Notes and such...
The sweetness (residual sugar, or RS) of a cider or perry may vary from absolutely dry (no RS) to as much as a sweet dessert wine (10% or more RS). In sweeter ciders, other components of taste particularly acidity must balance the sweetness. The level of sweetness must be specified in order to arrange flights of tastings and entries within flights. Tasting always proceeds from drier to sweeter. There are three categories of sweetness:
The day before you want to keg, move the carboy to the table and let
it sit, so sediment that you rile up during the move settles some.
If you've got two people to move the carboy it helps...in fact, two
people for this whole process is helpful but perhaps not necessary.
Clean the auto-siphon and attached 3/8" tube with BTL. The wallpapering thing is a good place to soak the outside and the bits of the kegs. BTL the keg and then siphon out some to clean the insides of the auto-siphon/tubing.
You may want to put cheesecloth over the end of the in-carboy piece, as sediment will be sucked up. It's hopeful, even if you don't, that sediment'll settle to the bottom of the keg after a couple days of CO2 pressure and come out with the first couple glasses pulled off the keg.
To seat the tops of the kegs the CO2 helps make the seal. Don't forget to fill with CO2, purge, then re-fill three times to get rid of all of the O2.
To force carbonate you want to purge the O2, set the pressure, and leave it for 10 days. Then turn it down to serving pressure, around 6 psi (but between 5-12 depending on the length of the beer line). For information on force carbonation...what pressure to use...see the following article:
Keg line length calculator: http://www.mikesoltys.com/2012/09/17/determining-proper-hose-length-for-your-kegerator/
The guys at Strange Brew say that cane sugar and brown sugar can produce sour, off-flavors in cider if used with an ale yeast. Brown sugar can produce a rum-like taste in general. Corn sugar can make for a thin cider. Malt can add body and help head retention but can give a beer-y flavor to your cider.
I've noticed that a cider with no sugar added makes for a thin, more watery cider. I suspect this is due to the general sugar level of the juice being below the "suggested" range.
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