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Old 11-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
Jobo
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Default nearly ready to bottle my first 5 gallon batch and...

I was hoping to clear up a couple questions I have.

I've been following this particular website's process: http://makinghardcider.com/rack-bottle.html

Now, I have one 3-gallon and two 1-gallon carboys that have been racked from a 5-gal primary. They have been sitting for nearly a month. The next step from that website instructs to back-sweeten with "alcohol sugar" and carbonate the bottles by adding a small amount of sugar before bottling.

discussions I have recently read on this forum seem to suggest that even without more sugars, active yeast will carbonate and/or create bottle bombs. If most/all of the fermentation is complete by now, how can this happen? So now I'm confused as to the proper course to take.

Also curious about some people's process to ferment 7-11 days, then cold crash and then age. My original source doesn't cold crash right away, only if trying to avoid excess fermentation/carbonation.

If I continue following the website's instructions, will I be alright?

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Old 11-18-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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If you have fermented all they way dry all the sugar has probably already been converted to alcohol so no worries about bottle bombs if you use the right amount of priming sugar.

People that cold crash after a short time are usually trying to rack off the top of yeast that falls dormant to the bottom and keep their cider sweeter. It doesn't really work if you want to bottle carb though because you have to repitch yeast to get any CO2 in the bottles. If you don't mind a still cider I know Nottingham does this pretty well.

There are probably people on here with better answers just thought I give you some basics.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRock303
If you have fermented all they way dry all the sugar has probably already been converted to alcohol so no worries about bottle bombs if you use the right amount of priming sugar.

People that cold crash after a short time are usually trying to rack off the top of yeast that falls dormant to the bottom and keep their cider sweeter. It doesn't really work if you want to bottle carb though because you have to repitch yeast to get any CO2 in the bottles. If you don't mind a still cider I know Nottingham does this pretty well.

There are probably people on here with better answers just thought I give you some basics.
I second that. I do seven gallon batches with champagne yeast and ferment it dry. Then add a half cup sugar dissolved in water and bottle. I have never had any sort of bottle bomb issue. The cold crash is used if your looking for a much sweeter product. We're you stop the yeast before it eats it all. IV never done this myself so I won't presume to understand exactly how it works. But there are calculators online that can help you figure out how much sugar to add for your desired co2 levels and as long as it's dry before addition you shouldn't have a problem
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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the main thing if you are worried is to do 1 of 2 things:

1- use a PET/plastic soda bottle to gauge where your pressure is at after bottling for one or 2 pours. I do mine this way and got it perfect, then dishwasher pasteurized to kill off the yeast. No bottle bombs, no gushers, but plenty of carbing (flat pour over ice yields over half the glass in foam). You just need to do your math on how much sugar you put in and know to check every 12 hours or so to make sure you don't hit a danger zone.

2- my LHBS sells 24 pack cases of small 187 ml bottles for like 10 bucks. I usually do like 4 of these along with the regular bottles. You can crack one every 24 hours once you think you've hit your butter zone to test it out. That way, if you're worried about wasting a whole 12 ounce bottle- you aren't using as much to test.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:53 PM   #5
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ah, good. Thank you both for those answers. Reading multiple methods while waiting for this batch to age got me worried one process might be wrong, or just bad, or whatever. Wish me luck on the bottling in a few weeks!

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Old 11-19-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
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Good luck. Let us know how it turns out

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Well, took a sample taste today from the small bottle of excess cider from my first racking last month. 5 gallons still sit in carboys, but this little bottle I cold crashed immediately because I had no airlock for it and I didn't want it exploding on me. The sample smells a bit sulphuric still from the campden tablets I used at the beginning, and the brew taste nice and tart, but slightly bitter.

Questions for the cold-crashed bottle: can I safely remove it from cold storage, or do I need to leave it in the fridge? Will the sulphur smell go away if it stays in the fridge? Will it mellow/age at all while in the fridge? I figure I can always use it to top things off when I start the 12oz bottling process. Will removing it from cold-storage help it age/de-sulphur itself?

Going to taste/smell-test a carboy next, and see if it's different than the cold-crashed liter bottle.

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Old 11-21-2012, 04:13 PM   #8
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I can't see there being any reason y taking it out would restart fermentation, so you should be ok do that

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Old 12-09-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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Looks like I might wait on bottling this stuff for another few weeks. We are closing on a house soon, but not sure when, could be before Christmas, could be afterwards. It's all up to the lenders getting **** squared away fast enough. Looking at my 3 carboys today, I see that the cider is only now beginning to clear up a bit. I figure it will be better to wait for the bottling until after we move, which will give the cider maybe a third month or so to age and clear up more. Can't hurt to wait, but I'm salivating for a taste :P

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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Bottled! Finished just an hour before the Superbowl begins. Primed for carbonation 1/2 cup of sugar for 5 gallons of brew, 1/2 cup of Splenda for sweetening, 160 drops of concentrated green apple flavoring, and a splash of yeast to gitterdone. Taste-tested each carboy, and got a decent flavor from all of them before I blended them into the 6-gal tub for bottling. BUT… well there is either a yeasty smell or a sulphury smell that I had hoped would disappear by now, two months after the first racking. Will this ever go away?

Anyhoos, here's hoping things carb up nicely. Going to take the bottles out from the basement so they are in a warmer environment for the yeast for a bit. Now I'mma try to make some mac&cheese w/chili pepper, and settle in to watch the Championship no favorites tonight, since my Patriots blew a gasket in the playoffs.

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