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Old 04-28-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
Darklordenron
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Default Second attempt at cider, 8 days in, still fermenting

So I brewed up a batch of hard cider 2.13 gallons and tried to backsweeten one gallon with Xylitol. I definitely added too much too soon and had to dump that batch. Luckily, it was only one gallon and I had another left. Secondaried that one on the 20th. My first question is, how much xylitol would I want to add to that one to get a sweet taste and still carbonate it in the bottle? (I read somewhere that 3 tablespoons would be sufficient)

Secondly, I made a second 1 gallon batch that same day on the 20th and it's been stored at 62-65 degrees. It's still fermenting! Not as vigorous as it was the first few days, but it's definitely still going. My airlock is going nuts with activity! How long typically does fermentation last in cider? My first batch didn't have a typical airlock because it was in a Mr. Beer keg doing it's thing. I know not to judge fermentation length by the airlock, so..

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #2
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I use one teaspoon Xylitol per quart of cider. I'd say this amount is on the small end of the scale - it improves the flavor of a dry cider a bit but, I wouldn't call the finished product sweet at all.

I use store bought (filtered) apple juice plus this and that for my recipes. Fermentation lasts 3 to 8 weeks for me. (8 weeks when honey is added).

Definitely takes longer than fermenting beer.

- Ralph

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input! When do you add the sweetener, right before secondary? Do you simply add it to the mix without shaking and let it dissolve or do you somehow try to mix it in?

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:52 PM   #4
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I add the xylitol at bottling time.

I boil a tiny amount of water and mix the xylitol in the water. Then reboil for a little bit (to sanitize). Then cool the xylitol/water mixture and combine with the cider as i siphon it off into the bottling bucket. I don't know if you brew beer but it's the same procedure as adding priming sugar.

You could also add fermentible sugar at the same time to get some bottle carbonation. I have been using coopers sugar tabs for carbonation since I'm making such small batches of cider (~1 gallon at a time.)

- Ralph

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Old 05-02-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rongoozle
I add the xylitol at bottling time.

I boil a tiny amount of water and mix the xylitol in the water. Then reboil for a little bit (to sanitize). Then cool the xylitol/water mixture and combine with the cider as i siphon it off into the bottling bucket. I don't know if you brew beer but it's the same procedure as adding priming sugar.

You could also add fermentible sugar at the same time to get some bottle carbonation. I have been using coopers sugar tabs for carbonation since I'm making such small batches of cider (~1 gallon at a time.)

- Ralph
That's the plan. I've got this gallon in secondary so I'm wondering if adding the sweetener now would make it taste funny. I usually just use corn sugar added to the bottle for my beer endeavors, so back sweetening is new to me.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Sorry, I'm not sure about the add it now vs. later question. Maybe you could check some of the recipes that include xylitol to see what they recommend.

- Ralph

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Old 05-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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They recommend adding it at secondary time. Yesterday I added 2 tablespoons xylitol and I'll see how it tastes in about a week or maybe two just to benchmark the progress. I do worry that my cider won't be exactly clear at the bottling stage. It was cloudy to begin with, cloudy at fermentation and cloudy in secondary. Lees seems to be dropping, but ever so slowly.. Oh well, it smells pretty good so far!

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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I just had one last night from my first batch - it was bottled eight weeks ago. Crystal clear and delicious - they get better with age!

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Do I really need to leave in the secondary for like 3 months or can it simply age in the bottle? All my beers really do their clearing in the bottle so I'm not ultra worried. I do, however want to try some cider!

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Old 05-04-2011, 04:34 PM   #10
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And, I need my carboys back!

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