Hi. This is my first post and would like some suggestions. I have been brewing hard cider for a few years both in Fall and in Spring. I seem to go through 15 - 20 gallons a year easily!
My normal procedure is to get 5 gallons of fresh squeezed cider that has been UV pasteurized, add 5# of regular sugar, 1 packet of Red Star Montrachet and let it go for 10 - 14 days. I then rack to secondary, add 10 Campden tablets. I wait a few days and add 5 more Campden tablets. (after reading here I realized I probably needed to add k-sorbate after 5 campden) I wait a couple more days and bottle to 1 gallon glass jugs with screw caps. It comes out quite still but dry. I don't mind it like this but 1 glass is enough to make me illegal to drive!
I am just starting 2 more batches of fresh cider after reading lots of threads here and am looking to make some with about 7% ABV. The cider started at an OG of 1.050. I added 5 Campden tablets and then added yeast after 24 hours which was tonight. Batch 2 has Saflager S-23 Lager yeast and batch 3 has Red Star Montrachet. Batch 1 was 10 gallons already done and currently drinking!
What I want is hard cider that is lower alcohol, still and has some sweetness to it. I am planning to rack after the SG gets to around 1.000 to a secondary. I will then add 5 Campden and k-sorbate. I will let it settle out for a while longer to clear up. I am confused about back sweetening. Can I add some AJC or cranberry concetrate in hopes of making something for my wife. (she is not a fan of apple cider) and then bottle to gallon jugs to store on a shelf in my basement. My basement is warm around 72 due to my coal furnace in there. I bought reuseable screw caps from Midwest brew supply for my gallon jugs. I normally have been using the locally sourced metal caps with a wax-paper seal. Does this plan work? Any tips and advice would be awesome!