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Re- backsweetening with AJC

After making a few gallons of cider by the seat of my pants, I am researching the subject more closely.

My question is this, I have backsweetened my ciders with AJC and I have had no issues with bottle bombs or over-carbing, but it seems like everyone on this board suggests that you must use something to kill yeast if you use this method…

So what, have I just gotten lucky?

I have been using about 1/3 of a can of AJC for one gallon ciders.

I am asking because I want to flavor this batch with raspberry AJC and I want to add enough but not too much, looking for the magic number.

Assuming you fermented dry, I don’t think 1/3 can of AJC would create a bottle bomb. The AJC I use is roughly 14 grams sugar (fructose) per 1 ounce of AJC … or 1 ounce fructose (weight) per 2 ounces (volume) AJC … which I believe would come out to about 4.3 volumes of CO2 for 1/3 of a 12 oz can? I don’t think that is enough for a bottle bomb.

If you want to backsweeten, rather than simply carbonate, you have to stop the yeast from processing some of the extra sugar you add … as they’ll do their very best to consume all of it (hence the various techniques to stop, or significantly slow down the yeast). It sounds like you’re drinking a dry, carbonated cider? … or drinking it before the yeast finish consuming all of the sugar?

If you’re having success and enjoy what you’re making, perhaps you can compare the sugar content of the AJC and the raspberry concentrate and adjust accordingly.

Ok so I understand what you are saying I think.

If I did stop the yeast then my cider would be sweeter? I would like to try that.

Exactly. If you don’t stop them, they’ll work very hard to consume whatever fermentable sugars remain, leaving your cider dry along with whatever CO2 (and alcohol) they produce in the process. So if you can stop them before they eat all of the sugars your cider will be sweeter.

In your original post you mention both backsweetening and carbonation … which creates a sort-of balancing act: you need the yeast to consume sugar to produce your carbonation, but you don’t want them to consume all of it because you want some sweetness left for your drinking pleasure. There are a bunch of threads where folks share how they achieve this (pastuerizing, etc.).

I like my apple wine still and just a little sweet, which makes life easy … I just stabilize & sweeten.

Do you have the ability to keg/force carb?

I have taken a single batch of cider (with yeast dropped out with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfate), force carbed it in the keg, used a picnic tap and bottling wand to bottle with lower PSI, and added some unfermented apple cider to individual bottles where I wanted a sweeter/more balanced beverage.

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