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Brewing Apple Pomegranate Cider

What yeast should I use?

I have brewed several batches of Apple Cider using Red Star Cote de Blanc and fresh pressed pasteurized cloudy no preservative added Apple Cider. I want to do a batch of Apple Pomegranate (the juice is 20% Pomegranate 80% Apple Cider) and am not sure what yeast to use. The Apple Pomegranate Juice is made with Cloudy Apple Juice and Pomegranate Juice, no preservatives added, and pasteurized. The Cote de Blanc provides a drier cider than I prefer.

Thanks!

The juice is almost all fructose, so just about any yeast will consume most of the sugar in it and dry it out. I have heard of some having good success with belgian ale yeasts, but they will also dry it out.

Are you making still or sparkling cider? You could backsweeten if you have the ability to force-carbonate/keg and are making sparkling.

I can’t comment on how well unfermentable sweeteners (lactose, Splenda, etc.) work in ciders as I haven’t used them.

I am not carbonating the final product nor am I putting it in a keg. Simple ferment and bottle. I can sweeten with fresh product after fermentation but I prefer not to. Currently all I have on hand is a champagne yeast. Think that would give a good finished product?

ok that helps that you are not carbonating. Once fermented, you can ‘stabilize’ with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfate. Bonus points if you can cold-crash.

This will drop out the yeast. Then you can backsweeten to taste with fresh apple/pom juice prior to packaging. This shouldn’t ferment. I’ve had great results this way.

Please forgive my ignorance as I’m still new to this. What is cold crashing and how do I do it? Should I use both potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate? What purpose do they serve?

Thanks!

Yes you need both. The two compounds will shock and drop out any existing yeast that would otherwise metabolize (and thus dry out/carbonate) your back-sweetening juice once its bottled.

Cold crashing is dropping the temperature of the fermented cider (or anything) to near freezing temperatures to further facilitate the yeast dropping out of suspension.

The other option you have is to pasteurize the finished product to actually kill the yeast, but I don’t have any experience with this.

Would I need to cold crash and add the two chemicals?

I have had the best success with maintaining a little sweetness in my ciders with Cote des Blancs yeast when I rack often and use gelatin to knock more yeast out. When specific gravity gets to the 1.020s, rack to secondary. When it falls to the 1.010s, rack again and add gelatin, as well as sorbate and metabisulfite. (To add gelatin, boil a cup of water in the microwave, then add a tablespoon of Knox unflavored gelatin, stir to dissolve, cool, and add to your cider.) Then it’s best to let 'er sit for another couple of weeks. If fermentation is still going and gravity falls to the 1.000s, rack again, and if cloudy, hit with more gelatin. If not cloudy, hit with more sorbate and metabisulfite. Eventually fermentation will stop dead, and before it goes all the way down to dryness at 0.992. Don’t bottle until you are 110% that fermentation is 100% complete.

Alternatively, you could try a Scottish ale yeast for the fermentation instead of a wine yeast. Zymurgy ran a bunch of experiments last year and the result was that Scottish ale yeast attenuated the lowest and tasted excellent. I haven’t tried this yeast yet but I will next season. Then you might not need to be so fussy with the racking and gelatin & salt additions.

Pomegranate cider should ferment in exactly the same way as regular cider. Treat everything the same.

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