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how to make a sweeter cider?

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turner_186

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looking for some helpful hints on how to make a sweeter cider.

i have previously made ciders with just store brand apple juice with no preservs, and adding some extra dextrose to improve the alc content and finally a good cider yeast, my problem being that when i try it, it has a tangy after taste and lacks a bit in taste so i was looking for any hints to give my cider a bit more body.......
Any suggestions?

this was the recipe i used:

3 x 2.4L Berri apple juice
3 x 850ml pear juice
2 cups of dextrose
2 x diced apples
2 x diced pears
1 x cider yeast pack

starting gravity: 1.063
finishing gravity: 1.006
Alc: 7.9%
 

seemax

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Few options
-use LME instead of dex (never tried)
-back sweeten with juice post fermentation (will need to kill yeast with heat or chemical means)
-chill when at desired gravity... i did this recently... once 1.020 i kegged at 2C and force carb - could possibly ferment further but not likely. end result was a low ABV sweet-ish cider
 

JDW81

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Sweet cider is a tough one to nail at a home brew level. Many people use lactose with success (as it is an unfermentable sugar), while others say it leaves a funny taste.

There are some yeasts which will finish sweeter and others dryer. I like mine very dry so I use champagne yeast and can't recommend a sweeter finishing yeast (ask your LHBS)

If you can halt fermentation early by chilling and then filtering all the yeast out you will be left with residual sugars and a sweeter brew, alternatively you can back sweeten very successfully with a little bit of juice in the glass, then top with cider. How much depends on how sweet you like it.

Also, in my experience cider really benefits from a long conditioning time (i'm talking 1 year plus). All the ciders I've made don't really come into their own until at least 1 year post bottling so if you can be patient they will be much more complex.

JD
 

carniebrew

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Get the best quality apple juice you can find, and add it to your fermented cider before bottling. It will both sweeten the cider, and drop the alcohol content back to something more swiggable. So if you have 10 litres of 8% abv cider, adding 3 litres of juice to it before bottling will drop that to more like 5.6%. It will increase slightly in the bottle as the yeast consumes the sugars in the newly added juice, so bottle one plastic bottle of cider, and keep checking how hard it becomes. When it's as hard as a coke bottle, pasteurise all your bottles to kill the yeast (link to instructions). My first cider was ready for pasteurising within 2 days.

And as JD said, cider takes a long time to condition...don't expect to get rid of that after-taste tang for many, many months. Personally i'm not bothering with cider any more, it ties up my bottles for too long!
 

bradsbrew

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Pretty hard to achieve with bottles. kegging makes it alot easier.

Brads Cider

6L Apple juice
6L Apple and pear
3L Grape juice

once fermented, cold crash for a week at 0 deg then kegged, add 3L apple and pear to the keg . Its not an over strong alc % but pretty tasty.

Cheers

Edit: The wife is drinking it once it carbed,
 

Screwtop

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To vary sweetness:

1. Addition of non-fermentables or less-fermentables
2. Yeast selection

Ale yeast such as S04 will finish supermarket juice around 1.012

Honestly, for a great panty dropper sweet cider: Mangrove Jacks Pear Cider Kit, add 1kg of dex and 1 x 3L woolies home brand apple juice and 1 x 850ml can of Goulburn Valley Pear Juice. Make up to 23L. Ferment using the kit yeast and ferment at 19°C (smells like lager yeast-sulphury) add kit flavouring after day 5.

Screwy
 

Byran

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I recently done a simple cider with 15 L apple juice, and a slurry of 1272. Fermented at 20 or so deg for a couple of weeks.
Kegged and conditioned for another couple.
It was super dry and tart from the 1272 so I poured a small bottle off presha fruit apple juice into the keg. Tastes pretty good. My missus reckons its great and she is a cider girl so .....
If I was going to make it finish sweeter and have more body I would do a mini mash with maybe a kilo of pale malt or even wheat. Do a Proteolytic rest at about 56 -58 deg for 15 mins to prep the enzymes then Alpha only at about between 69-72 deg for half an hour or so to get a good amount of unfermentable sugars. Pitch this into the fermenter when cooled, and pour in the aple juice before pitching the yeast, I reckon that it would retain plenty of residual sweetness and give a little head retention too.....
 

mkstalen

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If you're also after more body, you could trade some of your dex for maltodextrine (or DM E as someone else suggested)
If you don't want to back sweeten with juice in the glass, or you can't stop fermentation and keg with force carbing, sweetness can also be added with artificial sweetners such as Stevia.
 

cyrrus

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Has anybody tried using artificial sweetners such as splenda or the like? I don't think you'd need a whole lot of sweetening to just bring it back from 'dry' and it would also then contain less sugar?
 

GalBrew

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Has anybody tried using artificial sweetners such as splenda or the like? I don't think you'd need a whole lot of sweetening to just bring it back from 'dry' and it would also then contain less sugar?
Yep, I have backsweetened to taste with a syrup made with equal. Works fine.
 

turner_186

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thanks for all the replies, clears up a lot of confusion i previously had about making cider.
As it was my first official cider i didn't have high expectations but all in all it is still certainly drinkable, next few should be a lot better.


Cheers.....
 

Amber_Man

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The best way to sweeten your cider is to use a non fermentable sugar. By far the best ingredient I have found for this is lactose.
 

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