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Old 07-24-2008, 11:00 PM   #1
myleviathan
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Default Carbing cider?

How about carbing cider? I've got a batch in primary that I threw in last night, so it will be a month or so before I need to carb anyway. In the meantime, I'm trying to find out if I should carb it or not. I'd like to carb half and leave the other half still. Either way, any recommendations for carbing cider? Tablets vs. priming sugar, etc...

Thanks!

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Old 07-24-2008, 11:33 PM   #2
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Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by devaspawn View Post
Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.

How come a keg would be easiest? Keep in mind I'm a noob, and I've got very basic equipment at this point.

I understand priming sugar, but I'm not sure what you man by "bottling the whole batch with CO2". When you refer to "nonfermentable sugars" you mean sugars that will counteract the drying effect caused by carbonation?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:06 AM   #4
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No worries. When you keg you MAY remove the option of natural carbing (or adding priming sugar) and Force Carb from a CO2 tank if you like. I have made cider before and it comes out rather dry (search for Apfelwein for the recipe I use) I like to backsweeten with Apple Juice concentrate. When bottle priming you can't use that to backsweeten as it is fermentable and will cause you to over carbonate your bottles at the least and give you bottle bombs at the most. After killing the yeast in your primary/secondary you can rack your cider directly on top of a couple cans of AJ concentrate in your keg and force carb. This is why I am saying that it would be easier if you had the option of kegging.

You were saying that you were considering doing half carbonated and half uncarbonated. I was recommending doubling the priming sugar amount if you decided that you wanted to have the whole batch carbed.

A couple of examples of unfermentable sugars are lactose and splenda. You will get varying opinions on this forum as to people preferences for unfermentable sugars. You will have to decide on your own what tastes you prefer. I find that backsweetening doesn't so much counteract the dryness so much as just take away some or all of the mouth pucker you get with dry ciders/wines. Ever had a really dry wine? Notice how there's no residual sweetness at all? Backsweetening will help this immensely.

The drying effect doesn't come from carbonating it. It's the yeast almost or fully fermenting the sugars.

One other thing you could do which I did on my first batch of cider is backsweeten to taste AFTER it's ready to drink. I just added a little splenda or sugar to each glass to my level of desired sweetness. Your guests would be able to determine what they want for sweetness as well if you plan on sharing it.

What yeast did you use by the way?

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:24 AM   #5
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No worries. When you keg you MAY remove the option of natural carbing (or adding priming sugar) and Force Carb from a CO2 tank if you like.
Ah, yes - I've heard of force carbing. I follow you now. Maybe one of these days I'll invest in such luxeries...

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Originally Posted by devaspawn View Post
You were saying that you were considering doing half carbonated and half uncarbonated. I was recommending doubling the priming sugar amount if you decided that you wanted to have the whole batch carbed.
I really like still cider. But I would like to try some carbed cider too... so thanks for the advice.

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What yeast did you use by the way?
I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast.
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:33 AM   #6
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I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast.
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
Well, you may not get any carbonation at all with bread yeast- the yeast "poop out" pretty early, and probably won't have enough attenuation ability to carb up the cider. You can certainly try, but I don't think it'll happen, particularly if the cider was left a bit sweet.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:45 AM   #7
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that's the good news...you should have some residual sweetness left over. go with the still for now. maybe try to carb 6 or 12 bottles of the cider. use 5 or 6 munton carb tabs or follow the instructions for whatever is available for carb tabs.

Maybe Yooper you could give a suggestion for the next yeast he should use. Better yet, leviathon, you should really do a search for apfelwein and read everything you can. Many people have experimented with many different yeasts and you can get an idea of what you want to use next time.

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Old 07-25-2008, 04:05 AM   #8
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The recipe I used was basically five gallons of unfiltered apple juice, 2.5 tsp of bread yeast, a mixture of white sugar and brown sugar, and cinnamon extract.

I heated up a portion of the juice to dissolved the sugar, then pitched my yeast into the warm sugar mix. Then added the warm mixture to the rest of the juice, then sealed & airlocked. I know bread yeast isn't the way to go, but the results were good the first time I tried it, and I kind of forgot about this forum until I received an email stating something about a discounted premium membership or something.

I would definitely like to hone my technique. I'm sure there's all sorts of yeast suggestions all over the cider threads. But you're right - I need to read up. I admit I was a little lazy with this batch.

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Old 07-25-2008, 01:36 PM   #9
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If it works then there's nothing wrong with it.

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Old 07-25-2008, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myleviathan View Post
I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast.
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
tsk, tsk,

No, good for you actually, after I joined the forum I didnt have the courage to go against the advice here, I figure ill try it some day just for sh!ts and giggles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devaspawn
Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.
I'm guessing this is the recommendation for a 5 gallon batch?
Could anyone throw out an estimate of how much to prime with per gallon to get something like mikes lemonade? I brew for my friends, mostly women, and a good amount of men that drink like women.
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