Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sweet Pineapple Cider - A Second Try

Not too long ago I popped and drank the last bottle of my homebrewed pineapple cider I brewed up last year. It was amazing what a bit more time had done to it.. Finally the fruit flavor was shining through and the acid and alcohol were very smooth together. I really regretted popping the other bottles for a taste here and there only to be disappointed and dump them. Well, lesson learned. 

I've really begun to be a lot more interested in ciders. Ive began to notice that when you add sugar to the cider it takes a long time for all the flavors to meld together before it becomes something really good. I'm starting to think this is due to the high acidity of most the juices I use and the alcohol. Really dry and acidic isn't really the best thing in a cider. It comes off harsh, especially with the bite of the carbonation. Now that's not to say I'm going to stop making my yearly apple cider or trying other higher gravity ciders, just that in general I plan on forgetting about those brews for a year or two.

 I think a big reason that the previous pineapple cider I made was so blah until recently was due to the the high acidity and alcohol as well. I realized nearly immediately after I made the batch that I added waaaay too much sugar, and I'm not really sure why I ever thought that level was a good idea. I did really like what the Lalvin 71B did for it though, it really helped to soften the acid profile and accentuated the fruit flavors. This time around I'm skipping all the sugar additions, using 71B and even contemplating adding some xylitol to sweeten some of the cider and provide a bit of body, but lets not get ahead of ourselves

 Sweet Pineapple Cider 2.0

1.90 gal Pineapple Juice
0.25 tsp Fermaid K
Xylitol - To taste

 Lalvin 71B-1122 Narbonne

Pineapple Cider - The original

5 comments:

Niall Kearney said...

Have you used Xylitol when carbonating with sugar? Just reading on wikipedia that "xylitol, whose antimicrobial properties then "starve" the bacteria, reducing their growth and reproduction."

I've been considering using it to sweeting up an elder flower cider I've been fermenting, I wasn't too sure if it would contribute to yeast growth or do the opposite.

Never though of a pineapple cider, must try it out after the elderflower is bottled.

bazin! said...

one thing that works well to backsweeten - a long cold crash, then add fresh juice and force carbonate. For apple cider I usually add one can of concentrate per 5 gallon keg.

Ryan said...

Bazin - I have done that with cider and it is still very dry because I like to bottle most all of my ciders, I have added small amounts of concetrate to each glass for a bit of sweetness though

Niall - I did take a look at wikipedia, but while they have the general idea correct its not 100% accurate, there is a minimum substrate (xylitol or sugar) concentration thats needed for this to happen, if the xylitol amount is larger than the sugar when you prime then you could have issues, so long as you dont do this it wont be a problem

there was even a short thread over on HBtalk about it

Ryan said...

Made a batch of straight 100% pineapple juice and and EC-1118 last fall based on inspiration from this post... And a few free cans of good juice. I cracked my first bottle tonight based on your post to WAIT it out, no samples.

It is iridescent yellow, super clear, bright aroma of fresh pineapple, fizzy carb fades very quickly. My wife took a sip while passing through the kitchen and then halted and said, "Is the pineapple cider? Man, that's good."

It does have a little funk like an over ripe pineapple that has started to naturally ferment, but not in a bad way. Keeps it interesting. Thin mouthfeel, smooth, but has a bit of a punch that sneaks up on ya. Not hot or solventy.

I could see doing another gallon batch and then blending it with a 4 gal batch of cream ale or blonde ale with some mangos or passionfruit purée in secondary. A true girlie beer.

Anyone thinking of trying this, do it straight... No added sugar. At least for the first try. It is a good as you think it would be.

maxwell reddick said...

Can someone please help me out, i have tried this a few times and it was just okay. I know i am doing something wrong. Can i get a step by step instruction on how to make a 100% sweet pineapple hard cider? This guy needs help asap ha

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