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General Category => Other Fermentables => Topic started by: ajdeco1759 on October 06, 2011, 03:17:38 AM

Title: cider help
Post by: ajdeco1759 on October 06, 2011, 03:17:38 AM
Good evening fellow homebrewers, I am in need of some guidance. I started a hard cider a few weeks ago and I was very impatient and used early pressed cider instead of waiting till November when the cider is good and sweet. It came out of the primary very tart, possibly a little to much to my liking. Is there anything I can do/add to counter balance the tartness? any info would would be greatly appreciated.


   Andrew
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: tschmidlin on October 06, 2011, 03:30:28 AM
How do you plan to package it?  Do you plan for it to be still or sparkling?  Do you have kegging equipment?

There are a few options, but knowing what you want for the finished product and what equipment you have will help determine your best course.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: euge on October 06, 2011, 04:23:37 AM
You can back-sweeten it to taste. Then stun the yeast with campden tablets. Bottle or keg. Tom's right- more info please.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: tomsawyer on October 06, 2011, 03:36:57 PM
You can do a malolactic fermentation to convert the malic acid to the softer lactic acid, but it won't work if you've already added Campden/kmeta since the malolactic bacteria are sensitive to SO2.

You need to add sorbate not just Kmeta if you are going to backsweeten, kmeta doesn't kill yeast.  Sorbate prevents yeast from multiplying but also doesn't kill yeast, so you want it to drop clear before you backsweeten to minimize the amount of residual yeast.

You can also make another batch of cider using apples that aren't as tart, and blend.  Right now I'm fermenting a batch of cider made from sweet and slightly tart apples, and I'm planning to blend with stuff later in the month made from winesap and other tart varieties that come ripe towards the end of October here in MO.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: ajdeco1759 on October 10, 2011, 05:04:29 AM
I plan on bottling the cider and using a normal dose of dextrose to to carbonate. I was also gonna cellar it until December hoping it will mellow the tartness out a bit.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: tschmidlin on October 10, 2011, 05:40:13 AM
The problem is, if you intend to bottle and carbonate it, you need the yeast to be viable.  But viable yeast will ferment any sugar you add to backsweeten it.  At this point, you are kind of limited in your options.

You can sweeten it with non-fermentable sugar, including lactose, stevia, or any of the artificial sweeteners.

You can sweeten it with something fermentable, but refrigerate all of the bottles from the time they have as much carbonation as you like until they are all gone.  If the yeast you used as any kind of cold tolerance, you don't want to do this.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: Jimmy K on October 10, 2011, 08:19:38 PM
You can sweeten it with non-fermentable sugar, including lactose, stevia, or any of the artificial sweeteners.

Aspertame (Nutrasweet) hydrolyses in solution and looses its sweetness over a few weeks/months. Sucralose (Splenda) is stable long term.

I've also had cider sweetened with powdered maltodextrin. The sweetness didn't really last in the bottle, but it gave the cider nice body that counteracted the dryness too.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: ajdeco1759 on October 11, 2011, 03:11:34 AM
Alrighty, thanks guys for all the info.   


   Andrew
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: tomsawyer on October 11, 2011, 12:22:47 PM
Powdered Splenda is 99% maltodextrin.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: rjharper on October 11, 2011, 03:45:53 PM
I've used Splenda in the past to back-sweeten, very successfully.  Of course there is the small sub-population who don't care for the stuff...
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: dmtaylor on October 11, 2011, 06:18:19 PM
I used Splenda on my last batch of cider.  It tasted great for about a month, and then.... tasted like artificial sweetener.  In a BJCP competition, my fears were confirmed when the judges all said it tasted like artificial sweetener.  I'm never doing that again.

I agree that sorbate is the way to go for backsweetening.  If you want carbonation, keep the dose lower than recommended and some of the yeast will survive to carbonate.  If you want a still cider, then add the recommended doses (or maybe slightly less than recommended) of both sulfite and sorbate, which will kill all the yeast.
Title: Re: cider help
Post by: euge on October 11, 2011, 06:19:25 PM
I used splenda to backsweeten a couple ciders. Nice without any synthetic flavor. IIRC I pitched about 20 packets for 5 gallons.