Finishing up my Hard Cider tonight. I took a sample to my LHBS for criticism and suggestions for finishing. It currently has quite an alcohol bite, it slightly overpowers the apple flavor. Cold crashing cleared up all cloudiness.
Suggestions were to add 1 gal filtered apple juice for sweetness/carbonation then bottle. If after aging it still needs sweetness, I can always add a bit of liquid Stevia.
All told, the 3 person staff at the LHBS were impressed with my first attempt.
That cider may need a little more aging. How long have you aged it? I understand it can take a few months to mellow out and get rid of that Rocket Fuel Alcohol taste and then the apple flavors develop and comes through.
This five gallon batch I am doing tomorrow I intend to let age about six months then bottle for carbonation for two weeks or so.
I strongly urge you to think about apple juice concentrate rather than juice. It adds more sugar and apple flavor with far less volume.
I mean, who wants to drink wimpy cider?
My bad, there is a huge caveat to using concentrate.
It will add enough sugars that unless you keg carbonate, it will bottle bombs unseen by modern man.
If it gets warm, it WILL ferment. Beware.