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Old 12-27-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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I have always carbonated in bottles with residual sugar and let the yeast do it's thing...
I have not even attempted stovetop pasteurization in bottles yet. I just put the cider in a very cold refrigerator.... The last bottle I drank was almost a year old and I didn't have a bottle bomb or any problem.

I'm about to start kegging, But I'm not quite sure how to go about some of this. I normally ferment my cider out totally dry but if I do any back sweetening I'm wondering how this will work?

If I back sweeten the sugar will get eaten by the yeast and make carbonation until I pasteurize the bottles... But how would I pasteurize it in the keg?
I'm assuming I would make the cider and then add the sugar and pasteurize it right then? Then put it in the keg and force carbonate? But how do I stick an entire carboy into a pot of hot water to do that? I really really hate the idea of putting metabisulfite or any product in to kill the yeast... Is there some way to kill the yeast naturally Then force carbonate?

Sulfate gives some people a headache, right?

I would really like to do these processes naturally and not add a processed chemical or ingredient like that... Possible?

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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Post your question in the mead forum. Those guys are always back-sweetening their stuff.

Potassium metabisuphite (KMeta) and/or potasium sorbate the the usual way I think. I've never used either.

You could back-sweeten, carbonate at very cold temps where the yeast is inactive (and carbonation is quickest), bottle from the keg, then pasteurize immediately before any suspended yeast gets busy. I'm making that up, but it seems logical.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:01 PM   #3
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Short answer: no and yes. You have to kill or remove the yeast to stop it and there isn't any 'natural' way to do either. With kegs, you can filter out the yeast, but it requires a rather expensive ceramic filter.

The alternative is to use a non-fermentable sugar, like lactose, to back-sweeten.

You can back-sweeten meads once you have exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, but that isn't an option with ciders. Some of the cider manufacturers have isolated yeasts with very low alcohol tolerances (5-6%), but I haven't seen them in the homebrewing market.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Short answer: no and yes. You have to kill or remove the yeast to stop it and there isn't any 'natural' way to do either. With kegs, you can filter out the yeast, but it requires a rather expensive ceramic filter.

The alternative is to use a non-fermentable sugar, like lactose, to back-sweeten.

You can back-sweeten meads once you have exceeded the alcohol tolerance of the yeast, but that isn't an option with ciders. Some of the cider manufacturers have isolated yeasts with very low alcohol tolerances (5-6%), but I haven't seen them in the homebrewing market.
When you say expensive filter what are you talking about expensive wise?
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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The filtering setup will cost you $40-50 and the ceramic filter about another $100.

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Old 12-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
The filtering setup will cost you $40-50 and the ceramic filter about another $100.
So you're talking $150..... To be able to filter all the yeast out of my cider...
How long will that filter last?

I know that's not cheap but if that will filter my cider for a while that's great! Unless that's only good for like one 5 gallon shot....
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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What about pouring 1 or 2 gallon batches at a time into a pot, bringing the temperature up to 150° and then transferring it into the keg?
Would that be like stovetop pasteurization without the bottles?
Or would that change the flavor?
And for the worse or for the better if it did?

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Why not just rack to the keg and stick the whole keg in your kettle filled with water?

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Old 12-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRems
Why not just rack to the keg and stick the whole keg in your kettle filled with water?
Kettle? I make cider and I don't have a kettle that big
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:27 PM   #10
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The guy at the homebrew supply store just told me I should be able to back sweeten and the keg should be able to hold the pressure?

Is there some kind of purge that if the pressure gets too high I can just purge it out? And I assume there would be a gauge on the keg or on the regulator that would tell me what the internal pressure is?

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