Waking up this old thread, but I am duplicating this recipe with unpasteurized sweet cider and SO4 yeast.
My first cider was made with CHEAP store-bought AJ, honey and SO4. I was expecting a lightly sweet cider but it fermented out to about .995 and, alas, tasted like rocket fuel.
Searching the forums, I read that cider takes on oak really well, so I steam sterilized and threw a handful of oak cubes that I picked up from my LHBS and put it back into the beer fridge. It was pretty safe from sampling because it was a little like a kick in the teeth initially, (tasting was a duty, not a privilege). Anyhow, the oak, (and time, I'm sure), really helped and it was quite drinkable after about 6 months. This was helped by a recent trip to Germany where I discovered that I had actually made a pretty good Apfelwein instead of a bad cider.
Fast forward to today where my current batch is bubbling away rather vigorously, (I am going to need a chilling setup some day, too damn hot in the Sacramento valley). I plan to age my dry Apfelwein/cider on toasted oak spirals. Sooooo....
Does anyone have an opinion as to whether the oak aging should take place before or after the cider is back sweetened with the double sweet cider made from freezing, as outlined earlier in the thread?
In general, should aging/conditioning take place at room temperature, or would aging in the keg, in the kegerator, be effective?
Finally, I would describe my desired serving dryness as "barely sweet". I will be force carbing and serving from a kegerator, any thoughts on where my target s.g. should be in that case?
Thanks to all for participating in such a great forum, I've learned a ton.