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Old 01-23-2013, 11:39 AM   #1
hdmooney
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Default First time

I'm starting my first batch using

5-gallons apple juice with no preservatives
1 packet safale US-04
1 pound of corn sugar
Once I get my FG down to 1.020-1.010 and rack and bottle how often should I open a bottle to check carbonation?

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Old 01-23-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
LandoAllen
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I always fill a soda bottle and compare the firmness of the cider soda bottle to an unopened bottle of soda to get a rough estimate before cracking open bottles. This will save you from wasting bottles before it is even close to being ready. Make sure it is a soda bottle and not a water bottle because soda bottles are made to withstand the pressure. Once you get the carbonation right where you want it you can bottle pasteurize. I've had one batch of cider that took 3 days to carb up and I've also had a batch that took almost 3 weeks. Just watch the pressure closely and keep in mind that when it starts to build CO2 it will grow exponentially.

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Old 01-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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Shouldn't you wait for it to get to 0.990? Then add a little sugar to the bottle and add the cider?

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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I'm not sure lol. I'm trying to get as much input as possible. I don't want it to have a very dry taste to it.

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Old 01-23-2013, 10:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdmooney View Post
I'm not sure lol. I'm trying to get as much input as possible. I don't want it to have a very dry taste to it.
Lando is giving out good advice here. :-) 'sweetness' or 'dryness' can be very subjective, so taste as well as chk the carb levels. Also, plz be VERY carefull when heating a carbonated bottle!
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:41 PM   #6
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If I get it to around .0995 let's say then back sweeten to bring it back up if I cold crash can I still get some carbonation to skip the pasteurization process?

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:18 AM   #7
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That's the tricky part we've all been trying to master Cold crashing will slow things down, but won't stop anything. (at least in my experience) If you backsweeten back up to say 1.010 then you could end up with some broken bottles.

The only way to make it sweet again from .995 is to use a non-fermentable sweetener (but you will still need to prime and bottle like normal) or use a fermentable sweetener and pasteurize when the carbonation is right.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #8
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If I go with a fermentable sweetener would bump it up to say 1.010 then bottle to desired carbonation and do the pot of water at 190 degrees turn off burner and cook bottles for 10 minutes method?

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:49 AM   #9
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Unfortunately, I don't pasteurize, so hopefully someone will be able to verify that method. I like mine on the dry-ish side. I bottle around 1.003-4 with 4 oz of corn sugar (per 5 gallons) and usually drink the last one as it's getting perfectly carb'd.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:38 AM   #10
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If I go with a fermentable sweetener would bump it up to say 1.010 then bottle to desired carbonation and do the pot of water at 190 degrees turn off burner and cook bottles for 10 minutes method?
I also do not like my ciders to be dry and I do like carbonation. The problem is that to make a semi-sweet/sweet cider with carbonation you either have to keg the cider or you have to bottle pasteurize it to stop the yeast from continuing to produce CO2.

When you say the 190F method I assume you are referring to the Papers sticky thread technique. I am not trying to discredit this method at all. I do know this method works because I have use it myself. However, this method is not very forgiving if your bottles are either slightly over carved or the bottles have imperfections. Anyone that knows anything about chemistry knows that when a gas is heated the pressure increases. So when a bottle of cider is heated the pressure inside the bottle will increase on top of the already pressurized CO2. Heating the temp at say 190F will increase the pressure more than at say 170F. The other problem is that glass has a hard time going from a very high temp to a cold temp. This in itself can cause bottle bombs.

With that said, I shy away from the Papers method after blowing several bottles... The last time I used this method I slightly over-carbed a batch of cider and blew 12 bottles (4 in the pot on the stove and 8 that had just finished that were sitting on the counter). Between profanities I was screaming and the sound of bottles blowing that resembled gunshots I was very surprised that my neighbors in my apartment didn't call the cops. Not only was it a nightmare to clean up but I wasted 12 bottles of my best brew so far. I am still finding broken glass in very odd places...

I now do a version that is very similar to the Papers technique but with modified temps that I read here


Also there are people that claim to have used a dishwasher and an oven to pasteurize. I have not tried either of these methods because
1: If you don't know the temp of your dishwasher and how long it maintains that temp then it may not work or it may blow all of your bottles
2: Water works better for keeping temperatures consistent for a more equal heating. Therefore an oven may heat some bottles more or less than other bottles depending on where they are located in the oven.
3. If a bottles blows inside your dishwasher or oven you might ruin it.

Hope this helps!
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