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Old 12-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Back-Sweetened Cider will not Force Carb

I've started making a hard cider every year... This is my 3rd batch and I may have made it a bit too sweet (not real bad though). I always brew a 5 gallon version of this recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/sout...-cider-114594/) and I keg as to not deal with stabilizing issues (it usually comes in around 7% ABV). I had been experimenting with the amount of brown sugar for back-sweetening. Last time it wasn't sweet enough so I put an extra cup (8 cups for ~5.25 gals this time). Normally it takes 1-2 weeks on 12psi to carb up. This time however it's been on the gas at 12psi for about a 1.5 months and it is still not carbed. I do not have any leaks in my system and the keg does seem to be holding gas (although I am beginning to suspect a gas leak in the keg due to this not carbing but I haven't found one)... I have a friend that over sweetened a cider and had the same issue one time. Has anyone had a similar problem or know if maybe you have to put sweet beverages on higher psi to get them to carb?

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:55 PM   #2
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I've started making a hard cider every year... This is my 3rd batch and I may have made it a bit too sweet (not real bad though). I always brew a 5 gallon version of this recipe (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f81/sout...-cider-114594/) and I keg as to not deal with stabilizing issues (it usually comes in around 7% ABV). I had been experimenting with the amount of brown sugar for back-sweetening. Last time it wasn't sweet enough so I put an extra cup (8 cups for ~5.25 gals this time). Normally it takes 1-2 weeks on 12psi to carb up. This time however it's been on the gas at 12psi for about a 1.5 months and it is still not carbed. I do not have any leaks in my system and the keg does seem to be holding gas (although I am beginning to suspect a gas leak in the keg due to this not carbing but I haven't found one)... I have a friend that over sweetened a cider and had the same issue one time. Has anyone had a similar problem or know if maybe you have to put sweet beverages on higher psi to get them to carb?
No, it should still carb up, sweetened or not. You must have a leak in the keg, or your regulator is faulty if you're at fridge temps with 12 psi and have no carbonation.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #3
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That's what I suspected. I must have a slow leak in that keg. I may move it to another keg and try again.

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Old 12-27-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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No, it should still carb up, sweetened or not. You must have a leak in the keg, or your regulator is faulty if you're at fridge temps with 12 psi and have no carbonation.
Sorry to contradict you, Yooper, but cider can and sometimes DOES take longer to carbonate. I haven't really figured out why it does that, but I have found that rolling the cold keg on the floor, with the CO2 line attached, once or twice during the course of a week will cure the problem.

My wild-a$$-guess is that there is less protein(?) for the CO2 to latch onto.

MC
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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I'm with Yooper on this. I carb at 25psi and ~0F and never had an issue. I've done several hundred kegs this way over the years, ranging from quite dry to quite sweet. Usually they have a decent carb after 24 hours and fully carbed at 48 hrs, at which point I drop the pressure. Before I got a 4 way CO2 distributor, I used to roll kegs to carb a bunch up for a party, but it shouldnt be necessary to carb one keg unless you are in a huge hurry. Maybe its a temp issue. If the keg is leaking CO2, you can usually put your ear on the keg and hear it. If no leaks and cider is still not carbing, try dropping the temp on your fridge.

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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Just a shot in the dark here, but are you carbing at room temp or chilled?

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Sorry to contradict you, Yooper, but cider can and sometimes DOES take longer to carbonate. I haven't really figured out why it does that, but I have found that rolling the cold keg on the floor, with the CO2 line attached, once or twice during the course of a week will cure the problem.

My wild-a$$-guess is that there is less protein(?) for the CO2 to latch onto.

MC
But you can carb water, which is well, plain water. It doesn't need protein(?) to carb.

Maybe people like their cider more highly carbed, like soda, so it seems flat by comparison to beer. But c02 is c02, and you can carb beer/water/wine/soda/lemonade the same way.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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But you can carb water, which is well, plain water. It doesn't need protein(?) to carb.

Maybe people like their cider more highly carbed, like soda, so it seems flat by comparison to beer. But c02 is c02, and you can carb beer/water/wine/soda/lemonade the same way.
I don't have an answer. I just know that, sometimes, my ciders, at the same temp + PSI as my beers, often fail to carbonate within 1 month, even at 6 weeks. I've had to shake + roll a few of them, in particular, my latest one.

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