Fine tuning my cider

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Tigcraft

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Bit of a head scratcher, done three to four kits and pretty much fine with a small hiccup in the last but nothing serious then I made my first ‘natural’ brew from three Aldi carrier bags full of mixed unknown apples and that was a whole new experience.
Towards the point of bottling I put some finings in and wished i didn’t as it was clearing by itself although very slow. I lost quite a bit because the finings left a big area of ‘fog’ at the bottom of the DJs. I then bottled the lot with a spoon full of sugar in each one but I’m sure I over killed the remainder yeast. A month or so later I tried my first bottle and although I got the taste exactly where I wanted , it was flat as a fart and too sweet! 🙄. Over time it’s become really tasty and the sparkle appeared at last. Last night I had another (9 months down the line) and very sparkly but now very dry.
Is there a way to fine tune these brews so there’s some consistency?
 
I haven't cracked cider yet.
Part of the problem.is how seasonal it is.
You get one go in the autumn & really have to wait for the spring to know how it turned out.

What I've had moderate success with is those tiny coffee sweeteners, but depends on how sensitive your taste buds are. Will you detect it as artificially sweet?
 
Use the cheap powder sweetener in all the supermarkets. Big yellow tub. Think its maltose or sucralose. No after taste. Avoid stevia.

Glass test with a 10% w/w solution. Easy maths then for the whole batch at bottling.
 
Use the cheap powder sweetener in all the supermarkets. Big yellow tub. Think its maltose or sucralose. No after taste. Avoid stevia.

Glass test with a 10% w/w solution. Easy maths then for the whole batch at bottling.
Would that be in conjunction with the spoon of sugar that goes in the bottles to give it the fizz?
 
Yes.
But you don't have to use a whole spoon of sugar. I use 1/2 a spoon for gently sparkling rather than super fizzy.

Line up a few bottles at bottling time & use different quantities of sugar. Remember to label them so you know when to try them. Then next time use the quantity that gave you your preferred level of fizz.
 
Sounds like the finings had dropped a lot of the yeast which would have slowed carbonation right down. Wouldn't have expected nine months though.

As above getting sweetness right is a challenge. I've even resorted to adding sugar at pouring time ashock1. Now I tend to just drink it dry, but I think the last batch which I pressure fermented in a pressure barrel had a bit of natural sweetness. Good excuse to sample some later.
 
Thank you all for all the comments, without forums we’d be stuck some times.
 
Sounds like the finings had dropped a lot of the yeast which would have slowed carbonation right down. Wouldn't have expected nine months though.

As above getting sweetness right is a challenge. I've even resorted to adding sugar at pouring time ashock1. Now I tend to just drink it dry, but I think the last batch which I pressure fermented in a pressure barrel had a bit of natural sweetness. Good excuse to sample some later.
Nope, it was dry.
 
well i can't offer first hand experience as my cider is made from fruit juice.

If trying to adjust the sweetness as suggested powered sweetener will not ferment and will not be used by the yeast.

don't know if relevant but when making wine especially fruit wines I stop it before fermenting dry to keep the sweetness and flavour for rose for example, i do this by adding fermentation stopper for wines (sure those in the know will suggest a cheaper alternative) let it age and either keep it still or carbonate it.
2 options use a soda stream or drinkmate gets very good write up, I have not tried yet.
or add small amount of sugar and yeast i use EC1118 for this just a small sprinkle(much easier to use a 2nd bucket and add priming sugar and yeast) it uses the sugar you added and creates bubbles, you will get a bit of settled yeast but works well for wine so should be same for cider, the risk is too much yeast it continues to ferment to dry
 
well i can't offer first hand experience as my cider is made from fruit juice.

If trying to adjust the sweetness as suggested powered sweetener will not ferment and will not be used by the yeast.

don't know if relevant but when making wine especially fruit wines I stop it before fermenting dry to keep the sweetness and flavour for rose for example, i do this by adding fermentation stopper for wines (sure those in the know will suggest a cheaper alternative) let it age and either keep it still or carbonate it.
2 options use a soda stream or drinkmate gets very good write up, I have not tried yet.
or add small amount of sugar and yeast i use EC1118 for this just a small sprinkle(much easier to use a 2nd bucket and add priming sugar and yeast) it uses the sugar you added and creates bubbles, you will get a bit of settled yeast but works well for wine so should be same for cider, the risk is too much yeast it continues to ferment to dry

Never thought of using the soda stream.
 
Ive used a soda stream in my early days to carb beer i was too impatient to wait for. Got very foamy and would gush out of the bottle when diaconnecting fromsoda stream seemed tk get better if you moved it about it and the left it for abit
 

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