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Brewmate Cider

Aussie Home Brewer

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Hey guys,

Just wondering if anyone has any tips or ideas for the Brewmate Blackberry and Apple Cider Kit

Done a search but couldn't find much

Looking for a sweet but dry finish.


Josh Dodd

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Aren't sweet and dry almost contradictory? A sweet cider will ferment into a dry one as the yeast eat all the sugers. At least thats what I always though.

I haven't done that specific kit but sweetness is tricky with ciders. As I understand, the fruit sugers in apples are VERY fermentable so the yeast will try and consume them all, leaving a very dry cider.

There are a few options:
1) Add unfermentable sugers to the kit - Lactose is the usual suggestion but it thickens mouth feel and doesn't provide much sweetness. Xylitol or Stevia are probably better alternatives for sweetening. Could even look at Sucralose or other artifical sweeteners. Some Kits (Brigalow) use artififcal sweeteners already.
2) Monitor your brew and use Camden tablets to kill the yeast when you get to the desired sweetness - but the sulfides can effect the taste doing this.
3) Monitor the brew and cold crash and filter to try and remove the yeast when desired sweetness level reached.
Note: The above two processes make it difficult because you can't carbonate in bottle without either adding new yeast or reeactivating old yeast, and then you run the risk of bottle bombs.
4) Brew as directed or slightly stronger, and if you want additional sweetness, add chilled apple juice to the glass at serving time. This will lower the alcohol and reduce the carbonation, but it does allow greater indidivual control over the final sweetness.

Personally, I use kegs so I don't have to worry about bottle fermentation. In that scenario, any of the above suggestions will work.
I just started fermentation yesterday on a Brigalow kit. I added extra apple & pear juice to the ferment for additional flavouring, but the yeatst will eat all that suger, which will also make the cider a bit stonger. Once the ferment is finished, I'll rack into a keg, and add another couple of litres of juice for sweetness/flavour, and immediately chill and force carb so the yeast doesn't eat the new suger.

If I was bottling, I'd probably just add some xylitol to the kit (Xylitol is an unfermentable suger made from corn husks). That's the easiest as you don't have to worry about fermentation re-starting in the bottle, or ading additional juice at serving time.
Note: Xylitol adds a very slight minty/mentholly sensation so may not be desired by everyone. It also can cause bloating, diarrhea, and gas if used in excess, and some folks are more prone, so definitely something to test.
Stevia doesn't have the same issues, but does impart an unpleasant bitter aftertaste. I prefer Xylitol, but YMMV.
Other options like Splenda, Notrasweet etc are also available.

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