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I plan to keg my cider at 0.7 baume (approx 12g/l) residual sugar to carbonate my cider to 3 volumes of CO2.

If I add pasteurized apple juice to sweeten my cider after kegging, will this ferment out? Or will the pasteurization of the juice prevent it from being fermented, causing the .7 baume of sugar to be fermented while leaving the sweetness of the added apple juice?

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2 Answers 2

The residual sugar in the cider will ferment, as will the sugar added to sweeten the cider. It doesn't matter that the apple juice is pasteurized, as long as there are still yeast in the cider you're adding it to. To have a sweet cider you need to remove or kill the yeast before you sweeten.

You can use filtration or chemicals (potassium sorbate and sulfite) to kill or remove the yeast. I don't like these options since they both change the flavor. What I do is cold-crash the cider, which reduces the yeast's activity, though it doesn't kill them. I then carbonate and sweeten, always keeping the cider very cold. If you drink it quickly it probably won't re-ferment.

You could try cask conditioning to carbonate the cider, then cold crashing and back sweetening. Just be sure to keep the cider very cold after sweetening.

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If you want to back sweeten a wine or cider, you really should consider adding a stabalizer. Potassium sorbate, as mentioned by Tobias, is the most common stabalizer used by home winemakers. Alternately, the active ingrediant is potassium metabisulfite and can be added directly with campden tablets since the sufites help with effectiveness. Sodium metabisulfite works equally well but my preference is sodium benzoate (since i like slightly less carbonation in my ciders & completely still wines).

Not stabalizing is asking for trouble in refermentation and doing so really won't change the flavor in any noticable way as long as you let it outgass appropriately prior to kegging.

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