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Old 01-15-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
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Alright, I'm sorta following my original plan. I was ready to prime and/or backsweeten today, but when I checked the SG on my cider it was 1.005. Thinking I caught that nicely, I bottled into 6 2-liter PET bottles and 2 1.25-liter PET bottles. I left a decent amount of air at the top, but squeezed the bottles as I put on the lids, leaving just a little air at the top.

My plan now is to check the bottles each morning. When the 2 liter bottles feel hard like a fresh soda bottle, I'll open a 1.25-liter bottle and test the carbonation. If I start worrying about gushers, I'll pasteurize any remaining bottles.

I also racked almost a gallon to one of my original apple juice bottles and put an airlock on top. I'd like to compare this fast-and-dirty stuff I'm starting with to something a little different. And as a little treat, I tried to carefully pour off some of the cider left with the lees in the primary to enjoy today. It's in the fridge chilling.



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Old 01-16-2014, 03:53 PM   #12
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Looks good, how does it taste?

I still stand by my thought that cider needs time to mature. I appreciate sharing the images as well.



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Old 01-16-2014, 11:39 PM   #13
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Well, it tasted bland and not unpleasant. Rather like a glass of apple juice that was not sweet.

Right now I'm scratching my head and pondering what has been pointed out to me: that 2-liter PET bottles may have been a poor choice for heat pasteurization.

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Old 01-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #14
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You are correct, you won't be able to pasteurize PET bottles. You'll have to put them in the fridge and hope they don't keep on trucking too much.

As for the headspace, you need a little space for the CO2 to built up and then be reabsorbed back into the cider.

Once it gets carbonated, the flavor changes (IMHO) that little bit of carbonic bite brightens everything up and gives the cider a lot more character. Depending on your juice, if any additional sugars were added and the yeast used, it could benefit from some aging or it could be best consumed early. You'll have to make that call.

I like using store bought Costco juice and an ale yeast for my cider. I can make all year long (consistently) and it's ready in about 3-4 weeks from pitching. Fresh pressed is great, but you have to press and make enough to last through the summer I have a hard time sitting on cider for too long. If I have it, I drink it.

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Old 01-19-2014, 10:14 PM   #15
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Well, it's been 4 days since bottling my brew at 0.005 SG, and while the airspace at the top of most of my PET bottles has filled in some, none are "soda bottle" hard yet and in fact most are still "squeezed in" a little.


In pondering the issue of how to stop fermentation with sugars still in the cider, my attention has been drawn to filters. According to Wyeast Laboratories, yeasts are typically 5-10 microns in size. The Sawyer Point One filter system I have has an absolute rating of 0.1 micron, small enough to filter out bacteria, let alone yeast. Is this something anybody does for cider?

I guess in most scenarios it's easier heat pasteurize or crash chill, and both those methods can be done after the cider has carbonated.

At the reduced rate of fermentation I'm seeing now (I haven't actually seen a bubble yet go through the airlock in the 1 gallon I left to age), I'm pretty confident at being able to crash chill my cider as the bottles harden--something they seem to be doing at different rates. I would not have been able to crash chill all of them at once. This gives me time to enjoy some over time and also to gift a couple of 2-liter bottles to friends.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:20 PM   #16
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I've looked into filtering cider because I want to store it long-term, but I've heard a lot of speculation about filtering really hurts the overall balance and taste.

This is something I plan on testing in the near future (this year).

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Old 01-21-2014, 05:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleChex View Post
The Sawyer Point One filter system I have has an absolute rating of 0.1 micron, small enough to filter out bacteria, let alone yeast. Is this something anybody does for cider?
My only issue with the Sawyer filter is that it will be a very slow process and possibly cause some oxidation. It's a cartridge filter instead of a "pad" filter like most commercial applications.

I guess it's possible that you might be able to fit the filter inline with an auto siphon and eliminate the use of the "squeeze" bag, but I don't think it will filter very fast and might clog often. (but can be backwashed) You'd probably have to pump constantly instead of relying on gravity.

Very creative thinking on your part, though! Good idea if you could get it to work. I love these filters for backpacking. They are lightweight and are a breeze to use compared to the traditional pump style.


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