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Old 04-08-2011, 02:17 AM   #221
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I have a batch that is at my preferred sweetness level, but I will not be able to bottle it until at least tomorrow, if not Saturday. I have cold crashed it in the fridge to cease current fermentation, but come Saturday, will I still have enough residual yeast to bottle condition with priming sugar? I used S-04.

Do I need to add in some more neutral yeast at bottling time? If so, what is the best way to go about doing that? Yeast in individual bottles or in the bottling bucket?

Thanks for your help. I definitely am going to use the stove-top pasteurization method once they are carbed to my liking!

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Old 04-08-2011, 06:13 AM   #222
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According to literature that I have, stronger beer bottles can withstand about 3 atmospheres of pressure (or 44 psi). But beer bottles aren't all made the same. The mass of a refillable bottle can be as much as 40% higher than that of their lighter weight cousins. Higher glass mass probably equals higher strength. Champagne bottles are roughly twice as strong and capable of handling about 6 atmospheres (or 88 psi).

It suggests that bottling an unstabilized cider at an SG of 1.005 or higher in a beer bottle is asking for trouble. Unstabilized cider can be bottled in a champagne bottle at up to SG = 1.010. Both of these cases assume that the cider will continue to ferment to dryness with no pasteurization.

My interpretation of this is that if a 5 point drop puts a beer bottle at a potential for explosion and greater than a 10 point drop puts a champ bottle in that range and heating the bottle (pasteurization) will further increase internal bottle pressure, then (to be safe) the permitted SG drop has to be somewhat less than those levels for bottle conditioning - if pasteurization will follow.

For bottle pasteurization, the recommendation is to avoid beer bottles and to go with champagne bottles - American type that can be capped with standard beer bottle caps. (Though it should be noted that if a champagne bottle is over carbonated, the explosion will have considerably more force versus a beer bottle - should it occur.)

Since I wanted a cider that ended at 1.018, I bottled (in champagne bottles) at 1.023. This allowed a 5 point drop and presumably about 3 atm of carbonation. This also would allow about 3 atm of pressure leeway for pasteurization. (I bottled some in a 10 oz screw cap bottle so that I was able to monitor SG without opening the champagne bottles.)

Another thing to consider is head space. Gas is far more compressible than liquid. Liquid will expand upon heating. If you leave little or no head space, the force on the inside walls of the bottle will be higher and your chance for explosion will be higher. I leave most of the neck of the champagne bottle empty. I know that excess air isn’t a good thing for cider. Though, when I bottle, fermentation carbonation generally bubbles out and I try cap quickly before the head space mixes too much with air. CO2 is heavier than air, so minimizing bottle movement after dispensing into the bottle should minimize the ability of air to get into the head space (but capping quickly is still a good idea).

The pasteurization process I use is to put room temperature cider-containing bottles into room temperature water in a canning pot. The bottles are separated from the floor of the pot by a canning rack. One bottle is uncapped with water and a thermometer in it. I raise the temperature slowly until the test bottle is at 150 F and then shut off the heat (at this point the liquid has pushed up 0.5 to 0.75 inch up the neck from where it started). The bottles are left in the pot for 15 to 20 minutes and then removed. When removed, the bottles are placed onto a towel that is spread out flat onto the counter top. I don’t touch them for at least a half hour. Literature suggests that most cultured yeast will be killed by this process. I have had no referementation or broken bottles using this process.

Hot bottles should not be placed directly onto cold surfaces. Pyrex glass is designed to withstand significant thermal shock. Beer and champagne bottles (to my knowledge) are not. Thermal shock, by itself, and especially if the bottles have defects, can cause a bottle to break and/or explode (if there is internal pressure). This also applies to the reverse: i.e. putting a room temp bottle into hot water. The greater the temperature difference between the bottle and the water bath, the greater the probability the rapid thermal expansion of the glass will cause the bottle to break. Even a defect free bottle, if pulled out of a freezer, will almost certainly break, if placed directly into very hot or boiling water.

Regardless of heat pasteurization method used, it is probably wise to keep some safety related things in mind (at least this is what I try to keep in mind):

1. Keep track of carbonation level. If SG drop or perception of pressure is too great, abort.
2. The process increases pressure inside an already pressurized bottle.
3. Thermal shock and/or physical shock can cause pressurized bottles to explode.
4. Skin and eyes don’t react well to high velocity glass shards.
a. Wear a full face shield or at least safety goggles
b. Wear a thick heavy jacket
c. Wear heavy gloves or thick hot mitts
5. If the bottle explodes, it will be when you’ve become complacent and have taken no safety precautions, are wearing a T-shirt and shorts, have just removed the bottle from the pot with your bare hands and are admiring its clarity.

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Old 04-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #223
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Thanks for both the description of your process (which sounds like it works great) and the reminder about safety. As has been said in this thread, using care and common sense is important.

Using the process, exactly as described in the opening post, I have pasteurized dozens of batches and well over a thousand bottles without a single incident of a bottle breaking or exploding.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:55 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by cuttsjp View Post
Do I need to add in some more neutral yeast at bottling time? If so, what is the best way to go about doing that? Yeast in individual bottles or in the bottling bucket?

Thanks for your help. I definitely am going to use the stove-top pasteurization method once they are carbed to my liking!
Hi, I don't know about whether you will need to add yeast, but if you do, I would add it to the bottling bucket rather than individual bottles. Just for the sake of accuracy of measurements. But again, this isn't from personal experience, I haven't had to add yeast before bottle conditioning.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:59 PM   #225
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I'm so glad to see someone who has actually suggested that pasteurization is NOT a terrible idea! I actually tried this exact method today with a non alcoholic ginger beer that I let ferment for 2 days with dry champagne yeast. I tried 4 12 oz bottles. Unfortunately, 2 of the 4 bottles shot the bottle caps off after about 5 minutes in the pot!! Does your drink just have less carbonation than me? Should I switch to a less robust yeast and pasteurize at say 170 degrees? I think this method is awesome, but I'm just not sure how to adapt it to my situation...

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Old 04-21-2011, 02:31 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by lunarlizard88 View Post
I'm so glad to see someone who has actually suggested that pasteurization is NOT a terrible idea! I actually tried this exact method today with a non alcoholic ginger beer that I let ferment for 2 days with dry champagne yeast. I tried 4 12 oz bottles. Unfortunately, 2 of the 4 bottles shot the bottle caps off after about 5 minutes in the pot!! Does your drink just have less carbonation than me? Should I switch to a less robust yeast and pasteurize at say 170 degrees? I think this method is awesome, but I'm just not sure how to adapt it to my situation...
It could be that my bottles are not as carbonated as yours were. I also think your idea of experimenting with a lower temperature makes sense. I've never tried to pasteurize a cider that I've used champagne yeast with, so can't say if that would make a difference. Did you test a bottle for level of carbonation before you pasteurized? That might be good info for you to have as you experiment.
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:53 PM   #227
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I am just finishing off a batch of edworts apfelwein and was thinking about back sweetening with sugar not splenda and bulk aging it in the 1 gallon jugs the applejuice came in. The juice bottles came with screw on lids with the safety pop top. I would like to pasteurize rather than add chemicals to keep the fermentation from starting back up. Could I just heat these with the caps off then add caps and slowly cool kind of like canning to sanitize and seal. Would be kinda neat that the safety pop tops would serve a purpose again. Also anyone know if the flavor of apfelwein suffers from pasteurizing?

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Old 04-29-2011, 05:41 PM   #228
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I am just finishing off a batch of edworts apfelwein and was thinking about back sweetening with sugar not splenda and bulk aging it in the 1 gallon jugs the applejuice came in. The juice bottles came with screw on lids with the safety pop top. I would like to pasteurize rather than add chemicals to keep the fermentation from starting back up. Could I just heat these with the caps off then add caps and slowly cool kind of like canning to sanitize and seal. Would be kinda neat that the safety pop tops would serve a purpose again. Also anyone know if the flavor of apfelwein suffers from pasteurizing?
I don't know about the affect of pastuerizing on apfelwein, I mostly make simple draft-style sparkling ciders and the occassional more complex cider, but have never made apple wine. Others with experience with apple wine might be able to give you more advice.

But to the question of whether this would work, I think it would work fine - as long as you are looking for still apple wine, not sparkling. You would obviously need to adjust the process described in the OP quite a bit - much larger container, etc.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:48 PM   #229
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I am just finishing off a batch of edworts apfelwein and was thinking about back sweetening with sugar not splenda and bulk aging it in the 1 gallon jugs the applejuice came in. The juice bottles came with screw on lids with the safety pop top. I would like to pasteurize rather than add chemicals to keep the fermentation from starting back up. Could I just heat these with the caps off then add caps and slowly cool kind of like canning to sanitize and seal. Would be kinda neat that the safety pop tops would serve a purpose again. Also anyone know if the flavor of apfelwein suffers from pasteurizing?
what you are describing sounds like rudimentary canning.

To do canning safely, you have to have your canned goods covered in a rolling boil for at least 10 minutes, depending on your acidity, elevation, etc. Wort isn't THAT acidic. So not only would you likely have to boil longer, you would likely have to can in a pressure cooker to be safe.

do I think it would work? yes. Do I think it would give you botulism, not likely. Would the FDA say this method is safe and effective (as you describe it) - no.

Why not call it a day and back sweeten with truvia or stevia. 100% natural, and non fermentable.
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:50 PM   #230
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what you are describing sounds like rudimentary canning.

To do canning safely, you have to have your canned goods covered in a rolling boil for at least 10 minutes, depending on your acidity, elevation, etc. Wort isn't THAT acidic. So not only would you likely have to boil longer, you would likely have to can in a pressure cooker to be safe.

do I think it would work? yes. Do I think it would give you botulism, not likely. Would the FDA say this method is safe and effective (as you describe it) - no.

Why not call it a day and back sweeten with truvia or stevia. 100% natural, and non fermentable.
I don't think he's trying to can. Rather, I think he just wants to kill the yeast so that he can backsweeten with a fermentable sugar.

With alcohol levels like apple wine (which I assume is going to be around 10% abv +) there is no need to worry about random bacteria or preserving generally. All of those things you worry about with canning don't apply.
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