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Old 01-16-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
AleJoe
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Default Yet another back sweetening question

Brewed a cider about 6 weeks ago or so. Got left in primary bucket due to lack of equipment/too many batches of beer going on (not a bad problem to have). Finally transferred to a secondary today (just to try and get off cake). Gravity is at .998 and the consensus was too dry (I disagreed but the SO is primary cider drinker).

I need to backsweeten but this is only the 2nd batch of cider I've ever done and the first I didn't need to. I've read a bunch of the threads on subject and frankly they get far more involved than I care to get to make this stuff drinkable. Anybody have some quick ideas to get this up to about 1.010-1.015? I assume honey, how much?

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Old 01-17-2011, 01:23 AM   #2
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You can use regular table sugar to sweeten or apple juice concentrate. You will need to kill of the yeast before hand or it will ferment dry again.

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Old 01-17-2011, 02:08 AM   #3
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I've also read honey, I'm just trying to get an idea of quantity

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Old 01-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #4
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2 lbs of honey will raise the gravity of a five gallon batch by about 14 points. So, a 0.998 cider would go to approx 1.012.

Honey has about 36 points of gravity per pound. If you put it in a five gallon batch, it will add about 7 points per gallon.
36 points divided into 5 gallons = 7.2 points per gallon
So, two pounds of honey (36 x 2=72 points) will add about 14 points in five gallons
72 points divided into 5 gallons = 14.4 points per gallon

Table sugar can be calculated the same way, except it has 45 points per lb

You can also use frozen apple concentrate, which will also increase the apple profile. If I remember correctly, a 12 oz can of concentrate has about 17 points per can. You'd need 2/3 - 1 can per gallon to raise your cider by 12-17 points. Concentrate has less sugar in it than honey or table sugar, so you need a larger volume. This added volume will lower your ABV by about 10%.

Regardless of how you backsweeten, I like to do it to taste. Add the sweetener in steps and taste at each step. This way you can stop when it's where you want it.

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Old 01-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
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Get down with your bad self ginking - cool formulas!

I agreed with ginking. Get your hooch in into a bucket and sweetend by addition, taste, addition and stir, addition and stir (gently, no aeration.) Take a F.G. when you get it where you like it, then you can go off that next time.

If you don't do something about the yeast, it will eat sugar, honey, molasses etc. So your only add option with no risks are truvia, splenda etc. Sulphiting and sorbate, works well, especially if you can cold crash your hooch, rack it into your bucket (most of the yeast drop out of suspension) then sorbate and sugar.

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Old 01-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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awesome info, thanks guys!

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:00 PM   #7
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I use Xylitol to backsweeten. It's non-fermentable, so I can bottle-carb with a measured amount of priming sugar and still rely on the xylitol for the sweetness.

Most natural food stores will have it on the shelf.

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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What about using lactose? Maybe some wine sweetener?

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heckle View Post
What about using lactose? Maybe some wine sweetener?
Y'know, I've read elsewhere on HBT that lactose really lacks a sweetness punch. I haven't tried it myself, so I can't say for sure. But xylitol is pretty much exactly the same as sucrose, on a sweetness-per-weight basis.
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