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Mawkin

Advise needed please

Can anyone please advise me on the ins & outs of back sweetening cider with  lactose ? I'm happy to drink it as it is, dry & still but my friend likes it sweet & sparkling. So i'm guessing 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for bottle conditioning. I have no idea about the amount of lactose, do I need to make a syrup etc.
Thanks in advance
Mawkin                    
bodger

Has your cider finished fermenting yet?

The sweetening of your cider isn't a problem but you might as well use sugar for the job as lactose.

As far as adding a sparkle to your cider, you're talking about a process called bottle conditioning. I'll try and get my youngest son to say something on this subject. Like you, I prefer to drink still cider.
Mawkin

Thanks for you reply bodger

I dont think it has completely finished fermenting but it is very very slow I've not seen the lock bubble for a long time..

Am  I right in thinking that I would have to kill the yeast before sweetening with sugar ?    If the yeast is dead then I cant bottle condition ?
RobC

Hi Mawkin,
There does need to be active yeast left in the bottle for it to condition, the sparkling comes from the Carbon Dioxide liberated during the fermentation process. Not done any bottle conditioning myself yet so I'm afraid I can't advise you on exact amounts to add. Make sure you leave a little extra room in the bottle, as there is a slight risk of exploding bottles :-D.

As for the sweetening, unless you happen to have fructose already you should be alright sweetening with normal sugar. Id suggest dissolving it in a small amount of water before adding it to the cider, as if you add it diretly to the cider it can fizz and go everywhere. As for amounts, trial and error is the most practical process, experiment on small volume then scale up when you have something your happy with. Hope this helps.
Jonty

I've only done two years worth of cider so am by no means an expert but I have been dabbling with sweetning and bottle conditioning.  All my cider has been fermented with cider yeast rather than natural fermentation.

To sweeten without sparkle, I use artificial sweetner like splenda as it won't ferment - fermenting obviously equals fizz and the sugar converts to alcohol & co2 rather than sweetning I think

For sparkle I use sugar, half a teaspoon per 1/2 litre puts a very slight condition into the cider, something similar to a fresh cask conditioned bitter.  One to one & a half teaspoons per 1/2 litre gave me more of the fizz you'd get in a lager.  

I mainly use glass beer bottls with crown caps or just buy 1 litre own brand flavoured sparkling water/tonic bottles.  If you use glass, do one plastic bottle, then you can keep checking carbonation by squeezing the plastic bottle.

I would suggest that if you prime with sugar, you don't need to leave any additional head space in each bottle, the carbonation occurs as any co2 produced is forced back into the liquid as it can't escape the bottle, you want that gas in the cider, not collected in the empty space at the top of the bottle.

Once ou've primed the bottles, leave them in a nic warm room for a week or two to let the remaining yeast start working on the sugar.
Mawkin

Thanks for the replys  

Thats the way I was thinking of doing it Jonty, is there any taste from the splenda ?

Life would be much easier if everyone liked it still & dry    
Jonty

Mawkin wrote:
Thanks for the replys  

Thats the way I was thinking of doing it Jonty, is there any taste from the splenda ?

Life would be much easier if everyone liked it still & dry    


not that you can tell  

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