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Old 10-15-2009, 11:00 PM   #1
metaldwarf
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Default Sweet Cider Keg to Bottles

I want to make a semi-Sweet cider for X-mas presents. This means bottles. Every Cider I have tried turns out very dry as is the topic of many threads in this forum. I want to try and use my keg system to force carbonate in a corny and then transfer to bottles, and hopefully preserve the carbonation. I have 24 swing top champagne bottles I plan to use.



- Brew cider as per normal.
- Cider will be very dry SG 1.00-ish
- Sulfate to kill yeast, stop fermentation
- Rack to Corny Keg
- Back-sweeten with Apple Concentrate or sugar.
- Force Carbonate in keg
- Rack to bottles, seal quickly and hopefully capture some carbonation in the bottle.
- Pray I don't end up with a huge mess.

Has anyone tried this? Any recommendations?

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:02 AM   #2
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Why don't you use an ale yeast so that you don't ferment it to dryness? You could avoid back sweetening it altogether. There is a good thread on bottling from the keg in the bottling/kegging forum that will help with that part too.

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Old 10-16-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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If you use an ale yeast and cold crash, you can use the natural apple sugar without sulfating and backsweetening. You can use your keg to carbonate.

You can read the sticky or search on cold crash for more info. If you do it properly, you will remove the yeast and it will be stable, even with a fairly high amount of apple sugar left.

Use preferably fresh unpasteurized juice and plan for 1-3 weeks in the primary, crash, at least a week in the secondary to make sure it is stable and as much keg conditioning as you want.

If this is your first time, you probably want to tell your friends and family to keep any bottles you give them in a cool place or drink them by next Spring.

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Old 10-16-2009, 09:06 AM   #4
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Even if the ale yeast ferments it too dry, you can crash chill, and backsweeten in the keg. Crash cooling works very well to drop out the yeast. Even then, I would recommend beer bottles and not wine bottles. Just because I'm paranoid.

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Old 10-16-2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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You're going to need some potassium sorbate in there at the stabilisation (kill yeast).

The amount of sulfite required to kill yeast is too high to be useable (think burnt match smell in cider, Mmmmm). Typically, for 6 gallons US, 1tsp. of potassium sorbate + 1/4 tsp. sulfite will stabilise wine/cider. Sulfite is a stress factor for yeast (problems fermenting/reproducing) while potassium sorbate inhibits yeast growth, so a refermentation in bottles can't start.

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Old 10-16-2009, 12:36 PM   #6
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If you sorbate it, I strongly suggest you try a little taste of it first. It will definitely affect the taste of your batch. Some people are OK with the taste, most not.

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Old 10-16-2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Why don't you use an ale yeast
I have used Ale yeasts each time I have tried cider, it always ends up super dry. I don't have the knowledge or experience yet to try a high OG and let the yeast kill themselves with alcohol at 7-8% and still have some sugar left.

Cold Crashing and racking might be a better idea then killing with chemicals I will probably try that instead.

Quote:
Even if the ale yeast ferments it too dry, you can crash chill, and backsweeten in the keg. Crash cooling works very well to drop out the yeast.
I will probably try this, can anyone recommend an OG to start with and still have some sugar left? if it ends up dry I will backsweeten and bottle from the keg.

Quote:
There is a good thread on bottling from the keg in the bottling/kegging forum that will help with that part too.
I must have missed that one I will look again.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
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Ale yeasts will ferment to dryness if you let them, but they ferment slower and are a lot easier to stop with cold crashing or even repeated racking

I usually start around 1.060 to 1.065 and crash around 1.005 to 1.010. When to crash is a matter of taste. Start checking when the ferment starts to slow down.

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Old 10-16-2009, 06:40 PM   #9
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Kevin
Have you successfully crashed anything has high as 1.015-1.020. I haven't had any luck that high

Metal- If you try to fill from your keg there is a design for a counter pressure gun in kegging/bottling. I've never used it but the reviews seem positive. My friend bottles with a picnic tap but he puts the keg into an ice bath to keep the carbonation in the liquid

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Old 10-16-2009, 07:12 PM   #10
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Rugen - yes I've crashed 3068 as high as 1.026. The wheat yeasts are easy to get to stick - I think probably because they use a lot of nitrogen, so that when you get them off the yeast cake they starve. The ale yeasts taste a little sticky sweet to my taste if they are much over 1.012, but the wheat yeasts taste more juicy and less sticky sweet at higher sgs.

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