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Old 01-10-2012, 08:59 PM   #1
TheBroonery
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Default Too late to backsweeten?

I made a batch of cider for my wife. Started it 3 months ago and just kegged it the other day. All I used was potassium metabisulfate, a pectic enzyme, nottingham yeast, and 5 gallons of unpasteurized cider. I put it in the fridge after I kegged it to carbonate it as I typically do with beer. 2 days after, we tasted it and it was a little sour, still waiting for the carbonation to catch up, but not too bad for a first at cider...

Would it be possible to backsweeten the cider at this point? If so, how? My wife has an idea for a "simple syrup" consisting of table sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, etc. She thinks that would help take the edge off (it's 8% alcohol) and mask some of the sourness. Would tossing some hops in the keg be a bad idea?

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Old 01-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #2
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there's nothing wrong with that, there's always the chance that your yeast will run with the new sugar a bit even in the fridge but it's a pretty small chance (not sure how active nottingham is at fridge temps?), and anyways not much danger in a keg. if it starts to ferment slowly, drink it quickly. the "safe" alternative is to sulfite and sorbate when you sweeten. just don't add anything powdered to the cider which by now has enough CO2 in solution to do a mentos-in-coke style fizzup if you do. personally if i were adding spices i would definitely boil them in sugar water (or concentrated apple juice?) and then remove them, as i think you suggested, things like ginger and cloves especially can suddenly overwhelm if left in, and again personal taste here, would't even put hops in the same room as my cider, but i know that some love it

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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So we had the idea last night to add some priming sugar and see if it will carbonate like beer. You were right about the powder - about 3/4 into pouring a 5 oz bag of priming sugar into the keg, it foamed up like a volcano and spilled out everywhere. I quickly resealed the keg and cleaned up the mess, and I left the keg out at room temperature. With a pressure gauge on the gas post of the keg, it looks like it has increased a few psi since this event. Anything I should be worried about? I was just going to let it condition for a week or 2 and see how it is then.

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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It should carbonate fine. Cider can take months to really develop. If it is too sour or you want it sweeter, what I like to do is add a little honey to the glass.

Next time, dissolve the priming sugar in a cup of boiling water.

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBroonery View Post
So we had the idea last night to add some priming sugar and see if it will carbonate like beer. You were right about the powder - about 3/4 into pouring a 5 oz bag of priming sugar into the keg, it foamed up like a volcano and spilled out everywhere. I quickly resealed the keg and cleaned up the mess, and I left the keg out at room temperature. With a pressure gauge on the gas post of the keg, it looks like it has increased a few psi since this event. Anything I should be worried about? I was just going to let it condition for a week or 2 and see how it is then.
By then the priming sugar will be consumed. 5 ounces of priming sugar in a keg is a lot- it should be pretty highly carbed with that much sugar.
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