Adding in concentrated fruit juice?

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JamesWoolford

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Hi all I've just completed my first 5gallon cider.. 6.6% not too bad tasting..

I'm wanting to make my next batch, I'm wanting to flavour it this time, I understand using a concentrated juice is what would be best (no preserve, and other nasties etc).. my question is, when would be best to add it?

At the start? Half way? At the end when bottling?

Attached is what I've found, I'd like to make it sweet and flavoured but still strong.. Im guessing adding at the start will flavour it but as it's sugary will still make it strong but tart/sour?

TIA
 

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CKuhns

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Couple of things to consider... (I don't think there really is a "best" way there are many ways to add juice concentrate all have their own benefits and limitations.)
- This does come with some sugar so adding it in primary will change your SG and expected ABV.
- Adding it in primary and fermenting likely will be more difficult to keep it sweet as your yeast will eat whatever sugar is present unless you halt the ferment before 1.000. (Doable but a little harder than you may expect.) Flavor could be a concern as the ferment may remove some of the lighter aromatic flavors leaving more of the deeper flavors. This in some situations especially with darker fruits like blueberries is desirable allowing for a very nice well rounded flavor. But... My experience is its a bit harder to predict the flavor profile you will end up with.
- Adding it in secondary in smaller additions after you ferment dry in primary and stabilize allows the sugars to be present and much easier to hit the sweetness profile you prefer as you can stop when it hits your liking. But may not round out the full bodied flavor as well as you would like requiring a little vanilla, acid or tannins to do so.

As mentioned in either case they both work but could give you slightly different results.

Good luck, let us know what you did and how it turns out.
 
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JamesWoolford

JamesWoolford

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Couple of things to consider... (I don't think there really is a "best" way there are many ways to add juice concentrate all have their own benefits and limitations.)
- This does come with some sugar so adding it in primary will change your SG and expected ABV.
- Adding it in primary and fermenting likely will be more difficult to keep it sweet as your yeast will eat whatever sugar is present unless you halt the ferment before 1.000. (Doable but a little harder than you may expect.) Flavor could be a concern as the ferment may remove some of the lighter aromatic flavors leaving more of the deeper flavors. This in some situations especially with darker fruits like blueberries is desirable allowing for a very nice well rounded flavor. But... My experience is its a bit harder to predict the flavor profile you will end up with.
- Adding it in secondary in smaller additions after you ferment dry in primary and stabilize allows the sugars to be present and much easier to hit the sweetness profile you prefer as you can stop when it hits your liking. But may not round out the full bodied flavor as well as you would like requiring a little vanilla, acid or tannins to do so.

As mentioned in either case they both work but could give you slightly different results.

Good luck, let us know what you did and how it turns out.
Thank you very much for this!! I'll do a second just encase and tweak it next time as is
 

Chalkyt

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As a guide, when I make apple/cherry cider I let the primary fermentation go from around 1.055 to 1.020, transfer to secondary and add about 100-150 grams per litre of frozen pitted cherries and juice (this could be described as thick mushy juice and is probably similar to adding juice concentrate). At this stage it is worth noting any change in SG at the start of secondary resulting from the extra sugar as this will affect the end ABV.

I use SO4 yeast for this cider because SO4 usually finished at around 1.003 which is a bit above bone dry and so has a touch of sweetness.

An alternative for some sweetness is to pasteurise when the flavour is where you want it. (i.e. bottle the cider then soak the bottles in about 70C water for 10 minutes and remove them... see Pappers post at the top of the forum. With the Pappers method, the 80C (180F) water cools down in the process of heating up the cold bottles and equilibrium is reached at around 65-70C. Alternatively the hot water can be kept at 65-70C by stovetop or souse vide heating... both methods work. If you want it carbonated, bottle about 0.005 above where you pasteurise.

(Edit: Whoops, accidently typed C for F... all corrected now)
 
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kempshark

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Adding fruit or fruit juice concentrate in primary or secondary would add different flavors ... adding in primary and letting it ferment during primary fermentation would add more of a fruit wine taste of that fruit and some of the more delicate aromas would likely blow off during fermentation......adding to secondary it would still ferment, but not as vigorously and would save some of those more delicate aromas/flavors....if you really want a fruit bomb do both and maybe even think about adding some after stabilizing and using it to back sweeten as well......can add a real depth of flavor of your chosen fruit if you use it both in primary and secondary
 

kempshark

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If you want more sweetness I would advise to make sure your original or starting gravity is where it needs to be for your chosen yeast to hit the abv you want....once it has finished fermenting stable gravity for three readings in a row over 3-5 days...then stabilize and back sweeten to the FG you want for the sweetness you desire....trying to stop the fermentation where you want it to end up or trying to pick a yeast to stop where you want is just asking for issues....pick the yeast based on one that will give you the flavors you want and will be able to handle getting to the abv you desire...then make sure you have the right amount of fermentable sugars to hit the abv
 

madscientist451

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I understand using a concentrated juice is what would be best (no preserve, and other nasties etc).. my question is, when would be best to add it?

At the start? Half way? At the end when bottling?

Attached is what I've found, I'd like to make it sweet and flavoured but still strong..
The item shown in the original post appears to be blueberry juice and isn't a concentrate? If you want your cider to have a blueberry flavor, a good way to start is to use your plain cider and add a measured amount of the blueberry juice to a glass of your finished cider. You can experiment with how much flavor you want to add. Note that fermented blueberry doesn't taste very much like blueberry at all. Frozen juice concentrates are a good source of sweetness/flavor to use in cider. I re-use 1.5 Liter wine bottles for my cider and find that about 1/2 a can of frozen juice concentrate is about right for my taste. Your results may be different depending on what level of sweetness you are looking for and the level of acidity in your original cider.
 

Rick Stephens

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Around here all my tasters: SWMBO, growed kids, friends etc. ask for the blueberry pomegranate cider more than anything 'cept skeeter pee. I make the blueberry pom cider with 5 gal plain ol' apple juice, set to 3.4 pH. I use either S04 or Nottie. When finished primary, I rack into bottling bucket, add 4 cans thawed out Blueberry Pom and bottle it along with a plastic coke bottle to measure carbonation. When carbonation hits the sweet spot, I pasteurize getting bottles to 150ƒ or above. Done.

I prefer a dryer cider, but everyone around me asks for this., it is semi sweet, carbinated and the aromatics are heavy blueberry. Kind of gives you an idea of one of the unlimited methods available.
 
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