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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Specific gravity drop for ideal carbonation
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default Specific gravity drop for ideal carbonation

I will be bottling a sweet cider tomorrow. I have been taking gravity readings daily for the past five days and plotting them against the time fermenting in an excel chart. It is quite linear (r² = 0.9943) with an average drop of 7 points per day.

I will bottle them while still fermenting and then pasteurize the bottles once they are well carbonated to kill off the yeast. I've read in the 5 day sweet cider thread that some people have had gushers after only two hours and others needed to let them sit a few days before they were adequately carbonated. I simply won't have the time to open a bottle every two hours after bottling them. I'd like to have a rough estimate of when they will be ready.

If I make the assumption that the gravity drop remains constant at 7 points per day (which I know is a big assumption) and if I know what gravity drop produces an ideal carbonation than I can estimate the time I need in bottles until I need to pasteurize, which will give me a good time to actually bottle that will work around my schedule. I realize this is a rough estimation, but it's better than nothing.

Sooo... Does anyone know a good gravity drop for adequate carbonation in bottle?

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:56 PM   #2
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I would be wary of using the standard fermentation instead of priming. With ciders I believe it would be easier as they should finish at the same level, but there is no guarantee of that since fruit juice doesnt always have the same amount of sugars. If I were to use the readings I would use a calculator and find out exactly how much fermentables you need to get the desired carbonation then bottle when at that much above the FG.

Still seems a little risky to me. I would rather chuck in a little Dextrose once I am sure fermentation is complete.

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Old 01-02-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DrunkleJon View Post
I would be wary of using the standard fermentation instead of priming. With ciders I believe it would be easier as they should finish at the same level, but there is no guarantee of that since fruit juice doesnt always have the same amount of sugars. If I were to use the readings I would use a calculator and find out exactly how much fermentables you need to get the desired carbonation then bottle when at that much above the FG.

Still seems a little risky to me. I would rather chuck in a little Dextrose once I am sure fermentation is complete.
I'm not planning on ever having the yeast finish the fermentation. I'll pasteurize the bottles to kill the yeast before they are finished fermenting. I'll open the bottles periodically to check the carbonation. Once the carbonation is where I want it than I will pasteurize to stop additional fermentation. I'm just looking for a rough idea of when I should start checking for carbonation.
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