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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > cider bottling and carbonation question
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:04 PM   #1
michaelsaxman
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Default cider bottling and carbonation question

I am a first timer to home brewing. last year I had a good apple crop, so I thought I'd make a hard cider. I followed andrew lea's instructions from The Wittenham Hill Cider Portal and everything went well. The maltolactic ferm is done, and I have 18 gals of dry, still 8% cider.
Here's my questions:
--What kind of bottles will contain a light carbonation if I prime before bottling? Could I use wine bottles with corks, or would the corks pop out? I don't know if I want to invest in a bottlecapper.
--Is there any way to carbonate without using yeast (or at least without leaving nasty lees in the bottom of my bottles)?
---Finally, does anyone know a cheap way to make labels(color copy?)

Thanks

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Old 07-07-2007, 11:31 PM   #2
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1) You can bottle your cider in beer bottles and it'll be perfectly fine- just be sure you get the crown cap bottles, not the screw top bottles. Bottle cappers are really fairly cheap- you don't have to pay out the butt for them.

2) You can force-carbonate by pumping CO2 into it, but the only way I know how to do that is if you want to keg, and this early on in the game, you probably don't want to do that. Maybe later when you get better at brewing and more serious about sharing.

3) I haven't had much luck with that yet, but I've heard that going to Kinkos and using a laser printer works fairly well, then coating the label in a sealant.

None of these are definite- but I do hope they help you out.

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:24 AM   #3
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I would just invest about $15.00 for the capper and go with the beer bottles. You could then just use the carb tablets. They are kind of like a lemon drop, without the lemon, you can just drop one in each bottle and cap it.

Wine bottles might contain this but I would not trust it. If you use champagne bottles and wire tie the caps itwould be fine.

For your labels you can use Word or Publisher. Avery has every kind of label you could imagine. I started with Word and was getting either 4 or 6 on a page. I now use publisher and just get the full page blank labels from your LHBS. Laser printers work best as the ink does not run but photo ink jet printers aren't too bad.

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Old 07-09-2007, 01:40 PM   #4
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Grolsch bottles would work, too, to hold carbonation and not require a capper. Corks would definitely pop out and wine bottles are not designed to hold carbonation. If you bottle carbonate, you will have sediment on the bottom of the bottle. It's not an issue for me at all since you're pouring it into a glass anyway. Still, some people would find it "icky" I guess.

If you've used sorbate to stabilize, you can't bottle carbonate so you'd be stuck with force carbing with co2. (Sorry if you already knew that).

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Old 07-20-2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default thanks everyone

I did find a cheap source of chanmpagne bottles and corks, so thats the plan. 216 beer bottles is too many to clean. As for the labels, color copies and wheat paste!

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Old 07-20-2007, 03:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelsaxman
I did find a cheap source of chanmpagne bottles and corks, so thats the plan. 216 beer bottles is too many to clean. As for the labels, color copies and wheat paste!
Keep in mind you can also use crown caps on most champagne bottles. There are two kinds, most American champagne bottles can be capped with a regular beer cap and capper, while most European ones require a 29mm cap, which will also require you to get a 29mm capping bell for the capper.

Corks are neat, but you have to take more care in storage of them.

Edit: If you have the "Red Baron" capper you need to pull the plates that hold the neck out and flip them around so they don't crush the neck of the champagne bottle, since it's wider than a beer bottle.
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