Sweetening options

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johnnym

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This is my first attempt at making cider and so far all is well. I managed to get loads of different type of apples (cookers and dessert), mash them, press them ( to get around 8 - 9 gallons worth) and get it fermented. I've purchased two pressure barrels (King Keg with top tap - Corny kegs aren't easy to get hold of and set up in the UK).

In the first keg I'm going to make a still cider, so once I've racked off the cider into this I plan to add a few campden tablets and possibly sweeten. In the second keg I'm going to try to condition it naturally (I don't think the King Keg can take the pressure to force carbonate).

The question I now have comes down to sweetening. In the still I could use something like Splenda to sweeten a little (no too much). However for my second keg which I want conditioned, I wondered if it was possible to mix a little Splenda in first so I could get it to taste how I wanted it, then add some sugar to get a secondary fermentation in the keg to condition it. Any ideas if this will work? Has anybody tried this? I'm I trying too much for a first timer????
 

SirFizzle

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You can add whatever sweetener you want to the still batch since you're using tablets. Personally, I'm thinking brown sugar disolved in a few pints of apple juice for the batch I have fermenting now.

If you use the right amount of tablets and wait for it to work, your added sugar won't ferment and 'splode. If you're only adding splenda, look into skipping the tablets...might be a little yeast action afterwards, but less chemicals is a good thing, IMO.

For the natural carb batch:
You're "spot on" with the need for priming sugar. It won't add sweetness and you'll need some nonfermentable something to add sweetness. How much is up to your taste buds.
Good Luck!
 

Yooper

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I don't think campden tablets alone will prevent refermentation. I'd use campden tablets and potassium sorbate before adding any sweetener.

I don't like brown sugar (too molassy for me) so I'd probably sweeten with a simple sugar syrup, or with some honey.
 

Tusch

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Darn you Yooper, as always, you beat me to it. She is right, and actually you are very close for your first batch.

For still, either use campden and sorbate and then backsweeten with any sugar you want. Or you can use a non-fermentable sweetener like Splenda, Stevia, or Lactose, and there is no need to use campden.

For carbed, you should use about 1 oz of priming sugar per gallon in your keg, if that is where you are carbing it. But first add however much nonfermentable sweetener to get it to your desired sweetness, prior to adding the priming sugar.
 

SirFizzle

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I don't think campden tablets alone will prevent refermentation. I'd use campden tablets and potassium sorbate before adding any sweetener.
.
There seems to be conflicting opinions on this...

Is it "safe" to use ONLY the tablets, wait a day and then back sweeten with sugar. I don't want bottle bombs?
 

bzim1980

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If you use campden and/or sorbate are you able to carb the cider with priming sugar?

Doesn't the campden and/or sorbate kill all the active yeast thus the priming sugar is not really "feeding" any live yeast to make CO2...is that sound right?

In other words to carb cider after you use campden and sorbate do you need to have a CO2 system to force carb it?

Thanks!
 

mklawz

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can I latch on here for a second? Cuz I'm pretty much doing the same thing. But I just want to back sweeten a few separate 1g batches. I think I want to use brown sugar to sweeten. My question is, approximately how much brown sugar for a 1g batch? I have no idea...
 

Tusch

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bzim, you are absolutely correct. But that is the goal. To backsweeten with any fermentable form of sugar, such honey, table or corn sugar etc. this is necessary. You can only use this sugars to sweeten when either bottling your brew still or using kegging equipment. If you want to bottle carb with priming sugar, you would need to backsweeten using a nonfermentable sweetener such as splenda, lactose, or stevia.

mklawz that is entirely personal preference. I would suggest siphoning off a measured amount of your brew, say .5 or 1 cup, and to that add a small amount of brown sugar. Keep adjusting the sweetness till you get what your desire, then just multiply however much you used to be proportionally accurate for a 1 gallon batch.
 
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