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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Precautions to take after bottling with priming sugar?
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
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Default Precautions to take after bottling with priming sugar?

Hi everyone,

I brewed hard cider for the first time recently and I bottled last night with priming sugar and I was wondering how cautious I should be with the cider while it is bottle aging?

I've read that it's wise to check a bottle after 2 weeks to see how the carbination is doing and confirm that I won't have any "bottle bombs" because of the priming sugar. I erred on the side of caution and used 1/2" cup of pure cane priming sugar for 4 gallons of cider and I combined the sugar into 2 cups of boiling water and let cool to room temp before combining with the cider in my bottling bucket. I also back sweeetened with 1 teaspoon of liquid concentrate pure Stevia.

Of greater concern to me, is whether or not I can safely transport it right now. I'm going home for Christmas and while I don't plan on drinking any of the cider (I'm going to save it for at least 3 - 6 months) I do want to at least sample it with some relatives who I wanted to give some of the batch.

I will be in the car in 30-40 degree temperatures for at least 9 hours on my drive home for Christmas later today. Would cooling it down that much after it was just primed and bottled last night do anything to the flavor?

Could bringing it back to room temperature after that exposure to cold increase my chances for a "bottle bomb"?

If we open and sample 1 or 2 on Saturday will it have an off flavor due to the priming sugar?

Ideally if I'm just being a worry wort about all of this I'd like to bring a 12 pack with me to give to my family and have them try a bottle or 2 to see how they like it.

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Old 12-23-2014, 10:50 AM   #2
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If you are really worried about it, leave the cider at home, stop at a store and get a selection of ciders and sample them with your friends and family around the tree.
I wouldn't want to give out anything I wasn't 100% sure about.
I can't comment on bottle bombs with the information that was provided.
What was your OG and FG? How long a ferment? What kind of yeast? Did you cold crash and rack it off the yeast cake? Did you add sorbate or anything else? What kind of bottles/closures did you use?
What did it taste like at bottling?

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Old 12-23-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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As long as it was 1.000 at bottling 1/2 cup sugar should be fine. I generally use 3/4-1 cup with no problems.

On the side of caution you can stove-top pasteurize anything you give away. I used to do that, too.

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Old 12-23-2014, 01:27 PM   #4
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I keep my freshly bottled beer/cider/sparkling wines in those Rubbermaid tubs. I've had 1 bottle break & I'm convinced it was just a flaw in the glass due to the pattern of breakage, but the point is that if a bottle does break, the mess is contained. Easier to dump & rinse a plastic tub than to wet vac the carpet.
Regards, GF.

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Old 12-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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You didn't mention whether or not you took multiple gravity readings. If you are at all concerned about bottle bombs, I'm with the above poster, safety wise a covered tub is a lot easier to clean than a big patch of sticky carpet.
Bottle bombs in a car are a scary idea.

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Old 12-23-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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OG was 1.065 with 5 lbs of Brown Sugar added. FG was .990 and it had been in primary for 5 weeks and secondary for 3 weeks. I think it's safe to say it's completely fermented before the priming sugar got added.

Do you guys think I run the risk of "reactivating" the yeast when it goes from cold to warm temps again?

I will put it in a tote bin with a lid to keep my car clean in case it does blow anything up, just worried about the quality of the beer during bottle conditioning if I do transport like this.

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Old 12-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #7
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if you were at .9xx and added 1/2 c of sugar to 4 gallons of bevvie, you have virtually no risk of bombs at all. unless you used bottles that weren't designed to hold any pressure at all, like a juice bottle of something.

Take your cider with you and don't worry.

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Old 12-24-2014, 05:53 PM   #8
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If you are new cider/ beer making, a great tool is Brewer's Friend priming calculator. It will tell you how much sugar to add to your batch at bottling to get carbination you want. It also has a reference to how much CO2 for the style beer. I would say with cider you probably want to shoot for something in the 2.5 range. I have bottle hef at 4 volumes in 22 oz bottles and had no bottle bombs/caps fly off. http://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/

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Old 12-24-2014, 09:12 PM   #9
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Totally agree with SmokeyMcbong. If your final gravity was close to .990 and you added 1/2 C of sugar (what's that ? 4 oz? ) to four gallons then you have added 1 oz to a gallon. Assuming that the sugar was equally dispersed in the volume of cider then if you bottled in beer bottles there should be absolutely no question of bottle bombs. The only residual sugar in each bottle is what you added.
If you bottled in wine bottles (with corks ) then unless you degassed the cider before adding this sugar you MAY find that in four or five months some or all the corks will start to pop but bottle bombs are not likely there either. Keep the cider cooler rather than warmer...

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