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Stabilizing hard cider

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bosster01

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Question.

My cider will be ready for the keg and backsweetening this weekend. Plan is to add 1 can fajc. I was just going to keep it cool in keezer without stabilizing, but I may wanna bottle some.

I have read about pasteurization, but I would prefer to stabilize with campden and k sorbate but I've never done this before.

Does this affect flavor? How much do I use, and are these chemicals completely safe?

Thanks!
 

Yooper

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The chemicals are completely safe. Sorbate, for example, is in many food items in the grocery store and you wouldn't even know they are there.

Sorbate does contribute a very slight taste that sometimes I can pick out but I don't think most people can.

As long as you don't exceed the recommended amount (1 crushed campden tablet, dissolved, per gallon or 1/4 teaspoon of the k-meta powder for 6 gallons), and 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon (dissolved with the campden is fine), you should have no issues.

The amount of sulfite we use during stabilization is less than commercial wineries use in their wine, as it's generally 50 ppm or less.
 
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bosster01

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The chemicals are completely safe. Sorbate, for example, is in many food items in the grocery store and you wouldn't even know they are there.

Sorbate does contribute a very slight taste that sometimes I can pick out but I don't think most people can.

As long as you don't exceed the recommended amount (1 crushed campden tablet, dissolved, per gallon or 1/4 teaspoon of the k-meta powder for 6 gallons), and 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon (dissolved with the campden is fine), you should have no issues.

The amount of sulfite we use during stabilization is less than commercial wineries use in their wine, as it's generally 50 ppm or less.
Thanks for the info! I'll pick some up this week.
 
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bosster01

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The chemicals are completely safe. Sorbate, for example, is in many food items in the grocery store and you wouldn't even know they are there.

Sorbate does contribute a very slight taste that sometimes I can pick out but I don't think most people can.

As long as you don't exceed the recommended amount (1 crushed campden tablet, dissolved, per gallon or 1/4 teaspoon of the k-meta powder for 6 gallons), and 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon (dissolved with the campden is fine), you should have no issues.

The amount of sulfite we use during stabilization is less than commercial wineries use in their wine, as it's generally 50 ppm or less.
Yooper - in your experience what is best. Stabilizing and sweetening with FAJC or just using splenda.
If you've used Splenda what's your typical amount for a 5g batch.

I'm conflicted on which route I'd like to take.
 

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Yooper - in your experience what is best. Stabilizing and sweetening with FAJC or just using splenda.
If you've used Splenda what's your typical amount for a 5g batch.

I'm conflicted on which route I'd like to take.
Well, I'm not the one to ask, as I don't consume any artificial sweeteners, and I don't sweeten anything as I also try to not consume sugar in any form.

I don't eat things like ketchup, lemonade, soda, or sweeten anything for myself. I don't even consume honey. I'm sort of an anti-sugar Nazi.

I use sugars in winemaking, but those are fermented out and I consume all of my wines, meads, and ciders dry.

I'm sure that I'm in the minority, so others can probably give better advise.
 

wysiwyg

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Yooper - in your experience what is best. Stabilizing and sweetening with FAJC or just using splenda.
If you've used Splenda what's your typical amount for a 5g batch.

I'm conflicted on which route I'd like to take.
I used Truvia to backsweeten a test batch of cider and absolutely hate it. It tastes fake sweet and 'diet'. I'll never use it again.
 
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I have not personally used it, but folks seem to post that xylitol is the best artificial sweetner without off-flavors. I have seen it in our local health food store.
Personally, I bottle with 1 can FAJC, then pasteurize after 4-5 days when adequately carbonated. Doesn't apply to your kegging though.
 

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I've done both. If I'm kegging, I'll use campden and sorbate and FAJC. I adjust the sweetness to about 1.012. If I'm bottle conditioning I'll use Xylitol. About 3 TBSP per gallon works for me. I hate the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners, and Xylitol doesn't have that.
 
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bosster01

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I've done both. If I'm kegging, I'll use campden and sorbate and FAJC. I adjust the sweetness to about 1.012. If I'm bottle conditioning I'll use Xylitol. About 3 TBSP per gallon works for me. I hate the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners, and Xylitol doesn't have that.
Awesome, thank you for the info.

How much FAJC does it typically require to raise the sweetness to 1.012 (assuming you're starting at ~ 1.000)

From what I've read 1 can of FAJC will make a semi sweet, but still pretty dry cider. While 2 cans will make a more "American" sweet Hard Cider.

**Edit I found a previous thread where you stated that ~ 1/4 can per gallon = 1.012.

Thanks for the help!

Is this consistent with your experience?
 

BeeDeeEff

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Xylitol gives me and many of my family members a headache, had a box of hard candy made from it once and none of us could finish it.

Shame because I liked the sweetness and would've loved a simpler way to backsweeten, but I've heard that this just happens to a small subset of people with the stuff.
 

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I too have tried to back sweeten with artificial sweeteners. I used stevia. I experimented with different amounts. All in all I stopped using it. It did affect the taste and alot of us where experiencing headaches. I do not keg yet. This was all bottled and carbonated. Tastes great with out artificial sweeteners!
 

Maylar

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Awesome, thank you for the info.

How much FAJC does it typically require to raise the sweetness to 1.012 (assuming you're starting at ~ 1.000)

From what I've read 1 can of FAJC will make a semi sweet, but still pretty dry cider. While 2 cans will make a more "American" sweet Hard Cider.

**Edit I found a previous thread where you stated that ~ 1/4 can per gallon = 1.012.

Thanks for the help!

Is this consistent with your experience?
Usually 1/4 - 3/8 cup per gallon but it varies with the brand, they're not all the same. And the sugar content listed on the label is just an average and can vary from can to can. That's my experience with small batches. I just trust my hydrometer to tell me when it's right.


Xylitol gives me and many of my family members a headache, had a box of hard candy made from it once and none of us could finish it.

Shame because I liked the sweetness and would've loved a simpler way to backsweeten, but I've heard that this just happens to a small subset of people with the stuff.
Bummer. I've read that it gives some people digestive issues (gas, cramps) but it's rare. Nobody who has had my xylo sweetened ciders has ever complained, but I only use a small amount. Now that I'm kegging it's all changed anyway.
 

MarkKF

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Typically I rack into secondary after a week at S.G. 1.004. It then drops another 4 points.

Are there any pros or cons to racking onto K-meta and K-sorbate to stop if from dropping to S.G 1.000?
 

Firewalker11

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I don't want to step up on my filtering soap box but have considered getting a cheap single 1µ absolute filter? My wife gets "blush" from all sorts of alcoholic drinks so I dont use any chems (StarSan excepted) ans he can drink any of my ciders or beers with no issues.

I, like you wanted to add some sweetness to my cider after it went dry but all I got was bottle bombs until I filtered. Now I get the sweetened added back in,. no chems and very clear cider/beer.

It's not for everyone but I wont use any artificial sweeteners or chems so this was mu only choice and it works!

Cheers!
 
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bosster01

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Thanks for the tips everyone.
I think for this first go round I'm going to try stabilizing my cider with campden tablets/k sorbate.

I will post my results as they come. Going to stabilize on Saturday and keg on Sunday!
 
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bosster01

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I ended up just adding a can of FAJC and kegging it without stabilizing. If I plan to bottle some, I'll just keep the bottles cold & drink quick.

Next batch I might try more sweet or something. This tastes "okay" but it just lacks the body & sweetness I would have liked.

Does anyone have suggestions on how to improve the "body"? Unsure if I should just try throwing in another can of FAJC to the keg see if that helps?

 

BeeDeeEff

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Body is pretty heavily influenced by the juice you used in the first place, that and aging helps. Even 2 or 3 months makes a really big difference.
 

MarkKF

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Is there a source to see how much gravity will increase by adding a pound of honey, quart of maple syrup or cup of raw sugar to a gal. of water or juice?
 
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