Very new to...everything. Advice on final storage.
Hello all, first post!
I've been researching a lot about making some cider, it seems a lot less complicated then beer, and with a much shorter waiting period before enjoying the fruits of your labor. :mug:
So after pouring over this site and youtube videos, I think I'm ready to give it a shot.
My concern at this point is my lack of equipment and the cause of that, the lack of cash to spend. So with what I have, can I do this? I have...
10 x 1 gal
1 x 3 gal
1 x 5 gal
and vapor locks for them all.
I was thinking of starting with 1 gal batches, just to see how it goes. Hoping that I can proceed without specialized tools, I don't have bottles or kegs to store the final product in. Would 4L plastic milk jugs work? I've read that the plastic will let some oxygen through, but by that point it shouldn't be an issue? I would like it to be carbed, but I'm thinking that won't work with the milk jugs. So then 2L pop bottles would work? However I couldn't use the stove top pasteurization with plastic bottles. So I would have to stick them all in the fridge. How long do they need to stay in the fridge to stop fermentation before storing at room temp?
Any other ideas for cheap final storage?
Do you want a sweet carbed or dry carbed cider? I don't think the 2 liters would be good for long term storage. This would be a problem for dry ciders, which need aging to taste their best. I know it would work for a sweet cider that you plan on drinking fairly quickly. Bottling is pretty cheap, all you need is a wing capper ($15) and caps ($.04 each). Ask your beer drinking friends/family for their empty bottles. Wing cappers only work with pop top bottles though, a bench capper ($40) works with twist tops as well.
To bottle a sweet carbed cider in 2 Liters:
1) Ferment cider dry.
2) Back sweeten to taste.
3) Rack to 2L bottles and leave them at room temperature.
4) The cider will carbonate, carbonation times can vary greatly depending on how much yeast is left in suspension.
5) When the 2L gets somewhat firm test it for carbonation, than store it in the fridge until consumed. Edit* Otherwise the bottles will continue carbonating and explode.
To bottle a dry carbed cider in 2 liters:
1) Ferment cider completely dry.
2) Rack to 2L bottles.
3) Back sweeten with 1 oz of sugar per gallon to carb.
Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely hoping for sweet.
So when cold crashing the cider will need to be refrigerated until consumed. Is this because the yeast is just dormant and will start up again if it's warmed?
I would not use plastic milk jugs ... they are made of HDPE.
Use two liter plastic bottles to store ... they are made of PET.
I wouldn't use milk bottles. I have been drinking A&W rootbeer like crazy lately. Then I clean out the bottles and use them for my cider. They are 500ml and they are dark brown. If you don't plan to carb your cider, you can even use wine bottles and then just cork them, or find the twist off kind. When I first made cider, I just bulk aged back in the original apple juice bottles. Then I would open up one and drink it until it was gone. It isn't the preferred method, but it worked and the cider didn't taste half bad.
Thanks for the advice. 2L bottles it is!
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