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Old 03-30-2013, 03:02 AM   #1
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Default Probably an easy question....

I made a 5 gal batch of cider that I plan on carbing with my keg prior to bottling. I want it to be sweeter and around 6.5 to 7% abv. When I achieve the desired results, what can I do to stop fermentation prior to kegging? I am leary about adding any flavor changing preservatives. Should I keg it first, then bottle, and end it with a good stove top pasteurization?

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Old 03-30-2013, 03:13 AM   #2
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If you can bear to wait a couple weeks and plan on pasteurizing anyways, I would skip the keg carbing and just bottle and let it carb naturally. Just my 2 cents but seems much easier

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Old 03-30-2013, 04:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by brewvandal
If you can bear to wait a couple weeks and plan on pasteurizing anyways, I would skip the keg carbing and just bottle and let it carb naturally. Just my 2 cents but seems much easier
Doesn't that have the potential for a bottle bomb though?
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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It will give you bottle bombs if you don't pasteurize it. Pasteurizing is such an easy process though. I just did a batch following the instructions in the stickied post and it worked perfect.

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Old 03-30-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
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Are you using a beer gun out of the keg or just straight from the tap to the bottle? I'd be afraid of loosing a lot of carbonation without a gun. I just picked one up not too long ago and haven't had a chance to try it yet.

Either sorbating before carbonating or pasteurization after bottling will work. It's just a matter of which one you feel more comfortable with.

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Old 03-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #6
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The way I'd do it is to wait until the cider's finished and clear, then put sorbate and campden into the keg (dissolved in some boiling water). The "dosage" of sorbate is 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of cider normally, but check your package. For campden, one crushed campden tablet per gallon is used.

Rack the cider into that and let it sit a couple of days. Then sweeten to taste and force carb. Bottling from the keg is easiest if the cider is very cold, and if the bottles are cold also.

That's it- the sorbate keeps the yeast from reproducing so it won't start fermenting again. Sorbate works better in the presence of campden, so that's why it's used. The key is to make sure the cider is clear and done fermenting before racking into the stabilizers.

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Old 03-30-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mcgray8 View Post
I made a 5 gal batch of cider that I plan on carbing with my keg prior to bottling. I want it to be sweeter and around 6.5 to 7% abv. When I achieve the desired results, what can I do to stop fermentation prior to kegging? I am leary about adding any flavor changing preservatives. Should I keg it first, then bottle, and end it with a good stove top pasteurization?
if you are pretty certain your yeast can be stopped with cold temps then there's no reason you can't do what you suggest, just by racking to a keg and getting it very cold very quickly. when i make semi-sweet cider i do a hybrid between what you suggest and what yooper suggests above. i ferment dry then backsweeten, keg, force carb, bottle (beergun) and then pasteurize. this tends to go very well since the bottles don't have the high pressure experienced during bottle carbing, so they don't explode as readily. unless you leave them around a while between bottling and pasteurizing, then you're asking for trouble. i leave mine overnight to warm up since they are force carbed cold. i have never cold crashed during fermentation, i like to leave them to finish completely, rack once, let them drop completely clear in secondary, then keg and sweeten. this way you don't need sorbate or extra sulfite (you may want to use a tiny bit of sulfite for its antioxidant properties, but if you're drinking it quickly i'd skip it). i can only attest to this working with s04 and s05 ale yeasts, and to it decidedly not working with a wild fermentation.
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Old 03-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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if you are pretty certain your yeast can be stopped with cold temps then there's no reason you can't do what you suggest, just by racking to a keg and getting it very cold very quickly. when i make semi-sweet cider i do a hybrid between what you suggest and what yooper suggests above. i ferment dry then backsweeten, keg, force carb, bottle (beergun) and then pasteurize. this tends to go very well since the bottles don't have the high pressure experienced during bottle carbing, so they don't explode as readily. unless you leave them around a while between bottling and pasteurizing, then you're asking for trouble. i leave mine overnight to warm up since they are force carbed cold. i have never cold crashed during fermentation, i like to leave them to finish completely, rack once, let them drop completely clear in secondary, then keg and sweeten. this way you don't need sorbate or extra sulfite (you may want to use a tiny bit of sulfite for its antioxidant properties, but if you're drinking it quickly i'd skip it). i can only attest to this working with s04 and s05 ale yeasts, and to it decidedly not working with a wild fermentation.

True, but, if you do it the way I do, you don't ever need to pasteurize or worry about bottle bombs.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Hey Yooper, silly question here... But first, my backstory... So I kegged a cider about two weeks ago that I sweetened up nicely and placed on co2 at 11psi. I tasted it the next day, and it was heavenly. Tasted just like apple pie filling. But then I tasted it yesterday, figuring it would be nicely carbed up - the carbonation level was nice, but it dried all out, and my sweetness was gone. I assume its beacause the yeasties woke back up (even in the cold of my fridge) and were munching on all of my sweetness. So here's the question. Now that my cider is already carbed up in the fridge, can I pull it out, add the sorbet and campden tabs now. Then wait a few days and re-backsweeten?

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Old 04-13-2013, 05:56 PM   #10
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Hey Yooper, silly question here... But first, my backstory... So I kegged a cider about two weeks ago that I sweetened up nicely and placed on co2 at 11psi. I tasted it the next day, and it was heavenly. Tasted just like apple pie filling. But then I tasted it yesterday, figuring it would be nicely carbed up - the carbonation level was nice, but it dried all out, and my sweetness was gone. I assume its beacause the yeasties woke back up (even in the cold of my fridge) and were munching on all of my sweetness. So here's the question. Now that my cider is already carbed up in the fridge, can I pull it out, add the sorbet and campden tabs now. Then wait a few days and re-backsweeten?
If the yeast were active in the keg, that means there would be a ton of yeast in the keg as well. In order for sorbate to be effective, it'd have to be racked (or transferred) off of the yeast sediment first. You could transfer to another keg with a black QD/beer line/black QD jumper cable, if your keg is pouring clear. Then you could stabilize and then sweeten.
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