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Old 10-28-2008, 03:18 AM   #1
Bender
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I've decided to break down and get a kegging setup. I'd like to back sweeten some cider for SWMBO. How do I kill the residual yeast so it doesn't eat up the sugar?
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:14 PM   #2
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Potassium sorbate.

I'd just recommend just sweetening it in the glass prior to serving as opposed to potentially destroying a great batch of cider.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:24 PM   #3
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Maybe I'm just lazy, but sweetening each serving sounds like way too much work. Backsweetening the keg is easier and will be more consistent. I would suggest sweetening it in increments until you get the desired flavor.

Most people use a combination of Potassium Metabisulfite (Camden tablets) and Potassium Sorbate to stabilize their mead, cider, or wine prior to backsweetening.

 
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:33 PM   #4
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I use a Tap-a-Draft to force-carb my ciders. I add Potassium Sorbate when I bottle and let the bottles age in the fridge a couple months. Then I simply add concentrate to sweeten just before carbonating / serving. Follow the directions on the camden and sorbate - too much can leave a funny aftertaste.

 
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:38 PM   #5
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i generally use a little sprite to backsweeten... dont use anything to get rid of the yeast and its cheap

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Old 10-28-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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Cold crash to stop the yeast from fermenting all of the sugar. That way, the sweetener is the original apple sugars. Backsweetening is sometimes necessary if you let it dry out so far and I sometimes have to do it, but not if I can help it. Cider that is stopped at the right sg always tastes better than adding sugar.

 
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CvilleKevin View Post
Cold crash to stop the yeast from fermenting all of the sugar.
I would be very careful of this method. CvilleKevin...I'm not bashing your methodology, or anything negative! Hanging said that: A chemical stabilization like Pot-sorbate is really the only safe way to do this. I've had bottle bombs...and they SUCK! I'll never recommend just cold crashing to stop fermentation. Partially because it's a real tough thing to stop! But also because There is a very good chance that this method will fail. It takes a very skilled and patient brewer to achieve a complete precipitation of all viable yeast, and even then, the chances of disturbing it during racking are pretty high.

Also can use non fermentable sweetener...think Splenda.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:56 PM   #8
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I'm in the campden/sorbate camp. After fermentation is finished, rack the cider into a carboy with 1 dissolved campden tablet per gallon, and 2/3 tsp sorbate per gallon. (But, if you're doing 5 gallons, don't go over 1.5 tsp total on the sorbate). Let that sit about three days, then sweeten to taste and rack to the keg.

When I sweeten, I like to sweeten the sample I have to taste. Then, take the SG of that sample, and then sweeten the whole batch to that SG reading. I have some free software (winecalc) that tells you if the FG of the batch is 1.000, it'll take 18 ounces of sugar to bring it to 1.010, for example. That way it's easier to sweeten the batch to a good, not too sweet, level.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas. I want to sweeten the entire batch. SWMBO will not be interested in doctoring each glass. I know what she is looking for so I'll know when the sweetness is right. We both hate artificial sweeteners so I'm going to try the campden idea. I'm guessing adding a simple syrup is the best way to bring the sweetness up afterwards.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bender View Post
Thanks for the ideas. I want to sweeten the entire batch. SWMBO will not be interested in doctoring each glass. I know what she is looking for so I'll know when the sweetness is right. We both hate artificial sweeteners so I'm going to try the campden idea. I'm guessing adding a simple syrup is the best way to bring the sweetness up afterwards.
Don't forget- it's campden + sorbate. You really need both.

A simple syrup works great for sweetening. You can use a little of the cider to dissolve the sugar, so you're not diluting the cider.
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