Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Backsweeten vs. stop early
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:28 AM   #11
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I understand that part but I believe that both yield the same result, so I am curious on the pros and cons. Perhaps it might be easier to just let it go dry and add some concentrate before bottling. But I'd think that there would be pros to stopping early. One thing I can think of is say you use a good honey, then if you stop it early I would think you would get the nice characteristics of honey. But if you let it go dry and then backsweeten you might lose a lot.

Any insight would be great


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Old 08-05-2012, 02:54 AM   #12
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The only argument i could dream up against your plan would be that there will be waiting and guessing while your bottles carb- if you miss the right point theyll be too dry, or overcarbed. But i suppose so long as youre using a yeast that readily poops out in the cold and you stay on top of it it oughta be quite alright!


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Old 08-05-2012, 07:08 AM   #13
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why isnt anyone answering your question. i have the same one
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:20 PM   #14
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Letting it go dry and back sweetening is the busy/lazy persons way. No need to constantly monitor and allot time to bottle.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tw0fish View Post
The only argument i could dream up against your plan would be that there will be waiting and guessing while your bottles carb- if you miss the right point theyll be too dry, or overcarbed. But i suppose so long as youre using a yeast that readily poops out in the cold and you stay on top of it it oughta be quite alright!
Also curious about this, because i wont be bottling i will be kegging my 5 gallons. I will be bottling some but plan to do it from the tap at some point in the future.

I think i will have an easier time once it gets to the proper dryness to carb it without risking the yeast starting up.

When people say waiting for it to dry out, is that just implying when fermentation stops? It wont get more dry after fermenting is done, just soften over time right?
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:35 PM   #16
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Yeah I am referring to when the gravity no longer changes and is at its lowest point.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:45 AM   #17
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To Zippox...The best way to answer this is to try brewing a batch (maybe with a weaker ale yeast) and then racking half and cold crashing at your desired sweetness and leaving the rest to ferment out with the intention of backsweetening. I personally try to catch mine around 1.02 and carefully rack. I feel more natural flavor is retained this way. But since there will still be yeast in secondary, I try to get it to drop out at fridge temps as much as possible. I will only backsweeten if my cider gets too dry and didn't catch it in time in primary. The one good thing about backsweetening that I've found is you can get creative and try different methods (honey, sugar, regular concentrate or blended concentrate, or other juices, etc). By experimenting like I suggested, I've found that I prefer not letting my cider go dry. Flavor is stripped I feel.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JtotheA View Post
To Zippox...The best way to answer this is to try brewing a batch (maybe with a weaker ale yeast) and then racking half and cold crashing at your desired sweetness and leaving the rest to ferment out with the intention of backsweetening. I personally try to catch mine around 1.02 and carefully rack. I feel more natural flavor is retained this way. But since there will still be yeast in secondary, I try to get it to drop out at fridge temps as much as possible. I will only backsweeten if my cider gets too dry and didn't catch it in time in primary. The one good thing about backsweetening that I've found is you can get creative and try different methods (honey, sugar, regular concentrate or blended concentrate, or other juices, etc). By experimenting like I suggested, I've found that I prefer not letting my cider go dry. Flavor is stripped I feel.
So when you've had to backsweeten, are you able to get it carbonated as well in bottles?
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:37 AM   #19
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I believe you're supposed to backsweeten and taste it and stop adding more when you like it. Then boil 5 oz of sugar in (how much water?) and when it comes back to room temp, add it to the cider then bottle. Then there are methods you can find on the form to know when you have the right level of carbonation. When that point comes, check out the sticky at the top of the cider forum about bottle pasteurization. That means you can make a sweet, carbonated cider that won't continue fermenting and blow up.

If someone could chime in and provide insight on the amount of water and anything else I might have missed.

Edit: I realized how many spelling errors I made when replying on my tiny iPhone screen so I edited this post :P
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:55 AM   #20
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So when you've had to backsweeten, are you able to get it carbonated as well in bottles?
Yeah. It'll definitely carb up as well. Sometimes pretty quickly. I always rack well above 1.000 though so I'm not a pro when it comes to fermenting all the way out. If I add any sugar at my higher SG, that yeast is ready to partay all over again. That's what I try to avoid. By not having to add any sugar via backsweetening, I feel I have more control.


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