Producing sweet, non carbonated ciders

Okay Guys,

Just need a few opinions on this, my original goal in making cider was to produce sweet ciders, not necessarily with a high alcohol content, that can be ready to drink within 1-3 months. I am not worried about carbonation, so this is not a factor in what I am attempting to do.

My first couple of batches were made using wine yeast and added sugars, which goes completely against my original goal. These are now sitting on a shelf in secondary, and will be there for months to come (just an added bonus to all of this fun I suppose).

SO, I would like to get a concrete method down to use with most of my recipes where I can do a main fermentation, no added extra sugars (og around 1.050-60) using a low alcohol tolerant yeast, and add campden with pottasium sorbate going into secondary. Wait a few days for the sulfurs to release, add my sugars and let it age to taste.

For example, I currently have a blueberry/apple juice (50/50) combo that has just about completed primary fermentation I would like to try this method with.

When adding to secondary, do I simply just crush the campden and sorbate and mix in with the must, or do I need to mix it with water first? How long is a proper amount of time to wait after this addition to start putting more sugars in to age in the secondary?

More importantly, does aging the wort with the sugar actually have any affect? Or is it more viable to just simply add it right before bottling?

If anyone has tried anything close to this, or is willing to extend their knowledge on how this can positively/negatively affect the cider, please chime in!

I’m not sure I understand you: pressed apple juice will never hit 1.050+. You’ll have to add some kind of sugar to develop an original gravity that high.

Your best option for sweetened, still cider is simple: whatever your base, ferment it dry, then hit it with 25-35 PPM FSO2 and 100-200 PPM sorbate and fine it. Once it’s clear, filter it. These steps will simultaneously cripple, suppress and then remove active yeast from suspension.

After that, back-sweeten to taste.

Don’t use Campden tablets. Buy powdered sulfite and dilute it in a small amount of water instead.

I make sixty or seventy gallons of cider a year, and my secret for really good-tasting cider is to age it for a year in the carboy before kegging/bottling. It makes a huge difference to the finished product.

Sorry, I should clarify. Im using store bought juice, with no preservatives. Havent found anywhere around me to buy local, fresh pressed cider unfortunately.

Also, these are 1 gallon testers. Will move up to 5 once I feel comfortable enough with my current process.

It really depends on your apple varieties. I have 100-year old apple trees, with a lot of russets, and my cider from last year had an OG of 1.058. Almost sickly sweet to drink. But it makes for some really good cider!

+1 The cider I make from my apple trees typically yield over 1.050. This year, the cider hit 1.061 due most likely to the drought we had this year. It was almost like drinking syrup.