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Old 12-16-2010, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Newbie Question - Fermented 1 Gallon Cider

Hello all,

I have a 1 gallon jug of hard cider that has finished fermenting, is clear and tastes good. It has been in the primary fermenter for 1 month.

I am wondering what my next steps are to get them into bottles and carbonated. Is it possible to have this all done and carbed for Christmas?

Thanks

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Old 12-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #2
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Christmas might be cutting it close but, pending you still have good vialble yeast in there, you should be good to go. As a starting point try 1oz of dextrose per gallon (corn sugar or priming sugar). The usual method is to combine with water (8oz or so) and boil to get sugar into solution, let cool. Add the sugar to bottling bucket and rack in your must gently (leave behind the lees). Stir in the cooled sugar mix well. let it sit 30 minutes, then stir again and let sit 10 minutes. Now you are ready to start bottling - gently fill each bottle, leave headspace cap. Standard wait time is 2-4 weeks. keep your bottles in about 65-75F temps to encourage carb fermentation.

tips:
1. try not to aerate with your stirs
2. Get your bottles sanitized and ready defore you start the rest.

Assume you know this but -
1. be sure to bottle in appropriate bottles (ones that can handle pressure, i.e. champagne or beer bottles, not wine bottles).

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Old 12-16-2010, 08:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I shall try that method. Could you use a certain amount of apple juice to do this method instead of the sugar water?

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Old 12-16-2010, 11:30 PM   #4
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The problem with apple juice is, you need to know the gravity of it. I just bottled some graff with a juice that was 1.046. That's the same as cane (table) sugar. I used 2.5 cups for 2.5 gallons. 1 cup of the juice I used = 1 oz cane sugar.

If you don't know the gravity of the juice, you can end up over-carbonating by about 30% using the quantities I used if the juice is 1.060. You are probably still going to be OK with that, but might have some gushers when you open the bottles.

I have never found it necessary to wait after GENTLY stirring the priming sugar into the must/wort. It pretty much mixes when you rack the cider onto the priming solution. I've forgotten to stir at times, and it's been fine.

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Old 12-16-2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply.

I do have a hydrometer so I can measure the gravity of the juice, but maybe I will try that next time. I went and bought the priming sugar so I will try that method.

What do others say about the stirring?

Thanks for your help CidahMastah and Calder.

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:01 AM   #6
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I bottled it up tonight and have been drinking the stuff that didn't make it into the bottle. It tastes all right, not the greatest, but I am hoping that once its carbed it will have a more pleasent mouth feel, plus it may taste better chilled. I used Allen's Apple Juice and Coopers beer yeast so it didn't start out with the greatest ingredients.

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Old 12-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #7
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Cool - give it time to age. I wouldn;t touch it for a minimum of 3 months (6 preferred). Besure to reserve seom bottles to taste once a month for up to a year.

The waiting at stirring time is important from my perspective because I use my fresh pressed cider (lots of sediment still in it if I bottle with priming sugar.) Since you used a store bought apple juice I suppose that you wouldn't have the sediment issue.

Also - the waiting and restir method assures that you get an even mix of the sugar and that the sugar goes into solution (helps avoid bottle bombs).

All that said, I am a bit of a fanatic about my cider making I try to leave nothing to chance!

Enjoy the cider!


I know the waiting sucks, but in the mean time brew some beer while you wait. Or put a touch of AJ or cider into your hooch to help cover the harshness of a young cider. I swear you can drink darn near any swill with a couple tablespoons of fresh cider in it.

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
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Thanks CidahMastah. Do the bottle need to be in the fridge or a cold place while it ages? Do they need to be preserved or anything like that with the low alcohol content or is the bottles being sealed good enough?

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:25 PM   #9
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As long as you took good sanitary precautions the aging part should be good at temps of 60F or lower is you plan to drink within a year (I prefer ~50F).

However, for the first 2-4 weeks, keep them in 65-75F so the yeasts can carbonate your hooch. Open one a week and test for carbonation. When it gets to where you want it, put them all in your colder storage area. Ideal would be 45-55F for me. If you are concerned about contamination, etc., after they carbonate store them in your refridge.

I think you would want to try to leave them at a 50F ish temp for at least a month or so (before refridge) for better bottle conditioning. Truthfully I don't know that for sure, that is a gut reaction. I think in a refridge would bee too cold to really let the hooch mellow as well as if it were just a tad warmer.

I always go minimum 3-4 months before I do anything. I try to wait 6 months. My aging is usually something like this (ferment 1 month ish (start at 70F for 3-4days to get the ferment rocking then back off to 63F over a week), rerack and then top off - continue ferment (about 1 more month at 63F); on month 3-4 if I bottle, they go into 50-55F storage, if not, I lower my temp to 55F over a week and continue bulk conditioning until 6 months, then bottle and store at 50~F). Not sure if this matters much, just how I do it and it has worked pretty well.

I think the most crucial part of aging happens in the first 3-4 months, after that it is refinment and colder temps are better for that. Again, that is the made up stuff in my head that I think. No real scientific proof or reason, just gut feeling (emphasis on "mad" scientist).

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Old 12-17-2010, 02:57 PM   #10
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Cool. When you top off do you use water or more cider? You have a cold storage room to get that cold of a temperature?

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