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Back Sweeten & Kill Yeast?

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dougget

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Hi,
I've read a couple of threads recently where people ask if they can back sweeten with store bought apple juice. Didn't want to hijack any threads with my question, so here's a new post.

My first batch is aging currently and I've taken a few samples over the past 3 weeks. Not sure I'm going to like it as dry as it seems to be coming out.

I used just plain apple cider and white wine yeast. Fermented to zero sugar and racked into bottles.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to, after fermenting to zero sugar, add store bought apple juice WITH preservatives to back sweeten and kill the yeast.

Thinking about a 2 gallon batch... Ferment to zero... add 1/2 gallon apple juice... let sit for a couple of days to settle... bottle and age.

Would that give me a little sweetness and prevent the yeast from working on the new sugar?

Doug
 

bondra76

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I backsweeten every time. I despise dry ciders.

I put potassium sorbate and campden tablets into my cider when I am ready to kill the yeast and backsweeten. Curious question - why do you want to avoid putting anything in to stop the yeast? I don't notice any flavor change because of them. I think whatever backsweetening agent you put in there is going to mask any flavors anyhow.

I have backsweetened with an assortment of fruit juices. Apple is fine but I really like apricot or peach. 1/2 a gallon for a 2 gallon batch is pretty dang sweet. I usually play around with it - add some juice, stir it around gently, and then taste. When you get it to where you want, keg it and put CO2 on top.

Here's an outstanding presentation on ciders to help -
http://www.homebrewersassociation.o......Everyday Ingredients - Christian Baker.pdf
 

Yooper

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If you don't stabilize the cider, adding more fermentables (even with preservatives) will cause fermentation to restart.

There are hundreds of billions of yeast in the finished cider, so adding another substance with sorbate (and sugar) won't do anything about those yeast.
 
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dougget

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So, I do want to stop the yeast... I thought the sorbate in the preserved apple juice would do the trick. From what Yooper said, it doesn't sound like the sorbate from the apple juice would provide sufficient concentration to stop the yeast.

So... campden tablets and sorbate first, then fruit juice to taste. Sounds like a good plan for batch #2.

I'm also planning to add some sugar before fermentation to bump up the ABV.

Thanks for the info.
Doug
 

ncfield

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My first cider is in it's second week of fermentation, but I'm still confused on something. I don't have kegging equipment yet, so I'll be bottling. If I want to back sweeten, what do I need to do to avoid bottle bombs?


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Hello

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My first cider is in it's second week of fermentation, but I'm still confused on something. I don't have kegging equipment yet, so I'll be bottling. If I want to back sweeten, what do I need to do to avoid bottle bombs?


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You'll need to watch the carb level, closely, and then pasteurize.
 
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dougget

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NCFIELD,
That my my concern too... I want to make still cider, like my first batch, but I think the first batch is going to be too dry for my taste... How to add sugar and stop the yeast to make sure the sugar stays is my goal.

I like the idea of killing the yeast with campden and sorbate. I did some quick searching and it seems that 1 tablet of campden and 1/2 teaspoon of sorbate per gallon will do the trick.

My plan is to:
Ferment to a SG of zero
Rack to a secondary container
Add the campden and sorbate
Let it sit for 48 hours
Add fruit juice (not sure what kind or how much yet)
Bottle

Doug
 

bernardsmith

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I am not sure how effective sorbate and K-meta are if there is still a large viable colony of yeast in the cider. When wine-makers stabilize their wine before backsweetening it they have usually aged the wine 6 - 9 months or longer and have racked the wine about three or four times in that period and the number of yeast cells in their liquor is very small. If you simply ferment your cider and then add stabilizer and sugar I may be wrong but I suspect that you will be playing Russian Roulette with bottle bombs...
 

ncfield

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Dougget - good tips, sounds like you have a plan. What are other peoples thoughts on pasteurizing? Do I need to do that if it's already pasteurized?
I think it's time to invest in a kegging system. Or don't back sweeten and then I won't have any issues. :)


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MarkKF

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Read the thread Easy Stove Top Pasteurizing. That's what I do.


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Maylar

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I am not sure how effective sorbate and K-meta are if there is still a large viable colony of yeast in the cider. When wine-makers stabilize their wine before backsweetening it they have usually aged the wine 6 - 9 months or longer and have racked the wine about three or four times in that period and the number of yeast cells in their liquor is very small. If you simply ferment your cider and then add stabilizer and sugar I may be wrong but I suspect that you will be playing Russian Roulette with bottle bombs...
If you ferment dry in primary there won't be a large colony of yeasts remaining. They fall out into the lees. That's why it takes so long to bottle carbonate - not many yeasties left to do the job.
 

ohiochris

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As long as you are careful , stovetop pasteurizing is really easy. Backsweeten first and then monitor the bottles , wait about 3 or 4 days and try one.....if you want a little more carbonization wait about 2 more days and try another. You wind up with sweet carbonated cider , without using any additives other than natural sugar or apple juice concentrate...whichever you prefer.
 
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