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Author Topic: Adding fruit to backsweeten cider  (Read 798 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

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Adding fruit to backsweeten cider
« on: March 31, 2023, 08:40:52 am »
I usually stabilize the cider then add frozen concentrate to backsweeten. I'm wondering about using fruit chunks instead - maybe mix things up a bit to get some weird combinations that nature hadn't intended.

How are y'all adding fruit to your cider?
I'm thinking of using the food processor to get the chunks ripped up, dropping the mush into a hop bag, then into the keg for a while.
Seem ok?

Couple Qs:
How long to leave the bag of fruit in?
Should I soak the fruit in Starsan for a bit to sanitize?
Any other things I should know?

Thanks!

Offline erockrph

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Re: Adding fruit to backsweeten cider
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2023, 10:19:53 am »
Backsweetening with whole fruit instead of juice might be tough to gauge the proper amount. Personally, when I add fruit to a fermentation I will freeze and thaw it once or twice. With most fruits this will soften them up, then you can just kind of smush them by hand in your freezer bag and dump them in. Except for cranberries - those suckers can take a freezing like no one's business. For those I usually thwack them with a meat tenderizer to bust them open.

I've never sanitized fruit before adding it, but I've never added it to a stabilized beverage before, either. I don't know if Star-san is going to help much, to be honest. I think winemakers are more likely to add Campden to the crushed fruit, so if you feel the need to do so, then I'd be more inclined to go that direction.

Using a canned sterilized puree might be a safer place to start.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Adding fruit to backsweeten cider
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2023, 12:58:00 pm »
What erockrph said.  What you want are campden tablets, or pick up a little container of potassium metabisulfite.  That will help protect your cider from any bugs that might get in.  It will help protect against oxygen exposure as well.  If you're using whole fruit, just wash it like you normally would before you would eat it.

Cut the fruit up into the smallest pieces you can (or is practical).  If you're going to use a food processor, that should work well.  Once upon a time I pitted and quartered 14 pounds of cherries for a batch.  That was a long and un-fun day.  The freezing method is also good to get the fruit softened up.

When I add fruit to mead, it's usually for 5 - 10 days.  You can leave it go longer, but there's not much point.  Most of the flavor that's going to get absorbed will be within the first few days (if not faster).

Offline Joe_Beer

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Re: Adding fruit to backsweeten cider
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2023, 02:59:55 am »
Thanks all. I usually stabliize with some potassium metabisulfite and (24 hours apart) potassium sorbate, so have that stuff on hand to add to the fruit.  How much extra K-meta should I add per volume of fruit?

Thanks for the tips on the contact time, freezing fruit, and sterilized puree.