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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Carbonation after back-sweetening
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:41 AM   #1
that_ry_guy
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Default Carbonation after back-sweetening

Just wondering if someone can help me out with this.
After fermentation was complete my cider was a little too tart for my liking. I then treated with potassium sorbate to neutralize the yeast. I then proceeded to sweeten to taste with frozen apple juice concentrate. Now that I have the taste right, it is time to bottle. My question is....can I still carbonate in the bottle? Would the apple juice concentrate provide enough sugar or shall I add additional dextrose? Should I add a couple of yeast to each bottle or should there still be enough live neutralized yeast in suspension to get the job done??
Any comments would be very appreciated.

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Old 10-16-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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I'm no expert on this, but adding more yeast might make your bottles=bombs.

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Old 10-18-2006, 05:57 PM   #3
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Be careful, be very careful...

I'm in my first cider now, but have brewed some AG ales.

The way to control carbonation: First, you have to let the yeast eat ALL of the sugar, then you add just enough sugar for the yeast to make an appropriate amount of carbonation. Too much sugar= too much carbonation= bottle bombs. If you killed ALL of the yeast, then you have a"still" beverage- no bubbles. If you wanted a sweet, carbonated beverage, then you would have sweetened with Lactose, which is a sugar that yeast don't eat. Then, also add enough priming sugar to feed the yeast enough to make bubbles- about 3/4 cup for a 5 gallon batch. At this stage, you would need to add yeast, let it ferment out again, then add the lactose and priming sweetener. Or drink it the way it is, don't cap tightly- call it "Cask Conditioned Cider"?

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Old 10-19-2006, 05:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by that_ry_guy
After fermentation was complete my cider was a little too tart for my liking. I then treated with potassium sorbate to neutralize the yeast. I then proceeded to sweeten to taste with frozen apple juice concentrate. Now that I have the taste right, it is time to bottle.
i was wondering what apple concentrate you used, what i should look for when i choose one to sweeten my cider, Im in the same boat
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:13 AM   #5
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I used a can of Old South frozen apple juice concentrate as it didn't appear to have any additional preservatives other than the obligatory ascorbic acid. The product currently in my secondary tastes great. Still not quite sure what I'm going to do about the carbonation issue as I want something bubbly. Perhaps I should have used the lactose! I still think that I should be able to bottle in a few weeks the way it is, essentually using the sweet apple juice concentrate as a primer in my bottle. The yeast have already been neutralized with potassium sorbate so in theory as time passes and some of the live yeast die, the remainder (which can no longer reproduce) should make sufficient carbonation in the bottles. I might be wrong but I'm not going to let a little flying glass stand between me and the perfect cider!!!

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Old 10-26-2006, 05:41 PM   #6
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If you try to carbonate in the regular fashion, all you are going to get is sweeter cider than you have now. Your yeast is dead. Potassium Sorbate is what the cider companies use to preserve their product, too. It's purpose is to KILL yeast. Or Neutralize. It's the same thing. Yeast doesn't come back to life. (or does it? Spoooooky)

Now, I don't know if you brew beer too, or if you're a 'winer'. Heh, get it? What I've done is the same as you, only I force carbonate my cider. It takes 4 days instead of 2 (beer works in two days) and double the cO2. But damn, it's worth every moment of waiting. We have a kegerator in our kitchen that is always full of cider or mead or beer... (but you don't NEED one to force carbonate) And now that it's fall, there is a keg force carbonating on my front porch. We haven't frosted over here in MA yet. I know it seems like a lot of work, but if you are using five gallon batches, it's worth the money. And you'll never EVER want to bottle for yourself again. People will fall at your feet to taste YOUR cider. There won't be any yeasty sediment at the bottom of your bottles either. It's the cleanest, clearest tasting cider you'll ever have.

The other option (that I really don't know anything about) are carbonation drops. I'm sure if you google them, it'll explain more about them. I think looking on ebay that you put them in your bottle, fill the bottle, the quickly cap it, the drop dissolves and releases the cO2 you are looking to have in your cider.

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Old 10-26-2006, 05:56 PM   #7
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Carbonation drops (unless there are two kinds) are just a pre-measured amount of sugar for the yeasties to eat. No yeast, they don't work.

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Old 10-26-2006, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Carbonation drops (unless there are two kinds) are just a pre-measured amount of sugar for the yeasties to eat. No yeast, they don't work.
Well, that's not gonna work then!


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Old 07-04-2007, 02:31 AM   #9
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Default Update on the cider

Just thought that since my cider has long since been gulped I would provide an update for you. It has been a great learning process. This fall when I make the cider I am going to do a couple of things differently. Last fall, despite my attempts at sweetening the final product was a little tart. I am attributing this to the EC-118 champagne yeast I used; this year I will order the english cider yeast from Wyeast or White Labs. Also I used potassium sorbate last year to kill the yeast when it started to ferment a second time (after the addition of the apple concentrate-newbie mistake). Therefore no carbonation which was a little boring in my opinion. I think things will be better this year!

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