum to be good, probably longer. Whether you age it in a secondary glass carboy or in bottles doesn't matter much.

Since you want it semi-sweet and carbonated, the devil is in the details. If it were me, I'd leave it in a glass carboy for six months to a year. Then I'd add small amounts of splenda to a measured 8 oz sample until I liked the taste, then calculate how much to add to the entire batch. Then I'd add 5 oz of regular sugar and bottle it in swing-tops or "flip tops", basically Grolsch bottles that are clear, and you can observe activity. Leave them at room temp for 3 weeks, then back in the cellar for another 6 months or so.
To minimize confusion, Fletch is correct in the alcohol content. The sugar alone (2 cups/gallon or 1 lb/gallon) will contribute almost 6% alcohol, then there is the sugar in the apples. You will be somewhere around 12%.

Regular table sugar is OK to use to carbonate. No need for corn sugar or syrup. For 5 gallons use 5 ozs sugar, dissolve in boiling water (about a pint), cool, add to bottling bucket. Rack cider on to the sugar syrup you just made. Gently stir (not usually necessary, but makes you feel better it got mixed properly), then bottle from bottling bucket.

The sugar used for carbonation will not give any additional sweetness.
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