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Old 04-04-2011, 10:43 AM   #1
lukerohde
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Default Sweet sparkling cider without pasturising, sulphites or lactose

Hi All

We've got an apple tree that produces more fruit than we know what to do with, so being cider lovers, we decided to get into brewing. Our first batch of cider was very dry so we've been adding sugar after opening which is a pain. We want a slightly sweet cider that is still alcoholic and are looking for ways to either interrupt the ferment early without ruining the sparkle or sweeten the mix prior to bottling that won't cause an explosion.

I'm alergic/paranoid about sulphites and my wife is lactose intolerant. I've read pasturising negatively affects flavour. Sulphites and pasturising may also prevent priming...

My cider book makes a vague reference to racking off twice as a way to eliminate yeast and interrupt/slow the fermentation process to produce a sweet cider. Can anyone explain this? Or can anyone offer a better suggestion?

TIA,
Luke

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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Backsweeten with another non-fermentable, something other than lactose. Take a look at www.makinghardcider.com

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Old 04-04-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Pasteurising has never given me a different/bad/noticeable taste.

Backsweetening with non-fermentables will also give a different flavor.

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Old 04-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmate View Post
Pasteurising has never given me a different/bad/noticeable taste.

Backsweetening with non-fermentables will also give a different flavor.
That's my experience, too, Oldmate. The brief pastuerizing in the bottle, post-carbonation, doesn't produce any off-flavors or a noticeable change. And adding backsweeteners, whatever they are, does impact the flavor, which could be either a postive or negative, depending on what you like.
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Old 04-04-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Filter. You need a 2-222 Single-open ended filter and housing, not the standard DOE (double open end).

See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/ster...n-info-223780/

I just used my new filter with 5-gallons cider, came out CRYSTAL clear.

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Old 04-04-2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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Filter. You need a 2-222 Single-open ended filter and housing, not the standard DOE (double open end).

See http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/ster...n-info-223780/

I just used my new filter with 5-gallons cider, came out CRYSTAL clear.
How would the OP use a filter and make bottle conditioned sparkling semi-dry cider? I think the filter filters out the yeast, meaning there are no yeast for bottle conditioning, or am I missing something?
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:05 PM   #7
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OP didn't say anything about bottle conditioning - just sparkling. He'd have to use CO2.

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
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OP didn't say anything about bottle conditioning - just sparkling. He'd have to use CO2.
Quote:
We want a slightly sweet cider that is still alcoholic and are looking for ways to either interrupt the ferment early without ruining the sparkle or sweeten the mix prior to bottling that won't cause an explosion.
His question arises because he doesn't want to create bottle bombs.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:29 AM   #9
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Point taken... however, in a literal sense, filtering out the yeast and adding CO2 after the fact won't 'ruin the sparkle' (there is no sparkle to ruin when fermentation is over) or 'cause an explosion,' so in that sense, my suggestion fulfilled the OP's requirements. I do agree with you that if we read between the lines, the OP was looking for a bottle-conditioned scenario.

I made my suggestion because it is a practical and sure-fire way to achieve the desired outcome (if brewing is done on a 5gal+ scale), not because I misunderstood the OP's interests. The OP can, of course, weigh pros against cons and decide for himself what seems to be the optimal approach.

There is no reason why one could not treat a keg like a firkin and allow the cider to naturally carbonate. Then, they could filter under pressure and bottle without losing the original yeast-derived carbonation. So again, filtering could provide the solution to the OP's inquiry.

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Old 04-05-2011, 01:32 AM   #10
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Awesome, I had it in my head that all I could use was lactose for backsweetening. I suppose there is splenda, any other suggestions?

I'm going to do a test dishwasher pasturisation for comparison too. If I get any definitive results, I'll post. I was concerned heating bottles already full of fizz may cause an explosion.

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