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Old 03-18-2010, 05:57 PM   #1
erykmynn
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Default rescuing non-carbing cider

I have a whole batch of cider bottled up that is just not carbing. The juice itself was cloudy so I guess I couldn't tell the yeasties had all left the building.

Since it's already primed, I'm thinking two solutions....

1) loosen the caps carefully and toss a few grains of dry yeast in.... will I need all new caps, or if I'm gentle can I re-crimp?

2) empty all the bottles into a keg and then toss in some fresh yeast (upside, sounds easier, downside... if any bottle was funky, might funk the keg..)

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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How long has it been bottled? Don't give up unless it's 2 months old.

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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bottled 2/13 so well over a month now. Waiting does seem like the simplest solution

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:51 PM   #4
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the guy at my brew store mentioned adding some champagne yeast from the packet to a cup with warm water and some sugar, let it get going for 15 minutes, and then put a few drops in each bottle before capping, using an eye dropper. I haven't tried this yet, but plan to. It might be a good way for you to carb since you've already bottled, and would only need to do this and recap.

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Old 03-23-2010, 06:05 PM   #5
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I have heard of that. You could also prep the new yeast, then open your bottles (you're going to have to recap them anyway) and pour them all into your bottling bucket to get a goo mix, then rebottle and cap again.

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Old 03-23-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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Be careful with the Champagne yeast idea though, you could over carb it depending on what your gravity is at right now.

Champagne yeast will take your cider down to about as low of a finishing gravity as you can get, more than many other yeasts, so whether you should add it now depends on what gravity it is at now, and how much fermentable sugar remains. I make most of my ciders with just English Ale beer yeast (Safale S-05 usually) because i like how it leaves a good amount of residual sugar, more than many wine yeasts do. A champagne yeast may eat more of these than you want, overcarbing your beer or potentially putting it into bottle bomb range.

A typical fairly-well-carbed beer recipe calls for 5 ounces of priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch of beer, which raises the batch gravity by about 1.0028. This will contribute about 3 Volumes of C02 at room temperature. Now a typical cider I make with ale yeast ends up with an FG around 1.007-1.008, though i've done a few apfelweins with Riesling yeast (EdWort's Recipe) that ended up much lower, around 1.000-1.001 (And champagne yeast goes drier than Riesling).

Well, lets say you add champagne yeast to my ale fermented cider, and it eats away another 0.007 of my gravity over the next few months, turning a relatively moderate-dry cider into an apfelwein. Since its capped in the bottle that's going to have the same carbing effect as priming by 2.5 times the normal amount. That is NOT safe.

Just be careful is all, and be sure to check a bottle every so often to make sure they aren't getting explosive. Also don't do this unless you're prepared to end up with a very dry cider as it ages and the champagne yeast slowly continues to eat.

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