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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Didn't seem to carb much, do I still need to pasteurize?
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:40 AM   #1
evilhomer
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Default Didn't seem to carb much, do I still need to pasteurize?

Bear with me, I haven't kept good records. I started with 2 gallons of local cider and an entire vile of cider yeast and that's it. I don't remember the gravity numbers but I checked the gravity after about 3 weeks and beer smith said 6.8% alcohol. I assumed fermentation was done at this point but I never took another gravity reading.

I then let it sit for a few more weeks. To bottle I put 1/2 gallon of fresh cider in my bottling bucket and siphoned as much as I could from the fermenter without getting all the trub. I bottled it up and used a 16 ounce soda bottle as my test bottle. The bottle seemed to have reached max firmness after about 3 days and on day 5 wasn't any firmer so I assumed it was ready.

I decided to test it and assumed once I cracked the lid on the test bottle that there was no point of putting the lid back on and I should just drink it, is that true? Well after 5 days even though the bottle was pretty firm it hadn't really carbed up much.

Does this mean the 1/2 gallon of fresh cider wasn't enough to really carb it and I don't need to pasteurize? It's been in my basement this whole time, probably around 60 degrees.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:45 AM   #2
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It seems like you missed the step to add sugar to the cider before bottling. This is called priming the cider. Its this sugar that gives you the carbonation.

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Old 12-02-2013, 04:41 AM   #3
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Well cider is full of sugar so I figured that would do it.

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Old 12-02-2013, 04:54 AM   #4
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It was full of sugar. Then the yeast came and ate it all. They did leave you a present of alcohol for their troubles. When you bottle you either need to bottle an active fermentation or add enough sugar to get the desired carbonation level. Add to much and you'll get bottle bombs. Your cider is still drinkable just will not have carbonation to it. Next batch look up bottle priming to understand the process more.

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Old 12-02-2013, 05:09 AM   #5
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I think he is saying he added a 1/2 gallon of unfermented cider to his 2 gallons of fermented cider at bottling. I assume as a way to backsweeten and carb.

Problem is you increased the volume and diluted the sugar and alcohol. It may have reached max carb. I just bottled a gallon of cran-wit cider. I added a 1/4 gallon but I also added priming sugar. Let it ride and see what happens says I.

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Old 12-02-2013, 03:44 PM   #6
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Yeah I added a fresh 1/2 gallon to my bottling bucket. Figured I could both back sweeten and use it as the priming sugar. I'll just let it ride and see what happens, it is delicious so far, just didn't carb up.

The carbing doesn't really bother me much but I read so much about needing pasteurize I wanted to see if I would run into problems later down the road.

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Old 12-16-2013, 06:16 AM   #7
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Well it looks like it's been two weeks now and I just left them in the basement this entire time. I opened one up tonight, total gusher, probably 80-90% on my counter top.

Is this salvageable? Pasteurize, refrigerate and maybe freeze a little the night I want to drink some so it doesn't shoot out?

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Old 12-16-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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You could try to pasteurize, they might explode though. Definitely chill them right away. You could release some pressure. Pry the cap slowly until you hear a psss sound. It should let out air slow enough to not foam out. Wear eye protection, you never know when they'll give.

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Old 12-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #9
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You need to chill the bottles. It will not stop fermentation but, it will slow it down to a crawl. (It is basically stopped) The CO2 also needs time to absorb into the liquid. Otherwise, gushers. I always do 2 day minimum. 2 weeks are more preferable.

You can try to heat them. It annoying for me. Especially if you have the fridge space.

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