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Old 08-23-2007, 04:26 PM   #1
gyrfalcon
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Default Methods of Carbonating Cider

How can you go about carbonating a cider? I've heard of people killing off the fermentation, and then using a keg with Co2 to carbonate it. Can you also wait until most of the fermentation is done in the carboy, and then put it into champaign bottles or Grolsch style bottles which will build up pressure and carbonate the cider?

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Old 08-23-2007, 04:40 PM   #2
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a lot of people that like the sweeter ciders go for the CO2 in the keg method as it is a stable cider force carbed. The other way is to wait until your cider is finished and clear then adding priming sugar and bottling. If bottle carbing you will need champagne bottles for large stuff, beer bottles or the flip top style. I keep all flip tops in the house as they are more expensive but use a lot of 22 oz bottles also. The cappers are about 20 to 30 bucks and you can get caps very cheap.

Just be careful on the amount of priming sugar!

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Old 08-23-2007, 04:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgayer
...The other way is to wait until your cider is finished and clear then adding priming sugar and bottling. If bottle carbing you will need champagne bottles for large stuff, beer bottles or the flip top style...Just be careful on the amount of priming sugar!
Thanks for the reply!

In using the second method you mention. Do I wait until the cider is done fermenting and don't stop it with Campden tablets? Then I add priming sugar and bottle it?

If so, what's a good recipe for the amount of priming sugar to add per gallon?
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyrfalcon
Thanks for the reply!

In using the second method you mention. Do I wait until the cider is done fermenting and don't stop it with Campden tablets? Then I add priming sugar and bottle it?

If so, what's a good recipe for the amount of priming sugar to add per gallon?
I am pretty sure you don't want to add anything to stop fermentation. If you do then when you add your priming sugar then you won't get any carbonation.

It seems a pretty standard amount of priming sugar (corn sugar from your LHBS) is 3/4 cup per 5 gallon batch.

Anyone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrey
...It seems a pretty standard amount of priming sugar (corn sugar from your LHBS) is 3/4 cup per 5 gallon batch...
I should have checked out http://www.howtobrew.com more before I asked this... Thanks for finding out the standard amount!

11.3 What Sugar Should I Prime With?

You can prime your beer with any fermentable that you want. Any sugar: white cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, even maple syrup can be used for priming. The darker sugars can contribute a subtle aftertaste (sometimes desired) and are more appropriate for heavier, darker beers. Simple sugars, like corn or cane sugar, are used most often though many brewers use dry malt extract too. Ounce for ounce, cane sugar generates a bit more carbon dioxide than corn sugar, and both pure sugars carbonate more than malt extract, so you will need to take that into account. Honey is difficult to prime with because there is no standard for concentration. The gravity of honey is different jar to jar. To use honey, you will need to dilute it and measure its gravity with a hydrometer. For all sugars in general, you want to add 2-3 gravity points per gallon of beer to prime.

Be aware that malt extract will generate break material when boiled, and that the fermentation of malt extract for priming purposes will often generate a krausen/protein ring around the waterline in the bottle, just like it does in your fermenter. Simple sugars don't have this cosmetic problem and the small amount used for priming will not affect the flavor of the beer.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:22 AM   #6
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Wrey is right! Don't try to stop the fermentation. Just let it clear and hit it the priming sugar. I usually rack on to the priming sugar and then wait 24 hours and bottle. Also that is about the standard amount or 5 gallons.

Best of luck and just yell if you have any more questions.

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Old 08-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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I use 8 ounces of apple juice per gallon of fermented cider. 10 ounces might be better...

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Old 08-24-2007, 08:20 PM   #8
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I took a SG reading of 1.075 when I started my cider, and it's down to 1.03 now. So it's about 6% alcohol out of a possible 10%.

If I want to carbonate it, should I bottle it around 8.5% ABV? I'm guessing bottling it at 6% would create bottle bombs???

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Old 05-02-2012, 03:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by gyrfalcon View Post
I took a SG reading of 1.075 when I started my cider, and it's down to 1.03 now. So it's about 6% alcohol out of a possible 10%.

If I want to carbonate it, should I bottle it around 8.5% ABV? I'm guessing bottling it at 6% would create bottle bombs???
Bumping because I'd like some insight on this as well.

I'm currently working on an Apfelwein which is my very first homebrew. I finished primary in just 5 days on 6 gallons and I'm sitting at 11.004% ABV. I'm working on a plan to keep my yeast alive for a few more weeks with producing a minimum amount of alcohol to give it time to clear up. once I approach bottling in a few weeks I plan on carbonating with priming sugar.

Any suggestions as to the best method to do this without raising my alcohol content too much more (plan on backsweetening with stevia and apple concentrate) and maintaining a safe carbonation level for bottling? The last thing I want from my first batch is a bottle bomb.

Thanks!

Lee
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:49 AM   #10
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In another thread I asked about priming sparkling apple cider to bottle and tried honey and champagne yeast. It turns out the yeast was expired and they only carbonated a little, they are semi-carbonated when warm (70F or so) and barely fizzing at fridge temp. I asked about recarbonating and settled on corn sugar and more yeast after taking to our local homebrew store keeper, he agreed that the yeast must have been pretty lame and we settled on 1/10th gram yeast and 1.6 grams sugar (1/2 tsp) per 12 oz bottle. I tried one today and added the yeast, then added the sugar only to have the cider gush out the bottle. I am assuming this is because it was already partially carbonated and it has something to do with providing nucleation sites for the CO2 bubbles to form (Google diet coke and menthos or check it out here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_Coke_and_Mentos_eruption). I tried dissolving the yeast and sugar in a tablespoon of water and then adding it to the bottle but it still foams out the top, just not as violently. So my question is, can I get around this somehow? Or am I stuck with kinda sparkling cider?

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