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First Attempt At A Sweet Cider

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sp0rk

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i've done a couple of ciders before and they've turned out dry as hell and undrinkable without backsweetening
so i thought this morning i'd have a go at making something a bit sweeter, apple and mixed berry with some frozen berries in there for good measure

4 litres Apple Time apple and triple berry juice
175g brown sugar
100g lactose
1 cinnamon twill
big bowl full frozen mixed berries
1 packet of Coopers kit yeast (have a big pile of them in the keg fridge i need to use up)

if it turns out any good, i might give a full 20 litre batch a go

OG is 1062

smells and tastes amazing right now, so i'm keen to see how it ends up in a few months
 

komodo

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100g lactose in 4L!? shit! you do like it sweet
 

sp0rk

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bugger all of it has dissolved, it's just sitting on the bottom
i tried dissolving it in hot water first, but it didn't seem to work too well
 

Dave70

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I reckon it's going to wind up tasting like shit. Once the yeast rips through all the sugar, all you'll be left with is tartness and that odd lactose flavour. Plus, those sugars have been dealt with by a pack of dodgy Coopers yeast. The first improvements I made in home brewing was tossing that and using a decent shop bought yeast.

I can taste .200g of lactose in 22L of stout even under all the dark malts.

Getting cider to finish sweet seems to be somewhat of a conundrum, and I wish I could get some of my Belgian's to finish as dry as ciders I've made.

Using a yeast that clags it before it's chewed through all the sugar, thus leaving behind some residual sweetness would be the go, maby something more like a wine or mead yeast?
 

glenwal

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Using a yeast that clags it before it's chewed through all the sugar, thus leaving behind some residual sweetness would be the go, maby something more like a wine or mead yeast?
A wine or mead yeast is going to chew through alot more sugar isn't it?


My last cider was 500g lactose in 20L. Was ok, but the lactose didn't really make it sweet - it just added a kind of sweet aftertaste to it.

Current batch i have down is 10L juice + US05 and i'll top up with more juice in the keg (Though that doesn't really help you if your bottling).
 

JaseH

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At what temperature point is back sweetening in the keg ok? I suppose it depends on the yeast, but I keep my keezer at about 7-8C, am I likely to get any additional fermentation happening at this temp?
 

glenwal

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At what temperature point is back sweetening in the keg ok? I suppose it depends on the yeast, but I keep my keezer at about 7-8C, am I likely to get any additional fermentation happening at this temp?
If your using a typical ale yeast (ie. something that wants temps around 16+) then the yeast aren't going to do much (if anything) at 7-8deg, and coupled with the lack of oxygen, and you should be pretty safe.

The worst thats really going to happen is it might be slightly over carbed if left for extremely long periods, but thats nothing a quick burp of the keg won't fix.
 

Dave70

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A wine or mead yeast is going to chew through alot more sugar isn't it?


My last cider was 500g lactose in 20L. Was ok, but the lactose didn't really make it sweet - it just added a kind of sweet aftertaste to it.

Current batch i have down is 10L juice + US05 and i'll top up with more juice in the keg (Though that doesn't really help you if your bottling).
I dunno. I've been flicking through that book 'A year of Beer', basically a compendium of seasonal recipes (from the US) and a few of the meads use 'sweet yeasts' some wine, some specifically for mead (cant remember the names or numbers right now) and going by the judges comments, they seem to let plenty of sweetness - honey and fruit - shine through without the use of lactose.

It's a personal thing for sure, but I just didn't like what lactose brought to the party.
 

grantsglutenfreehomebrew

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Prime your bottles with pear juice. 5 mil will give your 330 mil stubby a mild carbonation. This will also add some sweetness.
 

manticle

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I dunno. I've been flicking through that book 'A year of Beer', basically a compendium of seasonal recipes (from the US) and a few of the meads use 'sweet yeasts' some wine, some specifically for mead (cant remember the names or numbers right now) and going by the judges comments, they seem to let plenty of sweetness - honey and fruit - shine through without the use of lactose.

It's a personal thing for sure, but I just didn't like what lactose brought to the party.
I agree on the lactose (does add a certain flavour although not loads of sweetness funnily enough). Can work if you like the flavour and milk and apples can be reconciled.

However I think the sweet mead yeasts work because they conk out around 10-12% ABV and the mead recipes they are used in will give 14+ if allowed to ferment right out. With cider, usually closer to 6-7 %, they will still eat everything. I have used wyeast sweet mead in my cider and it still hit 1000.

I like dry so that's OK by me.

To get a naturally sweet cider, you probably need to examine methods like keeving or multiple racking (something I believe Domaine Dupont do with their cidre bouche

Techniques used:
Controlled fermentation in stainless steel vats. Indigenous yeasts. Stabilization of the cider is sought by carrying out successive racking. The fermentation is controlled by successive racking. The cider is bottled unpasteurized between March and April. Density (O.G.): 1060 after pressing, equivalent to 134 g of sugar per litre. 1024 when bottled, which gives 5% alcohol after bottle fermentation has finished.
However before trying that at home and bottling, you'd want to be pretty sure of yourself.

US forums talk about bottle pasteurisation which is not something I've tried so can't recommend for or against but worth researching.

I believe there are some yeasts that will leave some sweetness - I don't mind dry and I hate overcarbed and/or broken glass so I've always just used yeast that ferment right out and tried to balance the dryness with complexity (various juices/apples, tannic acid, oak currently, etc).
 

Greg.L

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Pasteurisation seems to be the most popular method these days. If you want to keg it and keep it cool, you should leave in secondary for a couple of months with some rackings and metabisulfite. Then you should get 3-4 weeks before significant refermentation starts, at 8c or below.
Mlf will take off some dryness, but it isn't worth it for 20l of shop bought juice.
 

sp0rk

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I tested it last night and it was already at 3.5% ABV so i racked off half and have chucked it into the fridge with a batch of beer i'm cold conditioning
it was pretty nice, not as sweet as rekorderlig and the like, but still pretty good
had a sniff of the airlock when i got home from work this afternoon and it's smelling a little funky, so i might rack the rest off and CC that too then rack off again once the yeast has settled


seeing as it tastes decent now thought i'd down it before it gets nasty
I'll have a try at making something with a high sugar level and a decent mead yeast in a week or 2 and let that sit for a while
 

jameson

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For my sweet cider I use us04 with berri Pear and Apple you can add more fermentable's. It keeps very sweet like lolli juice. The girls love it. :icon_cheers:
 

manticle

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People who mention rekorderlig in conjunction with anything that represents good, sweet cider should be keelhauled.

Undrinkable, artificially sweetened rubbish.

Try some of the sweeter end of the thatcher's range for good, complex cider. The Normandies and Bretons are something else that I love but if you're going from rekordelig or strongbow, I'd ease into it more gently. You don't get a VB drinker into craft beer by recommending a geuze.

Aspall also do some lovely ones and Sam Smith's organic is worth a punt in my book too. Even the Magners/bulmers whatever fruit range is a better bet than rekordershit.
 

sp0rk

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Wasn't saying i'm a fan of rekorderlig, just saying mine's not up in that ridiculous sweetness range
Bulmers and and Magners are the only thing other than rekorderlig/Kopparberg/Strongbow that i've seen/had while looking around
I know Dan's has a few more, but i haven't had that good of a look
we have a Porters Liquor here in coffs managed by a british bloke who apparently was into the Campaign For Real Ale back in the UK and imports stuff from over there to sell, so i'll have to go ask him if he can get anything in or whatnot
I didn't mind Old Rosie scrumpy, though it was getting towards the limit of dryness I'm enjoying right now
 

Greg.L

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Decades ago, most of the wine sold in Australia was sweet wine, now most wine is fully dry. Hopefully with time and education Aussies can start to appreciate dry craft cider, its actually a very nice drink. The body from the tannins helps to offset the dryness.
 

manticle

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Decades ago, most of the wine sold in Australia was sweet wine, now most wine is fully dry. Hopefully with time and education Aussies can start to appreciate dry craft cider, its actually a very nice drink. The body from the tannins helps to offset the dryness.
The current growth in cider is probably the beginning point but sometimes I wonder if we've gone about it the right way.

So many micros and even macros are bringing out bland, fizzy apple flavoured soda water with sweetness and grog. many of the ciders on the market, including those made by micros are akin to the seven hundred varieties of mass produced pale lagers you can buy. Thus most craft beer lovers aren't that interested unless their non beer drinking lady friends stay happy.

People don't seem to appreciate that just as beer has a diverse and long history and various associated cultures, so too does cider.

There's a couple here that are on the way from my experience - Napoleon to an extent and two metres tall (hear bad things about their beer but I liked their cider).

Also I remember a naturally fermented Prickly Moses cider that I quite liked.

Eventually, I hope, people will see cider as something more than just a drink for the girls (and people will stop seeing girls as only ever lovers of sweetened, bland beverages). Cider is a farmhouse beverage traditionally, like saison or biere de garde. It should be associated with harvesting, hard, physical work, dirt and the earth, as should beer.

My thoughts only - maybe the market statistics will show I'm an idiot?
 

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