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Old 01-05-2013, 01:41 AM   #11
StevenM
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I have bottle carbonated cider before without issue. You can add priming sugar to each bottle, or to the entire batch and then bottle. You will either have to calculate the amount of carbonation you want and add the specific amount of sugar, or add whatever you want and pasturize the bottles when carbonation has been achieved. Another option that I have tried is to use apple juice concentrate as priming sugar. Cider tends to lose its apple taste thru ferment. This will help bring some of it back, it will also backsweeten the wine. I added the concentrate and bottled half in wine bottles that I immediately pasturized, and the other half went into grolsch bottles that I pasturized later when carbonated. I can tell you from experience that the apple flavor will come back if you can wait. My last cider had the apple flavor come back at 9 months, and at 14 months, it's a new cider altogether. I have about 2 wine bottles and 4 grolsch bottles left of a 5 gallon batch. Good luck and have fun.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:31 AM   #12
DaveVanO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenM View Post
I have bottle carbonated cider before without issue. You can add priming sugar to each bottle, or to the entire batch and then bottle. You will either have to calculate the amount of carbonation you want and add the specific amount of sugar, or add whatever you want and pasturize the bottles when carbonation has been achieved. Another option that I have tried is to use apple juice concentrate as priming sugar. Cider tends to lose its apple taste thru ferment. This will help bring some of it back, it will also backsweeten the wine. I added the concentrate and bottled half in wine bottles that I immediately pasturized, and the other half went into grolsch bottles that I pasturized later when carbonated. I can tell you from experience that the apple flavor will come back if you can wait. My last cider had the apple flavor come back at 9 months, and at 14 months, it's a new cider altogether. I have about 2 wine bottles and 4 grolsch bottles left of a 5 gallon batch. Good luck and have fun.
Thanks. I will have to try the apple juice concentrate to carbonate it. I plan on making a 1 gallon batch just to get started and move my way up as I get more stuff to homebrew. On top of all this. Should i always pasteurize my ciders/meads?
Would soda bottles work to carbonate in? They are normally used to withstand carbonation, so priming sugar + cider in the bottle and it will carbonate over time. (Or apple juice concentrate)

I have no idea how much carbonation I will want, so I guess i will just add some sugar to the bottles and let it go and test smaller bottles as I can. (I will get some 12oz coke bottles if I need to, just to test it out) How much sugar should I start with? (most likely white table sugar)
OR
How much apple juice concentrate should I use(1 gallon batch of cider)? I look forward to trying your method and putting in the concentrate to carbonate and sweeten. Most likely will split it into two and only carbonate half of my batch just to try it out. (Will pasteurize half of it once done adding concentrate)
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:43 AM   #13
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The old guy at the home brew shop here says a t spoon of sugar in each 500ml bottle, think my t spoons are not quite the 5g a spoon is ment to be. But that gave me a decent fizz. I never pasteurised cider but my cider always tasted of death so don't take advice from me. I always blamed it on all the crab apples I used but they were the ones closest to the ground for scrumping. For mead you could prime with honey but its going to be a bit messy, the problem as well with priming some thing like mead is getting sediment in the bottles, when you have spent so long watching it age and clear.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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I personally bulk age just about everything for one year, and a minimum of three months in bottle after that. The higher the ACV the longer I age, beyond one year in carboy. Plus, bulk aging allows for proper clearing and degassing, assuming you are racking appropriately. Then, some meads take YEARS to actually finish fermenting and clearing, believe it or not.

As far as making your JMAO, follow the recipe as written, it is a right of passage so to speak. You can always make a batch right next to it using yeast of choice.

As far as bottles for carbonated beverages, only use bottles appropriate for that style, you typically want a bottle that can handle a pressure of 90psi. People use beer bottles, grolsh style, champagne bottles...and you can use the PET soda bottles, also know others who use the old style, tall glass Coke bottles.
Just remember not to use sorbate in anything you plan to carbonate naturally. You will come across loads of tips and techniques. Some use corn syrup, granulated sugar, DME, honey, carbonation tablets--you will find your way. And then if you desire a sweet carbonated wine/mead you usually have to rely on an unfermentable sugar for that component.
Here are a few souces for carbonating: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/bottling-mead-tips.htm

And another, good overview and talks about pressures, etc.: http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/sparkling.asp

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Old 01-05-2013, 11:06 PM   #15
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You might want to think about trying this. I did it for my first cider and it worked perfectly.

I save a 20oz softdrink bottle. One of those plastic screw cap jobs (Diet Dr. Pepper to be precise). I filled it about halfway when I started my bottling. then bottled the rest of the cider in 12oz brown glass bottles. Kept them all in the same location so temp would not be a factor.

Every morning I would give the plastic bottle a squeeze. When I could just feel resistance, about 2 days, I opened it and tasted to see if was where I wanted it. Nope, left it for about another 2 days. This time is took a lot to squeeze so I opened, tasted. Perfect for what I was wanting. Took the glass bottles and then carefully pasteurized.

All but one bottle were perfect for me and the family. I think that one didn't get a good seal on the cap 'cause it was a bit flat. But it worked out great otherwise.

Hope that Helps.

Bill W

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Old 01-06-2013, 04:19 AM   #16
DaveVanO
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Thanks for all the tips. Once im into the carbonating etc stage. I will be sure to reflect on these answers and let you know what I did. (will share m information if it goes well)
Anyone make JQGM (joes quick grape mead)? Not many steps listed on it, So i was looking for some input on how to prepare this. Here is the thread it is based out of
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/joes-quick-grape-mead-57190/

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