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Old 10-31-2011, 11:46 PM   #1
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Default Bottling/Gravity Question...

So I just checked the gravity of my cider today, and it is about 1.002-1.004. I was expecting to have another week before it got down this far, but that's not my issue. What is troubling me is that it is still bubbling about once every 2 seconds, down from 2-3 bubbles a second 3 weeks ago. It sure as hell seems that it is still too active for me to bottle, but the gravity is right where I wanted it to bottle. BUT, I don't want anything blowing up on me either. Should I wait till the bubbling slows down, then backsweeten, or should I go for it?

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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...anyone??

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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Its just trapped c02. you can wait, it might drop a little more in gravity. This was the case on my last cider...i bottled it, it was fine.

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Old 11-01-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
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yep they give off CO2 gas for a while after fermentation is finished, it's just still in solution. that said, unless you had unfermentable sugar in there or super high alcohol % you should get below 1.000

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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That's good to know. I was wondering what the deal was! Well I used brown sugar and honey for my sugars. My original gravity was 1.080 (3 weeks ago) and it was 1.004 yesterday. Ill go ahead and begin bottling today. It did dry out a little more than I wanted it to, so I might add a can or 2 of apple juice concentrate before bottling.

Question: if I add the juice concentrate, is it necessary to use any priming sugar?

@Dinnerstick: I've seen you advocate filling a plastic bottle with cider and using tha to guage the carbonation level of my glass bottles...I plan on following that advice.
Perhaps I will try my hand at pasteurization as well. Does pasteurizing the cider make it "drinkable" faster? By that I mean will it help the flavors mellow out faster?

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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i'm not sure if anyone really knows what pasteurizing does to the flavors. has anyone really done a side-by-side taste test?? dunno, interested to hear if so
if you add in a lot of sugar (ie more than the 2-4 gravity points bottle conditioning usually consumes) in the form of juice concentrate and/or sucrose you are going to risk having bottle bombs as long as the yeast is still active. if you are unsure about this then the plastic bottle will certainly help tell you if/when you are getting into a dangerous level of pressure. once you are in the 'gusher zone', where a well chilled (1 or 2 days in the fridge) bottle gushes out when opened, they are overcarbed and you probably don't want to heat pasteurize them or they could blow.
i advocate the 'hard but not rock hard' policy where when the plastic bottle still has a tiny bit of give to it then they are just right. this pretty much always works for me, and the few times i have pasteurized bottles using this as a guide they have been fine. so you could always get them to that level and then pasteurize just to be safe.
the other thing worth mentioning is that you might have very low yeast activity in the bottles, since you have high alc %, so they may go very slowly, but they may keep on going very slowly past optimal carb and into the gusher zone. i don't know if that will happen or not- it depends on yeast, alcohol %, nutrients, temp, and the amount of sugar you add back! good luck

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Old 11-01-2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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thanks for the tips! I'm going to get bottling after I get out of work. I'll keep y'all updated!

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Old 11-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #8
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OK, so I ended up with 68 bottles of cider last night Now I am waiting for my plastic bottle to harden up, then I will crack open one of my ciders to see how I like the carbonation, then attempt stove-top pasteurization. If that doesn't start off good for me, then I'll have to make room in my refrigerator somehow!

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