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Old 01-07-2008, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Best Way Save A Watery Batch of Cider

Hey there guys, I have a batch of apple cider that is kind of on the thin/watery side, that I was hoping to 'fix' before bottling by adding some apple concentrate(more about this in a second). The mental notes I have made on my cider...

1) The abv is pretty high... between 6% and 8%
2) I am not really concerned about the abv all that much, so loosing a bit does not worry me.
3) It has been resting/clearing for more than a month
4) The flavor has remained constant from when I transfered it from the primary to now
5) Working with Safale US-05 ale yeast

Now, some important info: My local (loyal) brew shop informed me that Potassium Sorbate does not necessary kill yeast, just prevent replication. Meaning that fermentation should still continue in some fashion. Is this true?

My goal: To have an 'applely' cider w/ carbonation.

My plan: Crash the cider to get most of the yeast out of suspension, rack, then add potassium sorbate. Once this is done, add apple concentrate to the cider in such amounts that the fermentables do not exceed the recommended 3/4 of a cup of priming sugar. Lastly bottle and pray to Dionysus that this comes out right.

My hope is that by adding the sorbate not all of the apple concentrate is consumed, but just enough to add a bit of carbonation.

Does this sound like a valid plan, or am I off my rocker?

Primary: -- Loaned to Mogger777 --
Secondary: Traditional Hard Cider
Gallon Jug #1: Apfelwein
Gallon Jug #2: Apfelwein

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Old 01-07-2008, 02:59 PM   #2
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Well, potassium sorbate keeps the yeast from reproducing, so you use it when you want to sweeten and ensure no re-fermenation. Which means that if you use the sorbate, you can NOT bottle carbonate. With sorbate, you can sweeten it up but not then have the yeast work to carbonate the cider. So, even though it doesn't "kill" yeast, it effectively stops them from working.

So, you are stuck with either sweetening with the apple concentrate OR having it sparkeling, not both.

You can however sweeten with a nonfermentable sweetener, like lactose or splenda and still bottle carbonate. If you do that, you'd not use any sorbate.

There are some other things I'd do first. The very first is to wait. I'd put the cider in a carboy for 6 months and then deal with it then. It will change (for the better) in six months and you might not have to have any "fix" at all.
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