No I haven’t tried that. I did try stevia once, never again!
You might want to get some to try, this is much better than stevia IMO, stevia has a nasty aftertaste. You can order 2.5lb bags from amazon for around $12 shipped I think. Me and the wife try to stay fairly low carb and use quite a bit of it.
I could join a brewing forum and ask lots of silly questions but I like it here better and we have this thread. I have two separate gallons started now using cider from the store. It seems like sometime late winter early spring I should be ready to make a few bottles. I understand that you can kill the yeast with a Camden tablet then you can back sweeten to taste. Instead of using the camden tablet could you back sweeten with apple juice that has potassium sorbate in it ? Would enough yeast be dead at that point and would the preservative in the juice inhibit it from further fermentation?
Be careful not to make bottle bombs! Most commercial producers will use a filtration system, and also pasturize with either heat or chemicals(sulfite, sorbate, etc) after back sweetening. You could also try keeping the bottles in a fridge as most yeasts will be inactive at 34F . Another tactic uses multiple racking and cool Temps to remove sediment and deprive the yeast of nutrients in order to stall fermentation so that there is residual sugar. I wouldn’t advise relying on sulfite (Camden tablets) alone to kill off yeast if you back sweeten with (even sorbated )juice… nature finds a way. Dry and still cider can be really great stuff if made with proper cider fruit, and that process is quite simple.
If you want to avoid using sulphites, you can back sweeten the cider and then pasteurize after bottling. I would Google the pasteurization method since it involves heating up bottled cider and is potentially dangerous if not done correctly.
Thank you both for quick detailed responses, I’m just starting to dabble with this and would like to avoid any disasters.
@JesseS Im putting together this years fruit tree ordering list and plan to add a couple of apple trees for cider making. Would you say it’s pretty important that I add a bitter apple to my list? will my hard cider end up overly tart without a few in my blend? I’m hesitant to order anything bitter as it would be strictly for cider and I lean towards dual purpose apples. Right now I’m leaning toward golden russet, Harrison, and possibly chestnut, but probably just 2 trees for this. Thank you for any advice.
Your three picks will make fine cider. Bitter sweet varieties are not strictly necessary, but will add a layer of complexity and mouth feel to the finished product. A nice dual purpose (culinary and cider)crab is Hewe’s Virginia Crab. It is a American heirloom bittersharp, great pollinator, and showy blooms. I’ve made cider, jelly, apple butter with that variety and it works well. Best to blend it with other less acid types for a balanced cider.