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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottling Hard Cider Question
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:37 AM   #1
twalsh341
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Default Bottling Hard Cider Question

Hey guys, New here. I'm brewing a big batch of cider with my boss who's done beer before... He plans on carbonating his portion of the cider, but I'm going for more of a wine and don't want to carbonate.

My question is, for the portion I'm not going to carbonate do I still need to put it in pressure proof bottles? Or can I bottle it like wine with corks?

And what would the best method of killing the yeast be to prevent it from bursting the wine bottles? Can I use the same killer as we did for the wild yeast in the beginning?

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Old 11-28-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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Any bottles are fine. Same with corks or caps.

To kill the yeast use Campden tabs. This works in about 24 hours. Available at a local homebrew store (LHBS)

Also Cider will change flavor over time. So try it now, but also try and store some for a year or more.

Enjoy.

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Old 11-28-2010, 01:00 AM   #3
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Any bottles are fine. Same with corks or caps.

To kill the yeast use Campden tabs. This works in about 24 hours. Available at a local homebrew store (LHBS)

Also Cider will change flavor over time. So try it now, but also try and store some for a year or more.

Enjoy.
Campden doesn't kill yeast, particularly wine yeast, so if you actually want to stabilize the cider you'll need sorbate. Sorbate doesn't kill yeast, either, but it keeps it from reproducing, and works well in conjunction with campden.

Anyway, if you're not sweetening your cider and letting it finish until it's clear, and no longer fermenting, you can rack off of the lees (sediment) and bottle without adding any chemicals. If you're sweetening the cider, you'll wait until it's done, then rack into campden and sorbate, wait a couple of days and sweeten to taste. Wait a couple of days, and then you can bottle in wine bottles if you wish. (You wait to ensure fermentation doesn't restart before bottling). But like I said, if you're not adding sweeteners, and the FG of the cider is stable, you can just bottle.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:06 AM   #4
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Welcome, Twalsh!

For carbonated beer/wine/mead/cider, you must use either beer bottles or sparkling wine (champagne) bottles to be safe. For still (non-carbonated) beverages, you can use regular wine bottles.

As for your question about killing the yeast, I have a question - will you be making a dry or semi-dry (sweet) cider?

If you are making a dry cider, letting the yeast work until it has no more sugars to eat, then you don't need to kill the yeast. If you are trying to stop the yeast before it eats up all the sugars, then you do need to kill our little friends. I disagree with jvlpdillon, though, campden by itself will not kill the yeast - it will stop it from reproducing, as I understand it, and if you have a healthy population already, further fermentation is possible. You can use campden in conjunction with a sulfite - take alook around the cider forum, including the stickies, and you will find more information about that.

If your boss, though, is making a semi-dry (sweet) sparkling cider conditioned in the bottle, you have a problem. If you kill the yeast with camden/sulfites, how will it carbonate in the bottle? One approach is to bottle pasteurize, but you have to follow instructions pretty closely to take this approach.

Again, if you are letting your cider ferment to dry, then you don't need to zap our yeasty friends at all.

Let me know if this has been confusing or if you have other questions.

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Old 11-28-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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Yooper is such a fast typer . . .
Yep, 85 wpm, give or take. Need a transcriptionist?

I hate to correct people who know what they are talking about, but I wanted to clarify something in Papper's post. Campden doesn't inhibit yeast reproduction, and sulfite IS campden. Potassium (or sodium) metabisulfite in a convenient tablet form are commonly referred to as "campden tablets" although they are simply the winemaking sulfites. SORBATE does inhibit yeast reproduction, and works best in the presence of sulfites.

Wine yeast are amazingly tolerant of sulfites- that is why winemakers use them routinely and don't get stuck fermentations as long as the amount of free SO2 is about 50 ppm or so.

Anyway, Pappers is the one to listen to concerning ciders! I'm more of a winemaker, and use campden and sorbate both, but campden I use routinely.
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:44 AM   #7
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I hate to correct people who know what they are talking about, but I wanted to clarify something in Papper's post. Campden doesn't inhibit yeast reproduction, and sulfite IS campden. Potassium (or sodium) metabisulfite in a convenient tablet form are commonly referred to as "campden tablets" although they are simply the winemaking sulfites. SORBATE does inhibit yeast reproduction, and works best in the presence of sulfites.
I always get my sorbates and sulfites confused . . .

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Thanks Pappers that post was particularly helpful. I'm going for a sweet cider, and I imagine my boss will bottle before I do my thing with the yest killing and bottle my still cider. With the campden or sorbate, the yeast wont be dead but hibernating and if I add regular sugar (not sugar alcohol) they will wake up and start eating again (bursting the bottles)

Other than putting them to sleep with Campden, is there a reliable way of killing them? Adding sugar in the fermentor until they are killed by the high alcohol level?

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