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Old 02-14-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
Noz03
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Default Bottling time

I'm about to bottle my first ever home brew which is a hard cider (1 cup white sugar, 2.5lt fresh juice 1lt shop juice) but am a bit confused about this process. Biggest problem is I dont have any chemicals or artificial sweetener available.

It is completely fermented so I think I add around 1 cup of white sugar. Cold crash half of it right away for still cider, and for the other 2 litres put into 1lt coke bottles to carbonate for a day at room temp before I cold crash them.

My questions are, is this a good amount of sugar for 1 gallon? Am looking for a medium sweet cider, average as possible

And is this the correct way to carbonate it, a day in the warmth? I was thinking to squeeze the bottle a little before I seal it, then crash it after it has filled out by its self, or will it not carbonate if it is not compressed?

Also for the still cider can I drink it right away or should I leave it to sit for a while in the fridge?

Thanks for any help, and wish me luck

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:33 PM   #2
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As for the still cider you can drink it right off of the racking cane if you like.

For the sweet fizzy stuff there are a couple schools of thought. The first is to use a small amount of sugar for carbonation and then back sweeten using a non-fermentable sweetener (think Splenda). If you add a lot of sugar for taste and then bottle it the bottles will gush.

As for sweetening and then cold crashing to stop fermentation I don't think you will get the results you are looking for. Can it be done? Sure, but carbonation builds over time and can do so at an unpredicatable rate.

My suggestion would be to back sweeten and crash your still cider. After that add just enough sugar to carbonate the other stuff and back sweeten for flavor.

I am no expert at this by any means but I do make a good deal of hard cider and these are my experiences.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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Hmm I'm not even sure where to get artificial sweetener in my country, or if it even exists :/ If I cant find it would my method of just letting it ferment in the bottle a little before cold crashing it? Baring in mind that I only have 1 or 2 coke bottles and I can also feel the density as they are plastic. I can understand why doing 50 glass bottles like that would be a pain.

Also btw when you say right off the racking cane you mean as soon as its finished fermenting for 2 weeks? I didnt "rack" my cider, just left it in the one container and now Im going to bottle. I heard racking was an optional part.

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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I believe 454 just means right out of the fermenter. Even if you don't do a secondary fermentation or aging, most people "rack" it to a bottling bucket to get it off the original lees. When you bottle straight from your primary there's a good chance you will stir up the sediment.

With only a couple of liters, I'd suggest priming it with a little sugar to allow it to carbonate in the coke bottle and then sweeten it when you pour it into your glass with some simple sugar syrup or fresh apple juice. A suggestion I saw a while back was to freeze apple juice in ice trays and then pop a couple in your glass of cider. I've always thought that is a good way to sweeten by the glass.

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Pepper has some good input. I did indeed meen that you could drink still cider right out of the fermenter if you wanted too.

By the way, which country are you in?

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Yeah thats not a bad idea with the ice, maybe give that a try. How exactly does ageing still cider affect its taste and what kind of time periods? So much contradicting information out there, my friend says you should always wait at least 2 weeks before you drink, but others say drink right away. I guess as I'm inpatient I will choose to go with the latter

Btw I am living in Turkey.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noz03 View Post
Yeah thats not a bad idea with the ice, maybe give that a try. How exactly does ageing still cider affect its taste and what kind of time periods? So much contradicting information out there, my friend says you should always wait at least 2 weeks before you drink, but others say drink right away. I guess as I'm inpatient I will choose to go with the latter

Btw I am living in Turkey.
This is my 2 cents ...I make lots of ciders about 2-6 gallons a week...I think you should drop the table sugar as I have found this makes/can give off flavors...and if you want add fermentable sugars get it a little sweeter then you like by .003-.004 as this is all that is needed to prime with ...while you fill you bottles up also fill a coke bottle up this is your test bottle...check it daily. For firmness. When you think its where you will like it ( 4-5 days) open a bottle if good and fizzy stick in a container in hot tap water for 10 min while you heat a pan of water to 170f....add bottles to pan let set 10-15 min take out let cool and refrigerate...
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #8
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If it's sour, some aging might mellow it out a little, but I personally wouldn't age it for long periods in plastic bottles. If it tastes good you can drink it immediately. There's no need to wait a couple of weeks unless you want it to carbonate. I make one gallon batches for immediate drinking all the time. Two weeks to ferment, then put it in the fridge in a plastic jug. It's definitely not a "perfect" cider, but it does the job.

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Old 02-16-2013, 05:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickled_Pepper View Post
If it's sour, some aging might mellow it out a little, but I personally wouldn't age it for long periods in plastic bottles. If it tastes good you can drink it immediately. There's no need to wait a couple of weeks unless you want it to carbonate. I make one gallon batches for immediate drinking all the time. Two weeks to ferment, then put it in the fridge in a plastic jug. It's definitely not a "perfect" cider, but it does the job.
That's the way I do it. keep a gallon cold crashing and 1 fermenting all the time
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:18 PM   #10
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Table sugar can give off flavors? I've used both white and raw to get OG up but never to back sweeten. What kinda sugar do you recommend?

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