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How am I to make a sparkling cider without losing sweetness?

Started by JD, June 08, 2014, 03:55:57 PM

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Hi guys,

I managed to collect 40L last October before my press went the way of the dodo. My OG was 1055. I let it ferment naturally and it stopped at 1038 after 3 weeks. Fearing this was not viable, I inoculated it with a packet of Young's Cider Yeast. Expecting very little from this, I racked it once and just left it. It's been sitting in the same carboy for four months. I tasted it last week and it has turned out fantastic: a lovely sweet cider with a bare hint of acid. Its the first time I've managed to produce a cider that didn't end up totally dry.

The sweetness is great but I think it needs a little something to balance it. I was thinking that making it a sparkling cider. The extra acid that comes with the sparkle will add a nice freshness to round it all out. I'm worried though that adding some sugar and bottle conditioning will kick off another fermentation and either drop the whole thing to dryness or worse, produce a batch of bottle bombs.

At the moment I don't have a means for force carbonate nor a means to fill bottles under counter-pressure, so that option is probably not feasible.

Anyone got any ideas?


Find a mate with a Corny and gas and FC it!

I supect that you have a naturally "dead" ferment that has died at just the right FG!

Any use of yeasts etc will eff it up totally.

FC is your only way!

Once FC'd in a keg then it can be CP bottled if you need toreturn the corny.

Any else any ideas!

BTW: JD - where are you?
Remember: The Nationals are just round the corner - time to get brewing


@Will_D: I thought as much myself. I've got three cornies of my own but no gas rig. Looks like I'll need to invest in a bit of kit then.

I live in South Kildare. Even further south that Bren&Kellie. Here be dragons...

@Dunkel. I didn't draw off enough to test the SG. Judging by the taste it feels like somewhere around 1010. I'd probably do well to test it before going much further.  ;)


So I got myself a gas rig. I purged a keg with CO2 and siphoned the carboy into it. Three weeks later the cider had died. It tasted distinctly of wet paper which is a sure sign of oxidisation. Damn thing is undrinkable. Feck it. Must have left too much head space in the carboy. Damn and blast it.
On the bright side, I've freed up a carboy for a beer. Hmmm