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Tips On How To Make Pear Cider A Little Sweeter

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Title says it all. I have the Hard Pear Cider refill and was thinking of making it either plain, or with cherries or blackberries. Whatever route I go, how do I go about getting a product that will be slightly sweet on the finish rather than dry? We used to serve a perry at my bar and it was more on the sweeter side and the ladies loved it. I'm hoping to replicate that by some means. This is more for my mother and her friends and they don't like dry finishes so if you can help me out, it would be appreciated greatly.

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I forgot to post this. I have heard of some people using lactose to sweeten their ciders but I don't know where to get this? An online brewing store or my local grocer. Also, even if I had said lactose, I wouldn't know how to use it. So any help or insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

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What you might do is stabilize the cider. That means you prevent any remaining yeast from fermenting any more sugar and the way that wine makers do this is to add K-meta and K-sorbate (in tandem) to the cider. This will only work if there are very few active yeast cells remaining and so the preferred technique is to allow the (in this case) the cider to age and to rack the cider every couple of months off the sediment that will drop to the bottom. Once you have added the stabilizers you can add more pear juice or sugar or concentrated pear juice to increase the fruitiness and the sweetness. Brewers tend to go another route and that is to heat pasteurize their ciders to kill the remaining yeast. Wine makers tend to dismiss that technique as a) inherently dangerous - you are heating glass bottles that have significant quantities of CO2 in them and that heat will make that gas expand which can result in exploding bottles, and B) adding heat to fruit 1) damages the flavors and 2) can help set pectins so you shift from making a cider to making a very thin jelly... 

A third route - and this may be similar to the one you proposed is adding a non fermentable sugar... but all sugars impart flavors... even the non fermentable ones..

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Thanks, Brewer. Very insightful post. I'll remember this for future batches. I did some research, and found a recipe calling for lactose, which I would like to have on hand for a coffee stout I plan on doing anyway. So I ordered a couple pounds of it and will let y'all know how it turns out for me. Once I get a couple LBKs freed up, I also have plans for a Moose Drool clone that I want to try. Gotta love a good brown ale.

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I know of some folks that add an alcohol based artificial sweetener at bottling.  The yeast isn't suppose to eat it.  This just may be another technique you can google.  I'm currently fermenting my first MB Cider.  I'm hoping it does not turn out to dry, I am simply RTFM-ing it and hoping for the best.

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Brewer's recommendation will work, but it will also give you flat cider. If you like flat (or "still") cider, then that's the way to go. But most people that are into ciders prefer them carbonated (like Angry Orchard). Remember, we're not making wine, we're making hard sparkling cider (with bubbles). If you kill the yeast, it won't carbonate.

Lactose will work fine, though it will also add a creamy body to the cider that you may or may not enjoy. The best way to get a true sweet cider would be to follow Brewer's instructions, then putting the flat cider into a keg and force carbonating it with Co2. 

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Force carbonation. Of course. That is one technique I never think of as I have no way of adding CO2 to the cider directly...

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