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Old 02-23-2011, 02:19 AM   #1
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Hey All,

I was hoping some of the cider brewing heavyweights would weigh in on this one.

So I have been perusing the forum for info on backsweetening and the majority of threads seem to be case specific e.g. newbies like me with specific questions regarding their desired end results.

I was just curious what some of the more experienced and established cider makers prefer to do when they want a sweet cider and the reasons behind it. Do you use Splenda or lactose, simply cold crash, or use a different method altogether? It would be great to hear the methods behind your madnesses and maybe get an idea on the most common/preferred method.

Thanks in advance!

btw: I just recently backsweetened my first batch with stevia and find it to leave a very distinct aftertaste. I think I might go with lactose next time.


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Old 02-23-2011, 02:21 AM   #2
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Lactose is not very sweet at all. It gives mouth feel more than sweetness, I don't think I would rely on it to backsweeten, if you want a sweet or semi-dry cider.

To answer your question, its important to know if you are talking about kegging your cider (and force carbing) or bottle conditioning it?


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Old 02-23-2011, 02:43 AM   #3
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I absolutely hardcore second Pappers on the lactose. It does not add sweetness to the cider.

My 2 preferred methods have been:
1 -- Keg, backsweeten, and keep cold to avoid fermentation

2-- Before I had a keg system, keep a jug of simple syrup in the fridge. Add a tsp or 2 to the glass, pour the cider in the glass, and stir. No funny aftertaste, and the level of sweetening can be tailored to the drinker.

I couldn't find any other alternatives that were suitable to me.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:09 AM   #4
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You can use xylitol.
Quote:
Despite its horrible chemically sounding name, xylitol is a naturally occurring plant sugar that they derive mainly from corn.
spenda is not natural.

I've used Xylitol in my cider and can't tell the difference when compared to real sugar. Xylitol can be found in health stores.

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Old 02-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #5
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I backsweetened my last batch with xylitol and to me there is definitely an artificial sweetener taste to it... I probably will not use it again.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:00 PM   #6
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I do what he does in this thread:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/sout...-cider-114594/

Albeit in kegs, so there is a certain amount of cold crashing involved too. Works awesome.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:09 AM   #7
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
Lactose is not very sweet at all. It gives mouth feel more than sweetness, I don't think I would rely on it to backsweeten, if you want a sweet or semi-dry cider.

To answer your question, its important to know if you are talking about kegging your cider (and force carbing) or bottle conditioning it?
I had bottle conditioning more in mind when I posted, but I'm interested in any established cider maker's preferred methods for obtaining a sweet or semi-dry cider be it through keg or bottle.

Since reading your post, I've also read up on lactose and have definitely decided against it. Would you recommend simply killing the yeast with campden (or something similar) at a certain SG instead of letting all the sugars ferment out and then having to backsweeten?
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Regarding killing the yeast. Only kill it if you intend to keg it. If you don't have a keg you have to let it ferment dry (all the digestible sugar gets eaten up). To put carbonation back into the cider you will need to add priming sugar and let it re-ferment in the bottle. The amount of priming sugar is important. Adding too much will make it explode. If you bottle carb it, you need some yeast hanging around in the cider, so you can't kill them. If you kill the yeast and do not have a keg to force carb it you will end up with flat cider.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:03 AM   #10
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Not that I consider myself to be even close to a heavyweight, but I prefer to prime with extra sugar and then use the pasteurizing method on this forum to keep it carbonated and sweet. (I believe credit goes to Yooper on this method?)
It's time consuming (especially when you do 10 gal at a time) but 3-6 months down the line, well worth it.


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