Happy with my first cider...

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Tigcraft

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I'm reasonably happy with my first cider from kit form using MYO brand.Its been a success. It was a berry cider and probably tastes as good as it could. A question I'd like to know the answer to is regarding the bottling stage, adding sugar to the empty bottle to re-ferment and add some sparkle has worked but the last of the bottles seem to taste drier than the first few. Is there a way to keep them consistent as I dont like 'over dry' cider?
 

Jim Brewster

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This also confuses me about cider. Mine has gone to a FG of 1.001 using wilko ale yeast, I'm worried it's going to be very dry. When I add sugar for carbonation it'll just be converted in the bottle so how do you increase the sweetness? :?:
Does it require something like being pasteurized after a few days carbonating ?
 

Muz0415

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When I have made cider in the past, I slightly over-prime with apple juice, I have checked the bottles every couple of days and when the carbonation is good, I stick them in the fridge to stop any more fermentation. You could also go down the pasteurisation route if you want to, but the fridge makes it easy. Just have to remember to leave the bottles in there athumb..
 

Slid

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You could try an artificial sweetener like my parents used to put in tea and coffee?
Maybe add a small amount of sweetener and try and find where the "sweet spot" is for the number of little tablets to a batch.
 

Tigcraft

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When I have made cider in the past, I slightly over-prime with apple juice, I have checked the bottles every couple of days and when the carbonation is good, I stick them in the fridge to stop any more fermentation. You could also go down the pasteurisation route if you want to, but the fridge makes it easy. Just have to remember to leave the bottles in there athumb..
Yes I can see that working although I that'll work well in a wine cooler fridge which I dont currently have.
 

Tigcraft

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You could try an artificial sweetener like my parents used to put in tea and coffee?
Maybe add a small amount of sweetener and try and find where the "sweet spot" is for the number of little tablets to a batch.
Thats also an interesting idea. Do you think yeast reacts differently to artificial sweeteners and discards it?
 

Muz0415

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Artificial sweeteners aren’t fermentable (at least as far as I know of) so the yeast essentially ignore it, as it can’t be turned in to alcohol. I’ve tried adding sweetener to really dry cider before, but I found that it made it sweet without making it less dry (can’t think of how else to describe this effect), and I really wasn’t too keen. Many people use it though, so worth a try!

I’m assuming you’re priming you’re bottles, and drinking them before the carbonation is fully complete, therefore there’s still some sweetness from the unfermented priming sugar. If this is the case then you probably don’t need to add anything at all. When you open a bottle and it’s perfect in terms of carbonation and sweetness, just move the bottles to the fridge or pasteurise them, this will stop any further fermentation and the dryness which you’re experiencing.
 
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Tigcraft

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Artificial sweeteners aren’t fermentable (at least as far as I know of) so the yeast essentially ignore it, as it can’t be turned in to alcohol. I’ve tried adding sweetener to really dry cider before, but I found that it made it sweet without making it less dry (can’t think of how else to describe this effect), and I really wasn’t too keen. Many people use it though, so worth a try!

I’m assuming you’re priming you’re bottles, and drinking them before the carbonation is fully complete, therefore there’s still some sweetness from the unfermented priming sugar. If this is the case then you probably don’t need to add anything at all. When you open a bottle and it’s perfect in terms of carbonation and sweetness, just move the bottles to the fridge or pasteurise them, this will stop any further fermentation and the dryness which you’re experiencing.
Not sure exactly when carbonation is complete. We had the first a week after they were bottled and now I’m a few weeks down the line as i choose not to drink cider every day and noticed it change more at around two weeks ago and got drier.
 

Muz0415

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Carbonation would have been complete when it got much drier. As it carbonates, there is no sugar left to add sweetness as it’s all converted to alcohol/co2. Think most people say this takes about 2 weeks. If it was fizzy enough after 1 week and not overly sweet, and you’re happy with it at that point, then next time I’d go ahead and pasteurise it or keep it chilled to stop it getting any drier. If it wasn’t fizzy enough then you might have to think about adding extra priming sugar or juice. athumb..
 

Tigcraft

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Out of interest what’s the pasteurised treatment process as I thought it’s just a milk thing?? Sorry for being thick :tinhat:
 

Muz0415

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Basically it involves heating the bottles in water in a pan at a set temperature for a set amount of time. I’ve never done it myself but found a guide which I’ll link to below. It’s from the US though, so the units aren’t metric.

 

BeerCat

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This also confuses me about cider. Mine has gone to a FG of 1.001 using wilko ale yeast, I'm worried it's going to be very dry. When I add sugar for carbonation it'll just be converted in the bottle so how do you increase the sweetness? :?:
Does it require something like being pasteurized after a few days carbonating ?
Add apple juice to the glass.
 

Ale House Rock

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Errrr - maybe I'm being a bit thick here but could you not just put a measured amount of sugar in your glass before pouring?
 

johncrobinson

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Yes ale house you could do just that.Homemade syrup would be even better.
Safer than heating pressurized glass bottles.
 

Tigcraft

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Isn’t the idea that it comes out of the bottle ‘finished’ ? Bit like buying a new car and fitting windows to it everyday to use....
 

Scott Begbie

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I bottled my second batch of cider two days ago, using recipes found on this forum. The first batch, a Summer Fruits Cider using Sainsburys Summer Fruit Juice, fermented to 0.988. The second one, using a mash of frozen Black Forest Fruits from ASDA, fermented to 0.998. For both of these, I back-sweetened with Truvia Stevia sweetener then bottled into 500ml PET bottles with 3-4g of granulated sugar in each bottle.

The first batch hasn't really carbonated much at all, but I think that's due to the fact that the yeast's alcohol tolerance level may have been reached and therefore no further fermentation has happened (the ABV is approx 12%). All I have now is a sweet Cider!

The second batch only reached 7.3% ABV, so I'm hoping that the carbonation will work properly this time. The PET bottles seem to be building up some pressure since bottling - I expect to see them increasing in pressure over the next day or two. I'll update in a week's time.
 

Scott Begbie

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Exactly. I'm a little worried about bottle bombs, so plastic is my preference for the moment, until I can gain the confidence in carbonation techniques.

Some people like to use glass bottles and have one plastic bottle too, so that they can monitor the carbonation levels.
 
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