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Sweeting question

Hi. I am new to the forum and may be putting this in the wrong section but I am going to post anyway.

I currently have a cream ale kit in primary and I plan to add some roasted apples for the secondary as well as some spices to try and make a subdued apple pie beer. I am worried that it may not come out sweet enough to balance the bitterness of the hops (even though it was only a 15 min boil).

So my question more or less:

When I rack to secondary since I will be adding apples with all their fermentable sugars, should I use sulfite to stop the fermentation first? Also, if I taste it after a week or so in secondary and it is not where I want it to be, what would be the best to add to sweeten it a bit? I was thinking lactose…?

Thanks.

First off welcome Bryan. I would think twice about adding any chemicals to stop fermentation if you plan to bottle. If the yeast is killed off you will not get any carbonation. Adding some yeast back in might work depending on how much chemical you add.

Lactose will sweeten and is not fermentable by brewers yeast but can be overpowering so if you go that route, use a little. Best bet from what I have seen to to add spice into the bottling bucket. Mix either your own spice line up or use pumpkin pie spice and mix it with some vodka and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Decant the liquid and either add very small amounts to 12oz until it tastes right then multiply it out for your batch size or add a larger amount to the bottling bucket until it tastes right. I honestly would skip the apples. YMMV

[quote=“HD4Mark”]First off welcome Bryan. I would think twice about adding any chemicals to stop fermentation if you plan to bottle. If the yeast is killed off you will not get any carbonation. Adding some yeast back in might work depending on how much chemical you add.

Lactose will sweeten and is not fermentable by brewers yeast but can be overpowering so if you go that route, use a little. Best bet from what I have seen to to add spice into the bottling bucket. Mix either your own spice line up or use pumpkin pie spice and mix it with some vodka and let it sit for a couple of weeks. Decant the liquid and either add very small amounts to 12oz until it tastes right then multiply it out for your batch size or add a larger amount to the bottling bucket until it tastes right. I honestly would skip the apples. YMMV[/quote]

Thanks Mark.

I think I totally brain farted on the bottling part. Totally forgot about that. Otherwise my idea would be perfect! Lol.
As for skipping the apples, if I did that it would defeat the purpose of my brew. I want something in the category of beer without being a cider or lambic. The apples are going to add the flavor that I want in it. The spices are just to help make it a little more prominent than the hops. Like I originally said, the hops were only 15 minutes on the boil so I don’t think they will pose a huge problem but just in case. That being said, I think I will take your advice and skip adding lactose.
I never thought about adding my additional spices to the bottling bucket. I think that sounds like a better way to do it, and more controlled. I usually add my boiled priming sugar to the bottom of the bucket and rack on top of it to mix it. If I try little by little like you said then I should have some good results.

Once I finish the batch up and see how it comes out I will update this thread with the process I used.

Thanks again!

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