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Old 12-29-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
mjosephm08
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Hi Everyone,

New to the forum and brewing. I started off with a cider from a local orchard and have about 5gallons (roughly). I have split the cider into two seperate carboys and added white sugar to one, brown sugar to the other. I added 7.5 pounds of white sugar to the one carboy and added 6pounds of brown sugar to the other.

I know I know that seems like a lot the guy at the brewing store told me that (rookie mistake) ...anyways I ended up with a Initial Specific Gravity of 1.1.

I pitched EC1118 at week one and it took a few weeks to finally start going down..didn't seem to work much so the guy told me to pitch again..started working nicely..after about four weeks I had a gravity reading of only 1.06...

After this I transferred into my secondary and the brew store guy told me to pitch again and add yeast nutrient (I hadn't before).

Since I did this it's been dropping nicely..and I'm almost 1.01 (about 1.012 roughly). My question is ...should I put into a third carboy since a lot of gunk is at the bottom now and I don't want that taste?..or should I just leave it in the secondary carboy since it looks like it's almost done?

I've been tasting it over the weeks and now that the gravity is getting much closer to 1 it's tasting a lot harsher (more like a semi-dry wine I guess)..I was hoping more for a beer alcohol content but I'm guessing since I put so much sugar I'm sorta screwed? haha

And I algo guess letting it age will give it a much better/smooth flavor right?


Any, advice/tips would be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks for reading all of this everyone!

happy holidays!

M.

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Has it cleared yet? If not then there is this stuff you can buy to make it clear faster, not sure the name something like super kleer or something. Its a 2 part and works really quick. After that you could then rack it off into a bucket for bottling and if it isn't sweet enough you could backsweeten and then bottle. As it will build up Co2 I the bottles you would need to pasteurize them when the carbonation is just right (testing by opening a bottle every 2 days or so to make sure you don't have too much). I am by no means a expert, I am new to this myself just going by what I have read on the forums thus far. Let me know how it goes or what you decide.

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Old 12-30-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response! Yes it's pretty clear now...not too worried about that. I was wondering if I should rack it a third time since there is guck in the bottom of my carboy still since I pitched yeast in the secondary..this way it'll age a bit more in the third carboy but won't get that dead yeast taste..? or should I just bottle it from the secondary?
Thanks for the tip about carbonation..I was planning on adding 1/2tsp of corn sugar to each bottle then shaking it up a little once I bottle it (I have a recipe book that says to do this). I'm not sure what you meant by testing it every 2 days though.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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Sounds like you have a plan. I'm not sure about racking off again and what that would achieve. I was saying to open a bottle and check it to make sure you don't over carbonate. It would be hard to tell how carbonated they are and since they are still fermenting in the bottle they could explode I've read. Also I've read that people would fill up like a plastic 2 liter or a plastic coke bottle and you could use that as a guide to see how carbonated the bottles are becoming because you can squeeze the plastic bottle and feel how carbonated it is.

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Old 12-30-2012, 07:06 PM   #5
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If it's clear then you can just go ahead and bottle, but if you wan't to age it some more then I'd rack it off the lees.

When it comes to adding priming sugar for carbonation, I suggest adding your total sugar amount to the whole batch and get it to dissolve evenly, then bottle. Besides being less work than measuring each individual bottle you will get an even carbonation across the batch.

I think it's safe to say the brew store guy has no idea what he's talking about. There's no need to add more yeast when racking, and with 13.5 Lbs of sugar for a 5 gallon batch it's gonna rocket fuel for a while.

For a better into to cider, check out - http://makinghardcider.com/

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Old 12-30-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Alright thanks for the help guys! I'll rack it again so it out of the lees and then add some sugar to the whole batch to carbonate!

Yeah I wasn't sure why he had me pitch again. Anyways what's done is done. My last question to you guys is how can I be sure my bottles won't explode? Once I've got a steady gravity reading after a few days I can add 1/4cup of sugar to each batch then bottle?

Thanks again!!

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Old 12-31-2012, 07:18 AM   #7
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When you bottle, take an empty 20oz plastic bottle and fill with cider than screw the lid on tight. Every day or two give the plastic bottle a squeeze until its hard. Than take one of your bottles of cider and pop it open and check the carb level. If its good than follow the directions on the stove top pasteurize sticky at the top of the thread, if its not let it go another day or two. Otherwise the only way to not have bottle bombs is kegging.

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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Alright, thanks for the help, I guess I'm still a little confused about the pasteurized part. I pasteurized my cider once I bought it before this whole process.
Also, how do I test for carbonation..just by drinking it?

Thanks again!

M

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Old 01-02-2013, 01:28 PM   #9
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Jospeh,

I don't know how this became so confusing but here you go:

Based on the amount of simple sugars you added to the cider, it is going to be HOT (rugged alcohol taste) for a while. You are going to want to age it and let the flavors mellow out (I'd go 1 year+). Once you bottle the cider, the yeast will continue to go to work and you could end up with way too much carbonation in your ciders - and perhaps some exploding bottles.

You want to repasturize the cider once carbonation levels are where you want them to kill the yeast and prevent further carbonation. As for testing carbonation levels, you could do calculations to figure out how many volumes of CO2 have been created - but your best bet is tasting. After all, you are the one drinking it in the end.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:14 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice!!

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