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Old 10-18-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default carbonating cider

Hi, I've posted a couple of times on here before and found the answers very helpful, as I now have 27 wine bottles full of cider maturing!

Anyway, I bottled them last night, which involved me syphoning the cider from the DJ's to a bucket, adding 1kg of lactose to sweeten a bit, as well as about 80grams of priming sugar, and then syphoning off into bottles and then corked them. I did some calculations and found that about 80grams of sugar should give the cider about 2 volumes of CO2...

...I left them in the garage overnight and today realised that as it's getting pretty cold out at night now I should have left them inside as the cold might stop the carbonation from happening?? Is that right? (they felt like they had been left in the fridge).

Also, am I right in thinking that if I leave them inside for a few days for the fermentation/carbonation to give the cider some sparkle, I can then put them back in the garage to mature??


any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 10-19-2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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I hope you used champagne bottles, because regular wine bottles cannot withstand the pressure. They will either blow their corks, or explode. We're talking a boozy, sticky mess with shards of broken glass mixed in. I'd put them in the fridge till I could get them rebottled in beer bottles or champagne bottles (with wired stoppers). Good luck, GF.

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Old 10-19-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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uh-oh yeah i did use wine bottles - are you sure that just 80grams of sugar will cause them to explode??

Maybe I could leave them in plastic bottles, to let them carbonate then transfer them back to the wine bottles to mature??

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Old 10-19-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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I have seen regular wine bottles used, however as GF mentioned, they are not designed for any kind of pressure. You can calculate the amount of sugar to give you a slight carb you want.

The problem is regular wine bottles don't have to pass any pressure tests when they are made as they are not pressure bottles. So in the end you don't know if you have a strong one or a weak one until later. Then you have the potential for flying glass or a really bad mess to clean up.

I wanted to try doing that as well, but there are too many variations in the bottles designed for just wine. Friends have said they got away with it before, but they wouldn't do it again as they lost some and had a mess. They highly recommended I don't do it.

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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ok, advice taken! The thing is, it has been two days since I bottled them, and nothing has happened - maybe there is no yeast left for them to carbonate?

I think I'm either going to transfer them to a big plastic keg thing with an air valve on it (which I dont think will carbonate it) or just to plastic bottles....

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:37 PM   #6
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also, will leaving the bottled cider in the cold garage stop the carbonation process?

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson1985 View Post
uh-oh yeah i did use wine bottles - are you sure that just 80grams of sugar will cause them to explode??

Maybe I could leave them in plastic bottles, to let them carbonate then transfer them back to the wine bottles to mature??
No, wine bottles aren't made to hold pressure. You must use sparkling wine (champagne) bottles or beer bottles. The process of carbonation isn't the problem, its the carbonation itself.

I think you need to either stop the carbonation now or transfer to other bottles.

You can stop yeast from working by chilling them, but they will start up again when you warm them up. Also, what temperature depends upon the type of yeast. Some yeasts work better in cold than others.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:48 PM   #8
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ok, advice taken! The thing is, it has been two days since I bottled them, and nothing has happened - maybe there is no yeast left for them to carbonate?
Its too early to worry about that, carbonation can take awhile, plus there are no visible signs of it until you open a bottle.. How long did you let the cider ferment/age before bottling?
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:01 PM   #9
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also, will leaving the bottled cider in the cold garage stop the carbonation process?
It will slow/stop the yeast depending on the type used. Some yeasts can stay active in fairly frigid conditions, but maybe someone could give you a good idea of the right temp range if you let us in on the type of yeast used.
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Old 10-19-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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hey thanks for all the responses...

the yeast we used was Young's Cider Yeast, used 5grams for about 20L.

Pappers, we let the cider ferment in a big bucket for 4 days (primary fermentation??), and then in demijohns for 4 weeks. It ended up very clear, had stopped bubbling and there was lots of sediment. The hydrometer reading read about 1.000 (or maybe 1.001).

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