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I'm a novice apple cider brewer and my first batch yielded a brew that tasted like white wine, very dry and virtually no carbonation.

During fermentation, I saw bubbling for about 5 days, but I left it to ferment for 14 days total. Then I bottled it and chilled for another 2 weeks. Temperature during fermentation was about 69°F .

Any obvious errors so far?

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What was your recipe and process? Asking the question properly will get you a good answer faster.

My first thought is that most of the sugars in apples are fermentable, so you will always get a pretty dry beverage unless you add some non-fermentable sugars, or kill the yeast before it is done.

For the carbonation, if you waited for fermentation to finish before packaging, and did not add priming sugar, then your cider will be flat. Carbonation is created by yeast consuming sugar and producing CO2, which, in a bottle, goes back into solution, creating carbonation. No sugar, no fizz.

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No errors, even if you didn't get the results expected.

The lack of sweetness is normal since all sugar is fermented. You will see similar results with other fruit juice and even mead, when fermented dry they lose all sweetness. To keep some sweetness, you have two choices:

  1. Stopping fermentation before its completion (with sorbate and sulfite)
  2. Backsweeten with unfermentable sugar (stevia, Xylitol, etc.)

The lack of carbonation is normal since the fermenter is designed to let the CO2 escape through the airlock. To have a carbonated drink, you can:

  1. Bottle condition (add a little sugar before bottling to trigger a small fermentation)
  2. Force carbonate (using a CO2 tank)
  3. Perhaps a Soda Stream machine would work with cider (not with beer because of the foam)

Feel free to search for more details about these subjects or even ask new questions.

  • I would argue that there is a third option: back sweeten, prime, bottle, and pasteurize once carbonated. I have followed the instructions on the thread below with success. YMMV homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/… – RAReed Sep 27 '18 at 19:16

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