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Old 09-30-2010, 01:56 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Lunarpancake View Post
so check every other day after bottling?
Sorry to be so unclear. If the hydrometer reading when you bottle is at or around 1.010 - 1.014, then I would wait for four or five days after bottling and then check every other day after that. If your cider is significantly sweeter, I'd check sooner and more often.


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Old 09-30-2010, 02:38 AM   #72
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Sorry to be so unclear. If the hydrometer reading when you bottle is at or around 1.010 - 1.014, then I would wait for four or five days after bottling and then check every other day after that. If your cider is significantly sweeter, I'd check sooner and more often.
Reading was 1.020 after I backsweetened.


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Old 10-01-2010, 01:21 PM   #73
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I backsweetened mine to 1.014 and in less than 48 hours I had a bottle bomb. At the 48 hour time frame, I had three bottle bombs. They were so actively fermenting, I had one whole pot (6 bottles) completely explode. I ended up having to open all the bottles and dumping them back into a fermenter. Now that was an experience. Not sure what I did, or what went wrong.

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:28 PM   #74
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I backsweetened mine to 1.014 and in less than 48 hours I had a bottle bomb. At the 48 hour time frame, I had three bottle bombs. They were so actively fermenting, I had one whole pot (6 bottles) completely explode. I ended up having to open all the bottles and dumping them back into a fermenter. Now that was an experience. Not sure what I did, or what went wrong.
Jeez now you have me scared,and im at work and have to work at least 3 hours of overtime today!

I've had my cider at 1.02 bottled for 48hrs now and no bottle bombs yet *knocks on wood*
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:47 PM   #75
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I'm probably repeating myself or someone else in this thread (no time to look now), but I'm going to suggest that you all seriously consider using a plastic (PET) soda bottle to bottle at least one sample of anything with the potential for bottle bombs.

Leave normal head space, squeeze out the air and screw the cap down as you have it squeezed. You can feel the pressure build over the following days/weeks. You'll know if it is continuing to ferment based on that

-kenc

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Old 10-01-2010, 08:24 PM   #76
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I backsweetened mine to 1.014 and in less than 48 hours I had a bottle bomb. At the 48 hour time frame, I had three bottle bombs. They were so actively fermenting, I had one whole pot (6 bottles) completely explode. I ended up having to open all the bottles and dumping them back into a fermenter. Now that was an experience. Not sure what I did, or what went wrong.
As we know, there are many variables in the way yeasties work - temperature, how active the fermentation is, amount of yeast, variety of yeast. I've never come close to a bottle bomb in two days after bottling.

In case of any uncertainty, its always better to check for carbonation too early than too late.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:03 AM   #77
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I made a 3 gallon batch of cider, using three gallons from a local orchard and some nottingham ale yeast. The SG was 1.042 and SG at bottling was 1.010 At bottling I added a half gallon more of cider to backsweeten and a quarter cup of brown sugar. I used regular bottle caps and a wing style capper. I popped one open tonight, its been in the bottle for four days, and it was fizzy enough, so I started to Pasteurize them. Unfortunately, I started to hear hissing and saw lots of bubbles coming to the surface in about half my bottles. I figure this means the heat blew the seals, but when tipped upside down they don't leak. I'm kind of afraid to do more of them this way. Has this happened to anyone else? I can easily put them all in a minifridge and cold crash if you think that would be safer?

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:56 AM   #78
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I am looking to make my first batch of cider but not sure of a good recipe. My project for this weekend is to make a basic fermentation cabinet. I might pick up ingredients for a cider.

Pappers - What recipe do you use for your cider?

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #79
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I made a 3 gallon batch of cider, using three gallons from a local orchard and some nottingham ale yeast. The SG was 1.042 and SG at bottling was 1.010 At bottling I added a half gallon more of cider to backsweeten and a quarter cup of brown sugar. I used regular bottle caps and a wing style capper. I popped one open tonight, its been in the bottle for four days, and it was fizzy enough, so I started to Pasteurize them. Unfortunately, I started to hear hissing and saw lots of bubbles coming to the surface in about half my bottles. I figure this means the heat blew the seals, but when tipped upside down they don't leak. I'm kind of afraid to do more of them this way. Has this happened to anyone else? I can easily put them all in a minifridge and cold crash if you think that would be safer?
I've only had one cap blow off. But it is definitely possible that if the carbonation level in the bottles is too high, when you pasteurize you could have too much pressure in the bottles, leading to blowing caps or worse.

So, if a cider-maker opens a bottle and there's carbonation all over the place - don't pasteurize, its too late. Err on the side of caution.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:22 PM   #80
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I am looking to make my first batch of cider but not sure of a good recipe. My project for this weekend is to make a basic fermentation cabinet. I might pick up ingredients for a cider.

Pappers - What recipe do you use for your cider?
This is from an earlier thread started by MeadWitch at http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cider-house-rules-187921/ It is for a simple, straightforward, draft-style cider that is carbonated and bottle conditioned.

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Here's a recipe version:

1. add 5 gallons of store-bought apple juice to a sanitzed carboy

2. add 3 teaspoons pectic enzyme to the cider

3. add one packet of dry ale yeast such as Nottingham

4. put on a stopper and airlock, or loosely cover with sanitized aluminum foil

5. let ferment for approximately 1 week or until the cider is at the balance of sweetness /dryness you desire; if you use a hydrometer, a reading of 1.008 - 1.010 will be semi-dry

6. prepare a priming solution of 2/3 cups white sugar boiled in 2 cups of water; cool to room temperature

7. add priming solution and cider to bottling bucket

8. bottle and cap, using bottles made for carbonated beverages such as beer or champagne bottles

9. allow bottles to conditioned and carbonate in an area at least 70 F

10. occasionally test bottles for carbonation process by opening one and tasting

11. when desired carbonation level is reached (but before bottles begin exploding), pasteurize the cider to kill the yeast and stop fermentation; prepare a hot water bath of 190 F water, carefully set the bottles in the bath for ten minutes and remove; repeat until all the bottles are pasteurized
And this is some text from the same thread, more explanatory:

Quote:
I'll try to expand here - if I'm not answering your questions or am unclear, just let me know.

With the method I use, you can choose to bottle it as sweet or as dry as you want. For my tastes, 1.010 specific gravity is about right, but you can also be guided by your taste buds. I watch the fermentation pretty carefully for a few days, when it appears to be slowing down, i take a hydrometer reading and taste the sample. Depending on the outcome, I may do it again the next day or in a couple of days. It takes about a week for the cider to ferment to the level of dryness/sweetness I like, which is what I would call semi-dry.

Alternatively, you can let it ferment out completely dry, where the yeast eat all the sugars, and then back sweeten it with more juice. Folks who use that method then have to add another chemical to stop the fermentation (because the yeast will start up again, eating the sugar in the newly-added juice). Then they can keg it to get sparkling cider or bottle it as-is for still cider.

I really like sparkling cider, though, and because i generally brew with an eye to using organic ingredients, I like to use the pasteurization method rather than the chemically-induced method, if that makes any sense.

So, at this point you've got a carboy full of cider that has fermented to the point where it is as sweet/dry as you want it - but if you let it go, it would keep on fermenting. The next step is bottling.

I'm unfamiliar with how you bottle wine or mead, so i don't know what equipment you have. I use a bottling bucket with a spigot on it, attach a tube to the spigot with a bottling wand on the end of the tube. I don't think it really matters how you get the cider into the bottles though.

The bottles you use, though, are very important. You cannot use ordinary wine bottles for sparkling cider - they are made for still beverages, not carbonated and are not strong enough. You must use beer bottles or sparkling wine bottles. If you use beer bottles, you would need to get a handheld bottle capper (not very expensive) and caps (very cheap). But sparkling wine bottles with corks and wire are fine too.

With the method I use, we are carbonating in the bottle, so we need yeast and sugar to be present. There is still residual sugar left in the cider, but because I don't want the cider to get any drier than it already is, I add priming sugar - regular cane sugar from the grocery store is fine. The yeast will eat that up and leave the sugar from the juice, and the carbonated cider will have the same balance of dry/sweetness as when i tasted it prior to bottling.

Before bottling, for a 5 gallon batch, I boil 2/3 cup of white sugar in two cups of water. The boiling is to get it fully dissolved and sanitized. I let it cool to room temperature (you can put your pot in an ice bath to speed the process). Then I pour the priming solution into my bottling bucket and rack (via a siphoning tube) the cider into the bottling bucket, onto the priming sugar. I have no idea if i need to be as careful as I am about not oxidizing the cider - not splashing it around. With beer, you need to be careful about that at this point, but i'm not sure about cider.

In any case, i'm careful not splash it - i take the siphon tube and put it down into the priming sugar solution, so that the cider is flowing out and through the solution, not splashing. This also assures that the priming solution is thoroughly mixed into the cider.

Then I bottle and cap. I put the capped bottles in a relatively warm space, low to mid 70s if possible, to help the yeast get active.

After one week, I put a bottle in the fridge for a few hours and then open it, to check on the carbonation level. Assuming its under carbonated, I wait a few days and try another, until the carbonation seems right. If you use sparkling wine bottles, this method could be pretty wasteful - the bottles are so much bigger than beer bottles.

The risk here, as you noted in your OP, is exploding bottles. So when the carbonation is right, I then pasteurize the bottles in a hot water bath to kill the yeast. I use a large stock pot, with 190 F water - i put about six bottles in at a time and let them sit for ten minutes. I leave a floating thermometer in the water, so i can monitor the temperature and add heat if necessary, before putting in the next set of bottles. I use kitchen tongs to carefully put the bottles into the water bath and take them out.

Hope this is helpful, MW. You might look around the cider forum for the other method I mentioned - ferment dry, back sweeten and stop fermentation with chemicals (sulfites, maybe?) But for me, this pastuerization method fits my needs.


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