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Old 10-30-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
jevchance
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Default 10 Gallons: Bottle Conditioning with Cider?

Hey all!

I have 10 gallons of cider in secondaries. Here's proof:


Its my first time doing cider, so I'm starting to look at my options. I'm going to try a few different things to see what pans out, and what works out best for me.

I'll probably put a few gallons in wine bottles and let them sit at least a year. Half of these will be sweetened with wine conditioner, the other half dry.

The rest will likely be carbonated in beer bottles. I like some dry, and I know I can use priming sugar and bottle condition the cider dry, but what about sweetening with more cider? If I do this, is it likely to start a secondary fermentation and blow up my beer bottles? Has anyone tried this?

A related question might be, what SG can I raise the liquid up to and still safely bottle condition?

Edit: I do not have the tools for forced carbonation.

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Old 10-31-2009, 02:41 AM   #2
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never done this, but theoretically you should be able to figure it out.

For example, let's say you want to bottle your 10 gallons to 2.5 volumes of CO2. Using this online calculator - http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html - and assuming a temp of 68 degrees F, you would need 8.4 ounces of table sugar. 8.4 ounces of table sugar in 10 gallons of liquid will increase your gravity by 2.4 points (sucrose has a gravity potential of 46 points per pound per gallon).

So, if you add enough cider to increase your gravity by 2.4 points, you'll end up with approximately 2.5 volumes of CO2 (assuming full fermentation of the additional cider)

Assuming an average juice gravity of 1.050 (i.e. 50 points per gallon), you would need to add 1/2 a gallon to your 10 gallons of finished cider to raise the gravity 2.4 points. 1/2 a gallon yields 25 points. 25 points divided by 10.5 gallons (your 10 plus the 1/2 additional) gives you ~2.4 points.

Anyone care to check my math and/or logic?


Last edited by JLem; 10-31-2009 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
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Excellent reply, thanks very much. I will give this a try!

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Old 11-02-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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I want to see if I understand as I am in the same boat. I have 5 gallons of cider fermenting right now. It had a SG of 1050 and an estimated FG of .995. The Tastybrew calculator tells me that I need 3.6oz of dextrose. Is this by volume or weight? Do I add this to my secondary fermenter just before bottling? Actually it sounds like racking to an intermediate carboy, add dextrose, then rack to bottles would be the way to go.

Thanks,
David

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Old 11-02-2009, 10:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulligan View Post
I want to see if I understand as I am in the same boat. I have 5 gallons of cider fermenting right now. It had a SG of 1050 and an estimated FG of .995. The Tastybrew calculator tells me that I need 3.6oz of dextrose. Is this by volume or weight? Do I add this to my secondary fermenter just before bottling? Actually it sounds like racking to an intermediate carboy, add dextrose, then rack to bottles would be the way to go.

Thanks,
David
3.6 oz of dextrose is by weight. Typically you pour the measured dextrose into a bottling bucket or primary (carboy works, but is less convenient) and rack the wort onto the dextrose. Sometimes this is enough to mix it, but I usually will slowly stir the mixture with a large sanitized spoon to be sure the dextrose is blended properly.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevchance View Post
3.6 oz of dextrose is by weight. Typically you pour the measured dextrose into a bottling bucket or primary (carboy works, but is less convenient) and rack the wort onto the dextrose. Sometimes this is enough to mix it, but I usually will slowly stir the mixture with a large sanitized spoon to be sure the dextrose is blended properly.
Exactly. It is just standard beer bottling procedure, but with cider instead of beer.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:33 PM   #7
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Great! Thanks for the advice on racking. This is my first try at fermenting anything.

The more I think about it the more I think that I want to use juice rather than sugar to carbonate it. I was just looking through the recipes and found Sam's Choice Sparkling Cider which talks about using juice to carbonate by looking at the sugar content of the juice and doing a little math.

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Old 11-17-2009, 12:25 AM   #8
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Update:

I bottled 5 of my 10 gallons tonight. Here's the information I went with (hoping I didn't make bottle bombs).

I used JLem's calculations above, but decided to go with 3 pints instead of 2.

Starting gravity: 0.99
Gravity before bottling: 1.02

I'm pretty happy with that, so I bottled it. Keep your fingers crossed! If it works out, I'll start a new thread for possible sticky.

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1 Gallon Secondaries: Strawberry Wine | Strawberry Wine | Red Raspberry Wine | Blueberry Raisin Wine
5 Gallon Secondaries: Hard Cider | Hard Cider
Bottle Conditioning: Brewers Best Red Ale
Drinking: 3 Year Mead or Banana Wine, Brewers Best American Light Ale, Apfelwein (Hooch)

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Old 11-17-2009, 01:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevchance View Post
I used JLem's calculations above,
Man, I hope you don't get any bottle bombs (or uncarbed cider)
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevchance View Post
Update:

I bottled 5 of my 10 gallons tonight. Here's the information I went with (hoping I didn't make bottle bombs).

I used JLem's calculations above, but decided to go with 3 pints instead of 2.

Starting gravity: 0.99
Gravity before bottling: 1.02

I'm pretty happy with that, so I bottled it. Keep your fingers crossed! If it works out, I'll start a new thread for possible sticky.
Any updates to offer? Did this work?
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