Originally Posted by nukinfuts29
still looking for an answer ^^
My understanding is woodchuck is backsweetened and force carbonated. I would assume that yeast is taken out via filtering and that they use preservatives like sorbate and k-meta.
my best results for making a woodchuck styled cider using backsweetening is to use what I call double sweet cider (process below).
1. Take cider that is fermented dry
2. Add 1/4 rounded tsp of sorbate per gallon of finished product.
3. Rack cider into bottling bucket, onto sorbate leaving any yeast behind.
4. add double sweet cider to taste (this is fresh unpasteurized cider that I have let thaw about half way, then I pour off the liquid and leave the ice chunk behind. this results in a very sweet "double sweet" cider to backsweeten with). I usually end up adding about 1/3 double sweet cider to 2/3 hard cider for gravity in the 1.022-26 range.
5. Once you have it tasting the way you want, add 1 crushed campden tablet per finished volume gallon into your keg.
6. Rack in the cider from the bottling bucket into a keg, force carb and give a couple days before you try.
Note: The sulphites will possibly taste funny for about 24hrs, then the flavor will dissipate. If you don't sulphite and only sorbate there is potential for the sorbate to interact with malolactic bacteria causing an unpleasant geranium smell. Sorbate is sometimes attacked by malolactic bacteria. Malolactic bacteria will likely only be present in fresh pressed unpasteurized cider.