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Old 10-10-2009, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Cider is 14 days old, not sure what to do next

Hi. This is a great forum. Thanks.

This is the first year I have my own cider press, a really nice one. Two weeks ago I pressed fresh local apples, a mix of reds varieties and goldens.

My cousin, a winemaker, brought over a large (5 gallon?) bottle, and a rubber stopper contraption at the top which allows the cider to breathe. We poured the cider in (about half), and everything seems to be off to a good start.

The cider has sat at room temp for 14 days. At the bottom, a lot of sediment (about 2 inches). In the middle is a cloudy but beautiful rich golden cider. At the top is a thin layer of scuzzy material. My cousin said it would bubble way up, but it didn't. The bubbles are fairly small. Not sure why. There is a small amount of mold.

My cousin gave me a package of preservative, he said to mix that with water and pour it in, wait for a bit then siphon the middle cider out.

I wonder if I can put the cider into jars and sterilize it in boiling water (same as home canning). I want to bottle this without using chemical preservatives. Is it possible?

All advice highly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 10-10-2009, 04:37 PM   #2
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Can you post a pic? That layer might just be krausen

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Old 10-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Hi. Thanks. I'll get a picture and try to post it.

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
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Here is a picture I took. The camera isn't the best, and light a bit weak, but I hope you can see the general idea. This is after I hoisted it up slowly to take a picture, so some debris started moving around.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40493031@N07/3998798606/

What do you think?

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Old 10-10-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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im far from a pro but seems to me that you might have wanted to use a smaller carboy. The more air inbetween your airlock and the juice the more room you have for molds and stuff to be in the bottle.

Also did you clean and sanitize the equipment before starting?

Thats really all I can tell from the distance of the picture, would you be able to get a closer shot of the "mold"?

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Old 10-10-2009, 07:25 PM   #6
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Hi. Thanks. I had a close look just now. It doesn't look like mold on the top layer, just crud. Bubbles but not big bubbles, mostly little ones. As of today though there are two large bubbles. The picture shows a yellow color in the crud but that is just due to poor light and editing. It is not really yellow.

The jar was clean when I started. My cousin gave it to me clean and I rinsed it. I could have done more, I suppose.

So in terms of timing, should I siphon this today?

Is it ever a good idea to put it in a sealed canning jar and immerse that in boiling water for 20 minutes (as in canning food?). Will that stop fermentation and allow me to keep it on the shelf in the pantry?

Thanks.

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
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I plan on siphoning and cold-crashing my batch once my ABV level is around where I want it. If I were you I would either get a hydrometer and test or take a taste of the cider.

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Old 10-10-2009, 10:09 PM   #8
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It looks fine to me, but it's far from completion. Give it a couple more weeks.

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:47 PM   #9
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Hi. Thanks a lot for your comment. I wasn't sure how long to let it ferment. I'll give it two more weeks. Then post here about progress. I still wonder what the best way is to bottle it without the use of preservatives.

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:57 PM   #10
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I think that without knowing what the gravity is, you should wait until the bubbles drop and then bottle. I had a cider with a thin layer of bubbles (krausen) for a couple months. I didn't take a gravity reading, but knowing how much I can drink before feeling drunk, I'd say that the ABV was around 15-20%.

As for bottling without preservatives, the alcohol is a preservative. Just make sure the bottles are clean and sanitized before bottling.

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