First off, a buddy and me made 20 gallons of cider. We used several yeasts to make a couple different batches. 14 gallons of various dry ciders but we have 6 gallons that we want to try to make into a higher ABV with some residual sweetness. We can only bottle carbonate, no kegs (I'm just getting into this)
Anyway, we have found a few ideas for residual sweetness. Let me give the info on this 6 gal batch. 1.080 OG, added a yeast that can tolerate 8%ABV knowing that the yeast will kill itself leaving residual sugar and sweetness.
1)We could try to catch the fermentation at a sweet spot and bottle it while there is still some living yeast, it carbonates and kills itself with ABV before making a bottle bomb.
2) Same as #1 but we could heat pasteurize to kill the yeast once we reach the correct carbonation level. (although we hear that flavor can suffer from pasteurization)
3) We could add a slightly higher ABV yeast strain an hour or so before bottling to introduce a living strain that will carb the cider in the bottle before it dies (how would we know how much ABV adds what amount of Co2?)
4) Give me your ideas! We want a little sweet cider without blowing up bottles or worse, flat cider.