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Cider sweetening, faucet & carbonation level

I have a week under my belt in my first ever batch of cider. After reading up on it a little, I rolled the dice with all natural, non-pasteurized fresh squeezed apple cider pitched with Wyeast 4066. It hit 1.050 O.G., and after a week it’s down to 1.012 and still bubbling away. As of today, honestly it has a little funk to the smell, but I tasted it and it tastes great (and I read on here from a few posts that hard cider can go through some odd smells in the fermentation process).

So once it’s done, I’m going to keg it. My questions are:

Once it’s dry & done, can I rack it to the keg first and cold crash it, and then back sweeten with a can of pasteurized apple juice concentrate directly into the keg before sealing it again and pressurizing it?

What carbonation level would anyone recommend? I would like it lightly carbonated if that helps.

And I have basic chrome faucets. Do I need to buy a stainless steel or plastic faucet for juices (I need a reason to upgrade to Perlick, right)?

Thanks for any and all help…

Cold crashing isn’t enough. You’ll need to add the required amount of Potassium Sorbate to stop re-fermentation. This is how I do it. I just take a can of the frozen concentrate, allow it to thaw, and add it to the keg and rack on top of it so it mixes in.

For carb levels you can usually find graphs that show what psi to set at what degree to get the wanted volumes of CO2. Light Lagers (used this example as its probably the one you are most familiar with) is 2.7 volumes. So, beer temp of 34* calls for 11psi.

Here’s a great link on kegging and it also contains a CO2 graph:

http://morebeer.com/themes/morewinepro//kegging.pdf

Sorry forgot about the faucets. Do you plan on upgrading anyway? If so I would go with the perlick (if you have the $). If not, you could buy the plastic faucet and switch them out when needed.

I have the perlicks and they are nice. Never miss those sticky days!

Hey Loops, thanks for the note back.

Is the potassium sorbate the same as Campden tablets? http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/campden-tablets.html

Sorry, I’m in new territory and have no idea so I apologize if it’s a dumb question. If so, I guess I better order it soon.

If I pull this off and the cider tastes good and my wife likes it, I think I’ll have green lights on almost anything. Those Perlicks are expensive, but I would love to have them!

Will one can of concentrate make it sweet enough?

Thanks!

[quote=“Positive Voodoo”]
Is the potassium sorbate the same as Campden tablets? http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/campden-tablets.html [/quote]
No, potassium sorbate is also known as stabilizer.

Depends on how sweet you want your final product. One can in 5gal is not going to get it very sweet.

Thanks so much for the help. I’ll order it today.

So I think my better half would like the cider reasonably sweet. If I was going to error on the side of too sweet as opposed to too dry, how many cans of concentrate would you recommend?

Thanks again - your help makes it so much easier.

My wife likes it sweet and I do 3 cans to 5 gals. This seems to be a fair balance of not mouth puckering sweet
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