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Old 01-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
LandoAllen
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Default Cider Aging

Does anyone have advice on how long to age cider? Is there a significant taste difference between 1 month VS 6 months VS 1 year plus?

If the cider is aged in the secondary vs bottles will it taste any different?

What is the shelf life of cider? Does bottle pasteurizing or adding k-metta/sorbate prolong shelf life? Does bottle pasteurizing help to avoid the cider turning into vinegar?

Sorry there are so many questions but all very related to the topic.

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:43 AM   #2
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first of all, the answers will be different for everyone depending on how the cider was made, what apples you used, how much malic acid tang is there, alcohol percentage, how much it's oxidized, etc. what works for you works for you and may not be ideal for someone else. but there will be a huge difference between 1 month and 1 year. especially with dry ciders, which start out tangy and sharp and become mellow and smooth. if you have a sweet cider and weren't very sanitary, for example, then the cider can taste a lot worse in 1 year, so age is not always good. but i can't touch my dry cider for at least 6-8 months. i never manage to keep it around for more than 15 months or so, and it's usually pretty good as that point! k-meta, like with wines, especially sweet white wines, will protect the cider from oxidizing and prolong shelf life. not sure if sorbate will prolong shelf life. the best way to keep your cider from going to vinegar is eliminate exposure to oxygen. secondary vs bottle aging, i don't think there's a difference. depends on what's best for you. in the carboy it's less susceptible to temperature swings. in the bottle it's sealed and out of the way and you can use the carboy for something else. but i don't like to bottle until it's pretty clear since i don't want a big puck of yeast in the bottle, then i age in the bottle a few more months. hope this helps

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Old 01-17-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
the best way to keep your cider from going to vinegar is eliminate exposure to oxygen.
It was my impression that bacteria cause the ethanol to turn into vinegar when in the presence of oxygen. This is why I ask if bottle pasteurization will keep the cider from turning to vinegar. If the temp at pasteurization reaches lets say 160F and held for 10 minutes, will this kill aceterobacter and thus keeping the cider from turning into vinegar even if the bottle is filled with an abundance of oxygen?

What are some good methods to avoid oxygen getting into the cider when bottling?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandoAllen View Post
If the temp at pasteurization reaches lets say 160F and held for 10 minutes, will this kill aceterobacter and thus keeping the cider from turning into vinegar even if the bottle is filled with an abundance of oxygen?
i have no idea. i'm sure someone has done a study on heat tolerance of acetobacter but i have never seen it (nor even googled it). i am not super paranoid about oxygen when bottling, without extra sulfite (i only add at the beginning) or pasteurization, and i have never had my cider turn to vinegar. i do the same as for bottle conditioned beers; rack to a clean bucket, mix in boiled sugar solution, bottle with a siphon and cap.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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With absolutely no evidence to back up this claim, I think it's safe to assume that cider which is held at 160 for 10 min is will be free of aectobacter. Pasteuriation at those temps kills 99.99999% of living things when done correctly.

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What are some good methods to avoid oxygen getting into the cider when bottling?
Putting a blast of CO2 into the bottle before filling will cause the air to be pushed out. But barring that, just fill the bottles as high as your filling system will allow and drink that last bottle which often only gets 1/2 full first.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:33 AM   #6
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Has anyone had a problem with their cider turning into vinegar? is there any way to save it after it starts?

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