hist-brewing: Cider to taste

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Mon Dec 6 08:49:05 PST 1999


The ciders that I have made that came out the best were the ones that used
the natural (wild) yeasts on the apples, or used a beer/ale yeast instead
of a wine/Champaign yeast.  YMMV, of course, depending on where you live
and what kind of apple cider you can get.  I'm fairly lucky that I can
run out to a local farmer's market and get fresh cider with no preservatives
and no pasteurization on any given Wednesday for about 4 months of the year.
Just try to get the non-preservative stuff, and use a good healthy starter
of ale yeast, and it will have some residual sweetness.

At 08:31 AM 12/6/1999 , you wrote:
>I thought I would share this with everyone as it cost me a mint to learn.
>Some of you make cider and have probably experienced, as I have, the 
>person who turns their nose up at it, because it is dry.  Well, some of 
>the kits suggest adding a teaspoon of table sugar to the glass, at serving 
>time, to make it more palatable for these people.  This has two adverse 
>effects:
>     1)  It makes the cider bubble over anything you put it in (sparkling 
> ciders).
>     2)  It makes the cider that much more un-palatable!
>Most of you probably know that table sugar in alcohol is the major 
>no-no!  It makes anything taste like cider and cider taste like super 
>cider.  ;)

I feel this is one of those strange rumors that float around the brewing
community with little basis in fact.  In years past, I've used table sugar
(sucrose) as a priming sugar, and as a gravity boost for various wines and
beers, and while there are problems with body and head retention (for beers)
I've never had the cidery off-taste that is often warned of.  Generally
that off-flavor is the result of an infection, which could come about if
sugar were added to fermenting wort without proper sanitation/sterilization.
(i.e. boiling the sugar in some water before priming, etc.)
Anyone else have counter-evidence that table sugar produces cidery flavors?

>Sooooo, I set out to find a good (natural) sweetener to add to cider that 
>would actually improve it's taste or at least not take away from it.  I 
>can tell you I tried EVERYTHING!  Fructose came in second, but made it far 
>too tart.  What came in first was Maple Sugar.
><snip>

One of the other things you could try would be to add an unfermentable sugar to
the cider before fermenting.  Lactose or caramelized sugar should work, and
would produce a sweet cider without the need for at-serving-time additions.

<snip>

>Ya'll have fun now,
>Richard

	

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