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Old 05-09-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
jtcweb
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Default First Time and Looking to Keg

Hello,

I've been making wine for several years now and am just getting into extract brewing of beer. Found a super deal on kegs and CO2 setup and am liking it a lot. Has anyone tried kegging cider? I've found I like the taste of it, maybe even better than beer so I would like to have a keg on tap.

My wife's family know a local orchard I plan on getting 5 gallons of fresh cider from this fall. I understand for a basic batch I can just add yeast and go. Once it is done fermenting can it go right into a keg to carbonate it?

I've searched this forum but was unable to find anything about kegging cider so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jerry

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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You can absolutely keg cider. I've kegged mead and I know people who keg the island mist wine kits to carb them up.
Cider is usually a higher CO2 volume than most beer though, so aside from balancing the tap line so you can carb and dispense at that higher psi, there's no issues.

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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One other thing, if you just ferment and drink, it might be a little sour or bitter depending on the yeast you use. I use nottingham or safeale 05 yeast and it gets down to about 1.010 but a champagne yeast will take it under 1. I like to drink my cider at 1.015 or so, so I add a can or two of Apple juice concentrate to sweeten it up. If you don't stabilize it, you will need to keep it constantly cold so that fermentation doesn't start back up. I think champagne yeasts can ferment at pretty low temperatures so it might need to be stabilized if you go that route.

My recipe for cider is simple. 6 gallons of juice, 2 lbs of corn sugar and a o.g. of about 1.064 which will get me about 7$ alcohol with ale yeast.

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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If I plan on keeping the keg in the fridge will that take care of the yeast waking up after back-sweetening?

I'm thinking
-ferment
-rack into keg
-put the keg in the fridge
-wait 2 weeks and taste
-sweeten to taste
-Drink but don't take keg out of fridge

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #5
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It depends on your yeast - some have had their yeast continue to ferment (albeit slowly) in the fridge. I think with an Ale yeast you'll be fine, though you should continue to take readings every week or so to make sure that it's holding steady.

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Yeah, you will most likely be fine. THe good thing with kegging is if it does start to ferment in the fridge, you will notice the sweetness decreasing and also the carbonation levels will increase if you aren't drinking it fast enough. I would say go for it the way you plan and you should be fine. I would suggest an ale yeast though if the wine yeasts are known to be able to ferment at lower temperatures just in case. Though I am by no means any sort of authority!

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