First batch of cider

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manderson

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I just started my first batch of Cider 2 weeks ago. I went to a local apple orchard and bought 5 gallons of frozen pressed apple juice, added a campden tablet. After 48 hours the yeast was added (the brand escapes me). I am noticing that many people are adding some sort of sweetener. Is this necessary? if I don't add sweetener will my cider turn out extremely bitter?
If it is necessary I am going to use Honey - when should the honey be added.

I appreciate any help.
 

Tusch

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Adding any sugars during or before fermentation is not for sweetening. It is for upping the abv. Yeast eat the sugar in your "must" and use that to create alcohol. So any sugars you add, dextrose, honey, table sugar, brown sugar, juice concentrate, whatever, will not make your cider sweeter. It will make it stronger and in fact will likely make it drier.

If you want to sweeten your cider, you need to do that after fermentation is complete. You can either add non-fermentable sugars, such as splenda or lactose (milk based). Or you can chemically kill off the yeast and add whatever type of sugar you want.
 

Yooper

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Well, sugar is fermentable, so some people add sugar to boost the alcohol level. Without added sugar, I think cider is in the 6-8% ABV range. (I'm not sure about that, though!).

I prefer my ciders and wines dry, so I don't add sweetener to it after fermentation. If you find it too dry, you have several choices. If you are not carbonating, you can stabilize the cider by adding some sorbate and then sweeten with honey or sugar. If you are carbonating, you can use a non-fermentable sweetener, such as lactose or Splenda.

I'd wait until it finished up, and try it and see how you might like it best.

Edit- Wow- tusch is faster than I am!
 

Nurmey

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I've done both ways and prefer it without adding any extra sugar. I think it gives the cider a cleaner (and sweeter apple) taste without adding sugar. It's a personal preference.
 
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manderson

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That all makes perfect sense - thanks everyone.:mug:
 
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