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Old 04-05-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
Labradork
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Default Cider Explosion and Pasteurization question

Folks,

I just had a one-gallon Carlo Rossi bottle of peach cyser explode on me last night. Literally, "on me" - I was 3 feet away and it was the loudest thing I have ever heard. I'm pretty sure I lost some hearing in one ear. I was covered hot cyser and broken glass and a little shell-shocked by it, but no major injuries to report. The SWMBO was not happy about the mess the bottle-bomb made of the kitchen and dining room. Every surface within 20 feet had sweet, sticky cyser on it, and even after vacuuming and shampooing the carpets we're still finding shards of glass.

This was caused by my trying to use the Stove-Top Pasteurization method. Fermentation had finished on the cyser last week, I primed it with some peach nectar and a little more honey, and sealed it up for a few days. Four days later I opened one bottle, found the carbonation to be a little light, and set it aside for one more day. That following day I went to pasteurize it. I had heated a stock pot of water to about 170 F, turned off the heat, and set the jug of cyser in it. After ten minutes I took out that first jug of cyser, set it aside on the counter, heated the stock water back up, then put in the second jug. Five minutes later, that first jug blew up. My second jug, which was in the pot getting heated at the time, is fine. It surprises me that the first bottle exploded not while being heated, but while sitting off to the side cooling down.

My question is this: I am more than a little hesitant to use the stove-top method again, especially since the remaining bottle has had one additional day to carbonate. At the same time, I am reluctant to use campden tablets, as I hear they leave an off taste which can take months to go away. Do I have another option?

Labradork



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Old 04-05-2013, 07:58 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your mess. Unfortunately, those carlos rossi jugs were never intended for holding pressure. If you want to carbonate, I'd strongly urge you to use beer bottles with proper caps.

Jugs work fine for small batch fermentation and if you want to just pop your "still" cider in the fridge. Using them to carbonate cider isn't recommended. (for obvious reasons)

I'd put any additional jugs you have into the fridge and resign to drink the cider "still".



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Old 04-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #3
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Try a dishwasher, has worked for me plenty of times...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/dishwasher-pasteurized-cider-401585/

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Old 04-07-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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Yes, the key part of this tale is the jug.

Wine jugs/bottles are not made to hold pressure/carbonation. For pasteurizing a carbonated cider use beer bottles or champagne bottles as the glass is formed and tested to hold the pressure.

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Old 11-12-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
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I have a (hopefully) simple question. If I like a dry cyser and don't backsweeten, do I need to do anything after I prime and bottle it to prevent "bottle bombs"? I'm going to SG of 0.990 and adding 4 Munton's CarTabs per 12 oz beer bottle. There's no reason to pasteurize or chemically kill off the yeast in this case, is there? I am a complete novice and have 3 one gallon batches of crabapple cyser under way, with 2 batches in third racking for final aging and clarification (used Champagne yeast). Batch #3 just pitched yeast today (using Safale s-04). Really would like the after bottling treatment question answered, but any advice or comments are welcome, including Champagne vs, s-04 yeast experience. Am I right that s-04 generally is a longer fermentation process? How does flavor differ? Thanks in advance for responses!!!



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Old 11-12-2013, 03:30 AM   #6
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Also sorry to hear about the explosion. Your story has got me a littlest worried. My cider is still a few weeks away from bottling stage but I was planning to use Smirnoff Ice bottles. They are not twist off tops but rather a standard crown cap. Has anybody had any experience bottling cider with these?

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Old 11-12-2013, 03:51 AM   #7
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Keep it simple: don't use glass if you still feel a need to carbonate.

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Old 11-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattmmille View Post
I have a (hopefully) simple question. If I like a dry cyser and don't backsweeten, do I need to do anything after I prime and bottle it to prevent "bottle bombs"? I'm going to SG of 0.990 and adding 4 Munton's CarTabs per 12 oz beer bottle. There's no reason to pasteurize or chemically kill off the yeast in this case, is there? I am a complete novice and have 3 one gallon batches of crabapple cyser under way, with 2 batches in third racking for final aging and clarification (used Champagne yeast). Batch #3 just pitched yeast today (using Safale s-04). Really would like the after bottling treatment question answered, but any advice or comments are welcome, including Champagne vs, s-04 yeast experience. Am I right that s-04 generally is a longer fermentation process? How does flavor differ? Thanks in advance for responses!!!
You have too much headspace there. Rack to a growler or a big wine bottle, to reduce headspace.

Anyway, about the bottling- if you are at .990 when you bottle, you don't have to stabilize or pasteurize at all.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the information and advice...I'll get that carboy racked into something with less headspace!

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Old 11-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staarky View Post
Also sorry to hear about the explosion. Your story has got me a littlest worried. My cider is still a few weeks away from bottling stage but I was planning to use Smirnoff Ice bottles. They are not twist off tops but rather a standard crown cap. Has anybody had any experience bottling cider with these?
I have bottled cider in Smirnoff Ice bottles (crowns) and it worked well...sort of! I lost a few caps when pasteurizing on the stove top.


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