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Old 08-01-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
LloydRenee
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Default Bottling and Carbing Cider question

I just bottled about 5 gallons of Hard Apple cider I made. I had placed sorbate in the Carboy about a week before bottling to slow the yeasties down. I didnt want it too dry. I'm looking for something almost like a stongbow. I then back sweetened with some brown sugar. Yesterday I bottled it all alternating between 2 and 3 Carb Tablets. Will this even work? And if it does when should I expect it to be carbinated? Any advice or info or telling me I am a noob and messed it up will be greatly welcome.

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Old 08-01-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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if you killed the yeast then it will not carbonate. if the yeast are still active then you could have bottle bombs. brown sugar is fermentable as well as the carb tabs and what ever residual sugar you left after stopping fermentation. i don't really know what to tell you to do except watch these carefully.

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Old 08-01-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, you're too vague on your process to give much helpful advice, but I'm going to try anyway

Depending on how much sorbate you used you may have killed the yeast (unlikely thought.) How long did you active ferment before adding sorbate?

If they do carb, like rycove said, you have a tremendous chance of having bottle bombs, which are simple no fun, very dangerous, and a mess to clean up.

My advice is to open one and pour it into a 16-20 oz soda bottle and use that to measure the level of carbonation. When it is nicely carb you will be able to put firm pressure on it and it will give only slightly...just like when it's full of soda. This way you can tell if they are carbonating up and then if it becomes hard as a rock, you have to cold crash all the cider immediately or open the bottles.

The only way I have found to have sweet, carbonated cider in bottles is to back sweeten with sugar and then measure carbonation with soda bottle and then pasteurize to kill the yeast based on the sticky by pappers in the cider forum.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #4
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I have friends who go on a tangent and want to make a batch of cider without investing anything, so I will let them use my equipment and oversee their batch for them, finally bottling their 5 gallons in 2 liter soda bottles.

Generally you can use any plastic bottles made for holding carbonated drinks, and I have found clear to light drinks or sodas leave less flavors in the cleaned bottles.

Other than variables for dry/sweet and high/low carbonation, these ciders taste close to my kegged ones, and take alot of pressure without bombs.

Just open one every couple of weeks and cold crash them or drink them at their best.

Watch for fountains if they overcarb.

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Old 08-02-2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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you could really roll the dice and try to pasturize them as soon as they are at the carbonation level you want, i don't think they will have the sweetness you are looking for though.

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Old 08-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #6
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if you're going to back sweeten and bottle carb your best bet is unfermentable sugars. lactose, splenda, xilitol? **** like that

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Old 08-02-2011, 10:58 PM   #7
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stevia is also an unfermentable sugar and slightly less chemically. i just added some "stevia in the raw" (its a brand) to this thing i have in a keg that i am trying to make drinkable, started as a peary, now it is morphing into a hard lemonade....sorta

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Old 08-05-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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This exactly what I was looking for! I like the cider dry, but I didn't brew it for me. My Sweetie likes it sweet. I was going to add some brown sugar, keg, and force carbonate, but didn't want to tie up my last keg for the cider. The soda bottle idea sounds like a simple effective way to gauge the carb level with the added sugar. Won't have the room to cold crash, so the pasteruize process should be a winner. Thanks for the info!

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