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Old 02-09-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
Vonbrew
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Default Safe gravity for bottling still

I've got five gallons that are reading 1.01 on my hydrometer. I prefer still and am bottling in wine bottles for cheap gifts. Everything's sanitized and ready for bottling right now. Can I safely bottle at the current gravity? They'll be stored at around 40-45 degrees till its their turn for the fridge.

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Old 02-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #2
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'Safe' really depends on your fermentation conditions like OG, yeast strain, temperature, etc, etc. Has the cider been sitting at 1.010 for a week or more without moving? if so, you may be ok to bottle since fermentation has stopped, but that's a pretty high FG for most yeasts to stop at, especially if it is a higher gravity cider, so be sure it's all done a clearing before going ahead.

If you're set on bottling now, you could stabilize your cider with sulfite & sorbate, or bottle now and pasteurize the bottles immediately.

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Old 02-09-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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If you pasteurize in corked wine bottles will the corks move?

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Old 02-09-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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"safely" without explosion in wine bottles ... ahhh probably ... er, maybe.

Safely as in you want a still wine ... no ... it will not be still.
And if your gift recipients don't adhere to keeping it refrigerated they will end up with renewed fermentation.
Your must currently at 1.010 is the equivalent of approx 1.2 additional volumes of CO2 if capped now and allowed to ferment out in the bottle. (Consider that a typical lager might be around 2.25 or so volumes)
Adding 1.2 to whatever carbonation is already stored in the must now (take a mouthfull ... it's the fizz) and you could potentially be pretty close to what a beer might be in-bottle.
I'd be patient and let it finish out.

BTW, if by "their turn in the fridge" means that you were hoping to kill the yeast by chilling ... that will not work. You'd need to filter properly ... or sorbate and let sit ... or allow the yeast to die from either lack of nutrients and/or lack of sugar and then let sit even longer. Either way, after I'd done whatever treatment to stop/kill the yeast I'd take a sample, add sugar and let it sit in a warm room for a week or 10 days to be absolutely sure.

(or just pasteurize like Lebreton says ... that would be a good solution and leave you with just a hint of sweetness too)

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I decided to wait it out. If any hobby is going to teach me patience, it's this one.

What I meant by their turn in the fridge was just until I chill them before drunking. Did I spell that right?

I did rack to a secondary/bottling bucket I just picked up so I can get crackin on something new.

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