Hello all. So, Im a new brewer and my wife loves hard cider. I want to try brewing a small batch of carbonated sweet cider this weekend, so Ive been reading tons of posts. I have what sounds like a decent recipe and I have a tentative plan of attack. Id like to ferment in the primary, transfer to a secondary, cold crash at an FG that would leave a semi-sweet cider, rack that, bottle carbonate and pasteurize. I have heard that complete fermentations lead to less apple character. If I have an OG of say 1.060, what would be an FG that would leave sweetness and more apple character? Would the residual yeast and sugar left in the cider following crashing and bottling be enough to lightly carbonate the cider (I would be monitoring carbonation, of course), or would I need to add a small amount of priming sugar? I have read here that careful stove top submersion pasteurization at 140F for 10-12 minutes is sufficient to inactivate yeast. Any advice?
What if I wanted to rack my primary to a secondary with fresh tart apples. I know that I would certainly have a secondary fermentation, but how would this affect the flavor? How could I estimate the addition the apples would have to the gravity, so as to calculate %ABV and to know when to rack it off the apples and cold crash to still have a sweet cider? Thanks for any help. Im excited!