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Old 09-21-2011, 12:22 AM   #1
mdsharpe85
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Default Does cider bottle ferment?

Hey, I'm new to this whole process and last week we made a batch of cider from this recipe ( http://beerrecipes.org/showrecipe.php?recipeid=1266 ). Beerrecipes.org is a pretty great site but can sometimes be a little vague. Especially for newbies like myself. I was wondering if any more seasoned veterans would be able to tell me if I should be expecting to wait a period of time for these to age in bottles or if they will be ready to drink within days of bottling.

In addition I was curious as to whether or not it would be possible to bottle this in screw top 64oz growlers. I read somewhere that the pressure is too great for fermenting in growlers... so really... I guess an answer to the first question would answer the second.

Thanks a lot in advance. This site is great.

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Old 09-21-2011, 01:09 AM   #2
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Well I am guessing that you want carbonated cider? So yes you will have to wait 2-3 weeks for it to bottle carbonate. Other than that you can drink it when you want but I have always waited at least a month from bottling.

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Old 09-21-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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Oh you used Campden tablets so you are wanting flat cider. Still wait a month.

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Old 09-21-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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I would wait three months from the end of fermentation before thinking of bottling.

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Old 09-26-2011, 06:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies but I'm still a bit unsure because they were mixed. I think we are bottling on Thursday. That would mean it sat 2 weeks in the carboy. We kinda need to get it out of there. So is the general consensus that it is not ready to drink and still needs to ferment? Will bottle aging it be enough? If so how long?

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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What would need to be added/changed in this recipe to make carbonated cider?

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:21 AM   #7
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If you let it ferment in the bottle, it will carbonate itself, though it will need to be pasteurized if you put it in there before the primary is done.

Force carbonation using a keg is an option if you have the equipment.

If you can test the gravity, you can test if the fermentation is done. If the gravity stays constant for a couple days its probably done. If this is the case, you will have to put priming sugar in the mix right before bottling so it will continue to ferment in the bottle, creating carbonation. You will have to bottle pasteurize if you go that route, however. Just look up "priming sugar" and "bottle pasteurize" to learn more about those. The best thread on bottle pasteurization is pappers stovetop pasteurization, which I think is a sticky here in the cider forum.

Also, before you know how bottle carbing is going to go, you are going to want to check bottles at least once a day to make sure they aren't over carbonated, or they will explode. I have had batches finish bottle carbonating in as little as 3 days, some people have had even less. Other times it is weeks, so it all varies.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:44 AM   #8
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Carbonated cider is usually done by adding a specific amount of sugar (about 1 oz per gallon) when it's bottled. A small amount of fermentation will take place in the bottle, which creates the carbonation. Generally, you need to use beer or champagne bottles to handle the pressure. If fermentation is complete and you add the proper amount of sugar for carbonation, I don't see why you'd need to bottle pasteurize.

Bottling after two weeks is really quick. Like Oldmate, I wait months rather than weeks. At two weeks, fermentation may not be complete and I'm sure it's cloudy. You'll probably end up with significant sediment in the bottles if you don't wait.

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Old 09-29-2011, 04:40 PM   #9
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What was the original gravity and what is you're final gravity of this cider? You need to be sure fermentation is complete before bottling. Like ThunderPanda mentioned the only sure way to know fermentation is complete is by consistent gravity readings. That said without a gravity reading if you wait 3-4 weeks after fermentation and there is no air-lock activity then you're probably safe to bottle. If cider is cloudy and you bottle (as GinKings mentioned) you might have a bit more sediment in you're bottles over time, but that shouldn't be a big deal.

As far as carbonation goes that depends on a couple things. First I think if you add Campden then you won't be able to carbonate in the bottle (you will need to keg and force carb). I believe the alcohol tolerance of nottingham is around 11% (someone correct me if I'm off here). So if you're cider is close to 11% it probably will not naturally carb without a keg setup. Pasteurization only comes into play if you are back-sweetening and bottling.

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Old 09-29-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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I just noticed this in the recipe

"After fermentation has ceased rack into your bottling bucket add the 5 campden tablets (crushed), the 3 cans of apple juice concentrate and 12 oz. of the Cinnamon Syrup."

The recipe is having you back-sweeten. The intent is leave the cider sweet. I'm not sure if the campden tablets will effectively stop nottingham or not without sorbate (plus that would be still cider). So if you followed the instructions and If you bottle this way you may get bottle bombs. If you want to carbonate in the bottle you will either need to keg this or use this method to bottle: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy-stove-top-pasteurizing-pics-193295/

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