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How Much Sugar For Carbonating Cider?

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Icewind

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Hi all, my first post in these forums. Just started getting into the home brew side of things. About 8 months ago wife gave me a Coopers 23l home brew kit for our anniversary. I have done a few brews since then (lager, Pilsener, Ginger Beer, Stout, Cerveza, Stout again). Thought I would try a cider. I realised after buying the Brigalow apple cider that it does not have a great reputation, but nonetheless waste not want not! So I've pressed forward with the brew, with a few modifications:

I Pitched the Brigalow apple cider wort down about 10 days ago with:


2L P&N Apple/Mango juice (11% sugar)
250ml mango extract (50% sugar)
1kg brewers sugar (maltodextrin i think)
300gm white sugar
100ml strawberry syrup (unknown sugar %)
Filled up to 22.5L
1.5 packs of s-04 ale yeast
The brigalow nutrient pack.

Day 1 OG 1.048
Days 5-7 1.025 and not going anywhere. I added 500ml water and aerated.
Day 8 1.015
Day 9 1.007
Day 10 1.000

So questions:

Do I leave it any longer? It is quite dry so i will need to backsweeten it.
I presume the easiest method is to add some lactose as a non-fermentable?
How much sugar do i need for carbonating 750g pet bottles? Just the usual you do beers with?



Thanks for replies in advance!
 

rcsoccer

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Do I leave it any longer? It is quite dry so i will need to backsweeten it.
I presume the easiest method is to add some lactose as a non-fermentable?
How much sugar do i need for carbonating 750g pet bottles? Just the usual you do beers with?


Thanks for replies in advance!
The problem with apple juice, and honey, is that the sugar is 100% fermentable. So, the only way you can actually get a sweet cider is to kill the yeast when the gravity gets to where you want it, then add more yeast at bottling time, or you can back sweeten in a keg and force carbonate. It's really hard to back sweeten in a bottle. I don't think lactose is very sugary. I've never used it for sweetening beer or cider, but you could give it a try. The last time I made a cider was when I lived in Oregon, USA. I had ~23 liters of fresh pressed apple juice, added Campden tablets (sodium meta-bisulfite) to kill the wild bugs, fermented, then racked it to a keg with some more fresh pressed juice. It was great! If you have a kegging system, or a friend that does, do this.

As for your question about how much sugar to add..... Just go with the normal amount that you would add to a beer. Get some of those carbonation drops from Big W, or a brew store. They are the easiest. I think it calls for 2 drops per 750 ml tallie. You could add 2.5 if you could cut them if half. It will give you more carbonation, which is normal for the style.

Cheers!
 

Icewind

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unfortunately haven't got to the stage of having a keg or co2 bottle. And no spare fridge to chill the required amount either.
 

FuzzyDropbear

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Hey mate, the lactose should be ok for use as sweetner. The recipe I currently have in the fermenter used 500g Lactose for 23L. I brewed the first batch using no lactose and it was too dry for me, more like a very dry white wine (I prefer dry cider even though this is for the missus).

I added the lactose as I mixed up the brew, but as long as everything was sanitised or you racked to another vessel, I don't see any problem in stirring it in and then letting everything settle out for a couple of days.

As cider usually takes a while longer to ferment than beer, I've left this batch and the last one for three weeks and then I check to see if gravity is stable, but can't remember the FG off the top of my head. 3 weeks in fermenter turned out pretty clear.

Not sure how big the 750g PET bottles are. My last batch of cider was in long necks and I just carbonated as if it were a beer and it turned out pretty good. I gave up using the drops as they were all different sizes when I used them, so the carbonation was a bit variable. But this is personal preference.

Cheers,

Rob
 

Icewind

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Hey mate, the lactose should be ok for use as sweetner. The recipe I currently have in the fermenter used 500g Lactose for 23L. I brewed the first batch using no lactose and it was too dry for me, more like a very dry white wine (I prefer dry cider even though this is for the missus).

I added the lactose as I mixed up the brew, but as long as everything was sanitised or you racked to another vessel, I don't see any problem in stirring it in and then letting everything settle out for a couple of days.

As cider usually takes a while longer to ferment than beer, I've left this batch and the last one for three weeks and then I check to see if gravity is stable, but can't remember the FG off the top of my head. 3 weeks in fermenter turned out pretty clear.

Not sure how big the 750g PET bottles are. My last batch of cider was in long necks and I just carbonated as if it were a beer and it turned out pretty good. I gave up using the drops as they were all different sizes when I used them, so the carbonation was a bit variable. But this is personal preference.

Cheers,

Rob
Sweet. (pun intended)

I like the dry ciders too but i think with the mango it's probably better as a sweeter cider. Do you premix the lactose in with water before adding?
 

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