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Brewing Cider

I’m going to try brewing some hard apple cider again. The first time I tried, it turned out too much like champagne. Can anyone tell me what to do to make it NOT so carbonated and more sweeter than tart ?? It will be a 2 gallon batch with extract. Thanks.

Backsweetening, pasteurization, sulfates to kill yeast, etc. It all sounded very complex, so I’m happy I love very dry cider.

You would have to kill the yeast and back sweeten. I like it dry and sparkling like champagne so I don’t bother. You can expieriment with different types of apples

Low and slow. Ferment like a lager around 55 F for 2-3 weeks, then when gravity hits 1.010-1.015, add gelatin to knock out the yeast (wait 24 hours), then rack and keep cold for 2-3 more months, then bottle. That’s pretty much how I do it. I got a batch to finish at 1.013 this year with this method, and it’s bottled, and no explosions. Zero chemicals added besides gelatin, zero, and no backsweetening either. It’s naturally sweet, nothing added. Patience is the secret ingredient… patience, and lots of it. Sweet cider is possible. Now if only I can repeat this again perfectly in future. I’m very confident I can actually. Gelatin and cold, and patience, patience.

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I make a batch every year. I back sweeten with splenda. If you only use a little, between a 1/2 cup and a full cup for five gallons, it is not too sweet and no after taste. Bottle just like you would a beer with priming sugar and to me it tastes good.

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Ive heard of people who just bottle early without adding priming sugar. They don’t make much and drink it quickly.

its a lot easier to control the final flavor of cider if you have the ability to keg/force carb.

Wow ! That sounds pretty overwhelming for a novice brewer. I don’t know what back sweetening is. But I appreciate all replies and ideas. Where do you find a place to ferment consistently at 55f ?

It can seem overwhelming, but like everything, it doesn’t have to be. Backsweetening is where you let the sugars ferment out, then add sugar back until it is as sweet as you want it to be. The tricky part is that that sugar might ferment again. Dave keeps things cool and removes yeast with gelatin. Cran uses Splenda, an artificial sugar that doesn’t ferment. There are other ways to kill off yeast so the sugar won’t ferment.

To keep things cool, you can use a fridge or freezer with a digital controller, or find a cool spot in a garage or basement and add a swamp cooler.

I fermented a cider in the refrigerator for the past 5 months this year. Fermentation temp about 39 F. It turned out great. Easiest cider I ever made. Just bought a gallon, loosened the cap slightly, and left 'er sit wild in the back of the fridge. Nothing added, yeast was whatever came from the apples and the pressing. Yum.

I’m kind of lazy in my approach. I don’t take readings. I can’t tell you the Abv of my brew. I don’t know my brew house efficiency for all grain. I don’t sweat the technical stuff and I’ve never had an issue. The hard part of cider making is figuring out all the stuff you read about making it. My simple approach: 1. Buy five gallons of cider at the local farmers market 2. Dump it into a sterilized carboy 3. Add yeast 4. Wait until it stop bubbling 5. Transfer to bottling bucket 6. Add Splenda and priming sugar 6. Bottle 7. Drink. You can add as many steps in between as you want. That is what makes the whole process enjoyable. Add a boiling step and take out the Splenda and you have my approach for beer.

Cider is pretty simple but beer needs a few more steps at least if your doing all grain. Which IMO is the way to make beer. Of course making cider is more involved if you crush your own apples also.

Don’t use tart apples, I’d love to find honeycrisp at a good price but got stuck with a box of braeburns…trying to overpower their hardness now. Fuji and pink lady worked well on my last batch. I use my juicer and skin off the foam.
Edit-i meant not 100% yard apples, I ended up with all braeburn from the local FFA kids when I’d rather use them as an addition n not the base juice.

I have to use what I have. Macs, cortland, golden d, tons of wild apples. I didn’t use the wild apples they are tart but may try to add a few this year. The harvest is different every year. I threw a lot of my pears in last year for one batch peaches in another. Both were nice ciders

I disagree, I use tart apples and crabs in equal parts to sweeter apples. Using straight-up sweet apples tends to make a bland and flabby cider to my tastes. A handful of crabapples can lend a wonderful tartness and provide some nice tannins that really help the mouthfeel with anything that finishes at such a low gravity.

porkchop
I disagree, I use tart apples and crabs in equal parts to sweeter apples. Using straight-up sweet apples tends to make a bland and flabby cider to my tastes. A handful of crabapples can lend a wonderful tartness and provide some nice tannins that really help the mouthfeel with anything that finishes at such a low gravity.

I also use some tart apples every time I brew cider for the same reason.

I don’t have anything like that. My fridge is always full of stuff. And my house is small and adding another mouth in a few months. So no extra room to close off. :frowning: I think I will give Cran’s way a go to start with. I have Splenda in packets. I wonder how much I would need for 2 gallons ? Guess I’ll have to do some math. :confounded: When did you add the sweetener ? In the bottle ? Thanks.

Add it to the bottling bucket with the sugar you use for carbonation. I would think a third of a cup for two gallons. Good luck

Ok Cran. Thanks everyone for the ideas !!

Did you use an extract or pure apple cider ?

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