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How dry do you go?

We’ve got our very first batch of cider fermenting nicely here, very exciting!

I’m wondering, how dry do people here like to make their cider. I’m measuring and tasting now to try and guess how far we should take it, but it would be good to see what others are doing.

I’m at 1.021 as of last night - thinking I’ll wind up in the teens, maybe 1.010. Would be great to know what others prefer.

Look at this, I can make a poll! Perfect!

I always ferment to dryness. I may backsweeten after stabilizing though, usually just to off-dry.

+1 Same method here. Although, I have playing around with backsweetening with KAL brand stevia lately.

Very interesting results so far! I was under the impression more people stopped at a certain point and cold crashed. My plan was to cold crash and keg.

What do you back sweeten with? Sugar? More fresh cider?

Just tasted a sample - 1.016 now. Tastes so yeasty when in primary! Thinking I may let it go dry as others do and see how that works out.

In the past I have always fermented to dryness, usually in the 0.990s, then backsweetened. However this time around, I am going to play with racking and sulfite & sorbate additions to try to get the yeast to quit or die around 1.005 - 1.010. I’ve read that a good way to do this naturally is to rack the cider around 1.020, then the remaining cells will keep going for a little while but grow tired and fall out before the cider hits the 0.990s. So I’m going to try that method for part of my batches. Others I’ll go dry and backsweeten as needed. I think I might try lactose this time around, as I used Splenda last year and it tasted fine for a month but then tasted chemically sweet after that and not so pleasant.

This fall I’m enjoying a batch that has gone to complete dryness, then providing some great natural cider made in Bayfield WI to add as much sweetness as guests prefer.

To my surprise a number of folks want to drink the cider totally dry, and love it that way. I like to add around 20% of the Bayfield cider to add some sweetness and increase the apple flavor and aroma.

+1 Same method here. Although, I have playing around with backsweetening with KAL brand stevia lately.[/quote]

I also plan to do this as I want my cider carbonated and do not own (yet) a kegging system, and I would like to avoid adding chemicals to kill the yeast, so that leaves the KAL stevia method.

After reading some cider threads here, I’m starting to conclude that perhaps I did not let my first batch of cider age enough (this was a lonnnnnng time ago, and haven’t made any since then). It was very, very dry to the point of harsh (I used some sort of dry champagne yeast), and desperately needed sugar. However, once sweetened, it was awesome! Anyway, this new experiment will be backsweetened just enough to bring back the apple flavor.

I’ve tried several types of stevia and have found the KAL brand to be the only one that I would consider using. Most brands actually have bulking agents added and IME have off flavors.

I like my cider totally dry. Luckily for me, that makes the process pretty easy. :lol:

I like cider in almost any manifestation. I like it bone dry and I like it sweet. It kind of depends on my mood and what else I’m eating/drinking with it.

On the idea of stopping fermentation with SO2 and sorbate, I’ve been thinking about that lately, too, and it occurred to me that if one wants to get as much yeast out as possible through racking, it seems logical that you would want a yeast with a high rate of flocculation.

I can’t remember, reading too many things here & my brains are scrambled. You keg your cider, right?

No, I bottle mine. I like to let mine age a bit so kegging would not be as feasible. I use 12-oz beer bottles. I don’t have the room (or the bottles!) for all the fancy wine bottles.

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