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NxQ!?

Cider + Lactose

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I've seen the posts on backsweetening hard cider with lactose, but nothing about adding during bottling - at least nothing about amounts, technique, etc. Do you just add lactose to the bottle like priming sugar? Does it dissolve? Understanding that sweetening is a matter of taste, a teaspoon? A tablespoon? A pinch? Will it affect carbonation (non-fermentable, but will it require longer in the bottle to carbonate because you've added extra "stuff")? Any forum expertise appreciated - thanks!

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You don't add lactose at bottling. At least that's not how I do it. I do (for a 1 gallon batch) 1/4 pound lactose. Boiled with 1/2 pound sugar, add in juice. Ferment. Bottle with sugar.

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Ok i did a full lbk batch with a pound of lactose. My og was 1.083. My fg was 1.008. There is no way this is 10%. How do you calculate ABV when you use lactose?

MOnty

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Lactose in non-fermentable, it has no effect on ABV. It only adds sweetness.

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Thanks all; other forum(s) recommended 1 tbsp to start for 12 oz when adding to the bottle (it apparently can be added at any time). Also some info on potential bottle bombs because organisms (other than yeast) might ferment the lactose and cause excessive pressure, but perceived to be more likely adding it to the keg than the bottle; not highly likely with either I would think with normal hygiene. One good thing about brewing - you can drink (usually) your mistakes... :P

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1 tbsp is a crapload of sugar for 12 oz. For the hard citrus punch I did, I used 1/4 tsp (that's teaspoon, not tablespoon). A tablespoon is 12 times the amount of sugar needed to carbonate 12 oz.

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"philm00x" post=382584 said:

1 tbsp is a crapload of sugar for 12 oz. For the hard citrus punch I did, I used 1/4 tsp (that's teaspoon, not tablespoon). A tablespoon is 12 times the amount of sugar needed to carbonate 12 oz.

1 tbsp of lactose - unfermentable (by yeast) - sugar....

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I normally sanitize my lactose while boiling the sugars and other additives I put in my ciders.
I now do 3 gallon batches of Cider at a time. For 3 gallons, I'll use a pound of Lactose to back sweeten. It's not fermentable, so there is no reason to consider it when calculating ABV or Carbination. It's nutral.

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I know lactose doesn't ferment, and I added it so I could experiment with a sweeter cider, So even though the lactose had to have upped my OG to 1.083 (which I think is incredibly high), and the FG is now 1.008, I should assume that I have 9.83% ABV? Ok I guess, but I still think that lactose as a sugar had to have added to the SG, but it would have added to the final as well, so I guess you all are right and I made some really potent cider.

The FG sample tasted great, so I think 1 lb of lactose in an LBK would be about right for me in a cider. YMMV

Monty

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Yes, the lactose added to the SG, but since it didn't ferment, it added exactly the same amount to the FG. And since ABV is calculated by the DIFFERENCE between SG and FG, and the lactose is making the same contribution to both SG and FG, it's presence is irrelevant to the ABV calculation.

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Out of curiosity, tried some when it arrived, and it tasted like a hybrid of plaster of Paris and library paste. Will this stuff really sweeten up my cider? Looking for something on the lines of Woodchuck; maybe optimistic!...Thanks all!

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Did start a batch of MB Pear Cider today, with 1 lb. lactose added to the boiled water before extract; OG was 1.044 so not extremely heavy on the front end; no other additions. We shall see....

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"Monsteroyd" post=382566 said:

Ok i did a full lbk batch with a pound of lactose. My og was 1.083. My fg was 1.008. There is no way this is 10%. How do you calculate ABV when you use lactose?

MOnty

Actually, you'd calculate ABV the same way if you use lactose or not. You subtract your FG from your OG and multiply that by 131, I believe. For example, OG of 1.060 minus FG of 1.015 is .045, multiplied by 131, you get .049 ABV, or let's just say 5%. [Edit- the math is bad in this example.] [.045 x 131 is actually 5.895% ABV. Thanks Yankeedag for catching that].

The trick is that whatever the non-fermentable lactose adds to the OG, it also adds to the FG, because it will remain constant, as residual sweetness. That's why there's no reason to change the way you calculate the ABV, as you're simply subtracting the FG from the OG to measure how much sugar was used up.

For what it's worth, I believe that a pound of lactose will add approximately 17 points to the OG (and consequently to the FG as well) of a very full LBK batch, right up around 2.4 gallons or so. What this information is good for is in predicting your anticipated FG so you'll have some idea of where you stand with the utilization of your fermentable sugars, to avoid any confusion of how complete the fermentation is due to the FG seeming a bit too high from the lactose.

To be honest, I'm surprised that you ended up with a FG of 1.008 with a pound of lactose in there. I would have expected a FG of around 1.017 just from the lactose, if every drop of fermentable sugar was used up, which is quite probable. I would expect that 1.008 from an LBK batch with a half a pound of lactose. I'm gonna have to check this one out next time, and possibly adjust the numbers I use for lactose in estimating FG goals.

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Joe. Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense. That batch had yeast nutrients and urea in it so the yeast musta went crazy cause it computes out to 9.83 ABV.

Monty

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"yankeedag" post=384335 said:

Joe... stop using that IRS calculator...the correct answer was : 5.895ABV

No kidding, you're right. And I shelled out good money for that calculator at the 99 cent store, for real. But I think even that 99 cent calculator did a better job than I did. I must have pushed the wrong buttons on it. I gotta stop drinking before 8 am, which will be tough, since I don't even get started until about 5 am.

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"Joechianti" post=384554 said:

"yankeedag" post=384335 said:

Joe... stop using that IRS calculator...the correct answer was : 5.895ABV

No kidding, you're right. And I shelled out good money for that calculator at the 99 cent store, for real. But I think even that 99 cent calculator did a better job than I did. I must have pushed the wrong buttons on it. I gotta stop drinking before 8 am, which will be tough, since I don't even get started until about 5 am.

humma! Just saw one of those Snowden updates on the leaks...
records show you claimed that calculator was $99.99...Office expense? :P

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"yankeedag" post=384571 said:

"Joechianti" post=384554 said:

"yankeedag" post=384335 said:

Joe... stop using that IRS calculator...the correct answer was : 5.895ABV

No kidding, you're right. And I shelled out good money for that calculator at the 99 cent store, for real. But I think even that 99 cent calculator did a better job than I did. I must have pushed the wrong buttons on it. I gotta stop drinking before 8 am, which will be tough, since I don't even get started until about 5 am.

humma! Just saw one of those Snowden updates on the leaks...
records show you claimed that calculator was $99.99...Office expense? :P

Office expenses can get troublesome to defend, so it was easier, since I use that calculator for making beer, to claim it as a medical expense.

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"Joechianti" post=384575 said:

"yankeedag" post=384571 said:

"Joechianti" post=384554 said:

"yankeedag" post=384335 said:

Joe... stop using that IRS calculator...the correct answer was : 5.895ABV

No kidding, you're right. And I shelled out good money for that calculator at the 99 cent store, for real. But I think even that 99 cent calculator did a better job than I did. I must have pushed the wrong buttons on it. I gotta stop drinking before 8 am, which will be tough, since I don't even get started until about 5 am.

humma! Just saw one of those Snowden updates on the leaks...
records show you claimed that calculator was $99.99...Office expense? :P

Office expenses can get troublesome to defend, so it was easier, since I use that calculator for making beer, to claim it as a medical expense.


Even the IRS wouldn't be fooled by that claim! Everyone knows there is a EXTRA tax on anything related to "medical". List it as a fuel economy device...that they buy without question.

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"NxQ!?" post=382558 said:

I've seen the posts on backsweetening hard cider with lactose, but nothing about adding during bottling - at least nothing about amounts, technique, etc. Do you just add lactose to the bottle like priming sugar? Does it dissolve? Understanding that sweetening is a matter of taste, a teaspoon? A tablespoon? A pinch? Will it affect carbonation (non-fermentable, but will it require longer in the bottle to carbonate because you've added extra "stuff")? Any forum expertise appreciated - thanks!


See, I think as per my point of view lactose in a non-fermentable, it has no effect on ABV. It only adds sweetness plus you don't add lactose at bottling. I do 1/4 pound lactose. Boiled with 1/2 pound sugar, add in juice.

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center neetapoole. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Quite Futile: WE have Beer..and cider.

When I use Lactose to back sweeten my ciders (and I always do) I just mix it in with the sugars and any other additives I am heating up prior to adding it to the Cider.

You can add it anytime before the actual bottle.

As it is nonfermentable, it doesn't really mess with your OG/FG readings.
Lactose normally doesn't harbor "bugs" but I do like to boil it first. I would not suggest just dropping it into the bottle at bottling time. One never knows. As far as it dissolveing in the bottle, I guess it eventually would.

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"NxQ!?" post=384224 said:

Did start a batch of MB Pear Cider today, with 1 lb. lactose added to the boiled water before extract; OG was 1.044 so not extremely heavy on the front end; no other additions. We shall see....

This strikes me as very odd. Off the top of my head, I'm thinking a whole pound of lactose will contribute about .017 to OG by itself in a LBK batch. That would leave about .027 OG in fermentable sugars, which seems mighty low for a cider. If every last drop of fermentable sugar was used up, you'd get about 2.5% ABV, barely enough to make it safe from bacteria, let alone have any kick whatsoever. Of course, if that's a 5 gallon batch, the lactose would only contribute about .009, leaving .035 in fermentables, for a 4.5% ABV. That would be safer to store, and at least have the kick of an "average" beer.

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I brewed a MB Apple Cider previously (not ready yet), to which I added 1.5 cups sugar, started at 1.055, finished at 1.015. All the Pear had in it was the original 20 ounces of extract, so it seemed ballpark by comparison. Likely should have added extra sugar here as well, but MB instructions didn't indicate it.

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Hi I thought I'd add a little update to this thread. I made some cider using this recipe:

Mr Beer Cider concentrate

3 cups Honey

1lb lactose

yeast nutrients + food(urea)

rehydrated S-04

OG 1.083

FG 1.008

ABV 9.83%

fermented for 3 weeks, bottle Conditioned for 4 weeks. 

Turned out nicely carbed and just the right amount of sweet. This is going to be my standard cider recipe. Tastes really good even with that 9+% ABV

Monty

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