Morning: Airlock bubbles slowed to 17 second intervals. Need to check SG again and make a decision. Should I rack it and let it ferment out, then backsweeten it, prime it and bottle, followed by pasteurization? Or should I go ahead and prime and bottle it without further aging and clarification and plan on pasteurizing sooner? It has been suggested by a very experienced cider-maker that before the last few points of SG drop, one can retain a little more apple flavor, so that the cider won’t have to be backsweetened. There should be a little more natural sweetness and flavor, but some clarity and alcohol would be sacrificed. Then I would have to open a bottle or two to decide when to pasteurize, so I don’t get any “bottle bombs”. Could be anywhere from 3 or 4 days after bottling to as much as 10 days?
Okay, so I decided to go ahead and bottle Cider Batch #3.
It is not as clear as batches #1 and #2, but it is sweeter and tastes lighter on the alcohol. That may be deceptive, however, due to the added sweetness and different yeast. (Safale s-04 Dry Ale Yeast, rather than Champagne Yeast.)
According to the calculators, the ABV, before priming is 7.35% (1.053 OG and 0.097 FG). It should be interesting watching the carbonation progress and deciding when to pasteurize. For priming, I used 1-1/4 oz of priming sugar mixed with 1/4 cup warm water. The volume was a little under 1-1/2 gallons.
Thinking about a name for Cider batch #3 as it transforms into cyser. The natural progression, I think, would be to call it Watson’s Crabapple Cyser. Mainly because it won’t be quite as dry as Sherlock. Bwahahaha!