Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
MarkW

Need suggestions to sweeten Hard Cider

Recommended Posts

I am a fan of Angry Orchard cider and understood the Mr. Beer Cider Kit wouldn't taste as sweet. That being said, does anyone have any suggestions to sweeten it up a bit? I know you can brew using apple juice and will try that but am just wondering if anyone else any any other thoughts. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had some success using lactose to sweeten my cider. Lactose is a non fermentable sugar so I add it when I boil some raisins for yeast nutrient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any sugar you add will promote more fermentation unless you stabilized it or pasteurized it. You could backsweeten your cider to taste, then carbonate it in the bottles, but you'd have to keep a close eye on them and check them for firmness every few days. As soon as they are firm, test one for carbonation. If carbonated, refrigerate the rest right away to prevent any further fermentation, otherwise your bottles will explode.

 

If using glass bottles, you could pasteurize them as soon as carbonated, but how would you even tell that they are carbonated if you can't squeeze them? So that's a problem.

 

Honestly, the best way to sweeten your cider is to invest in a kegging system. Then you can sweeten it as much as you like and artificially carbonate the cider. Using this method, you can even stabilize the cider with some potassium sorbate and sodium metabisulphate so if you decide to fill bottles from the keg, you won't have to worry about refermentation. Of course, this is more complicated, and only suggested if you're really into sweet ciders and can afford the cost and the space.

 

As scouterbill mentioned, you can use lactose as it's an unfermentable sugar, but it won't sweeten your cider as much as something like Angry Orchard. Also, if you're lactose intolerant, it's probably not a good idea. Another, more natural method is to replace some of the water you're using in your batch of cider with pasteurized 100% apple juice. I usually like to replace 1 gallon of water with a gallon of really good apple juice (I like Gravenstein apple juice, personally, but it's not cheap). Depending on the juice you use, many times it will leave residual sugars behind giving your cider a nice subtle sweetness. Again, not as sweet as AO, but not too dry either. 

 

Finally, try using a lower attenuating yeast, such as S-33. This should leave some residual sugars behind, but you will also take a slight hit in ABV.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the helpful information. I think I'll try using the apple juice in the next batch and see how that works since that's a simple change. Some of the other ideas sound a bit complicated and potentially expensive and I'd just rather go out and buy a six pack of Angry Orchard at that point! :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some people use Splenda as it is unfermentable. But a little goes a LONG way.

 

Or you could even sweeten it at serving by adding a bit of real sugar to your glass!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, jsherman said:

Some people use Splenda as it is unfermentable. But a little goes a LONG way.

 

Or you could even sweeten it at serving by adding a bit of real sugar to your glass!

 

Yes, alternative sweeteners work well, too, if you don't mind the flavor. Be careful with Stevia, though. Some of the prepackaged Stevia powders have dextrose as the #1 ingredient. While stevia (a sweetener that comes from the leaf of a plant) on its own isn't fermentable, dextrose is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...