Im making a cider out of concentrate (13cans) and some apples and pears. I made it around 18%. I used 3 cinnamon sticks during the primary (6.5gal batch) and I will need to use more I think. Should I use potassium sorbate to finish it and then backsweeten or mix with more juice/cider with no alcohol in it? I've heard i might want to add some oak spirals any thoughts on that?
It is going to need a long time to mellow out and taste good. A cider with that high of alcohol will taste, for the most part only like alcohol. You will need to add tannin and acid blend and maybe a MLF starter for everything to properly blend. Maybe a year or so.
Boomer Creek Cider Co.
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What is an MLF starter? i was thinking of finishing it (sorbate and backsweeten) and mixing it with 1/2 or 1/3 as much n/a apple juice or "cider" to reduce the alc content and give it a fresh taste (after its settled/mellowed a while longer of course...). Any thoughts on this? I'm about to rack it for the 2nd time and was going to use bentonite to clear this time. Thanks for the advice guys!
it's sort of like a cross between a yummy mummy and a fluffer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malolactic_fermentation
sugar (as in the fresh juice you want to add) tends to hide the young hot alcohol taste of a young cider, so try it and see. you can always mix up a few glasses at different cider/juice ratios and taste them. if they all taste like gasoline then you know it needs time still. personally i like cider for the cidery taste rather than chucking everything in the kitchen at it, but a strong oaked cider can be very pleasant.