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Old 10-14-2009, 03:05 AM   #1
BBKing
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Default Hard Cider

Ok, so I somehow managed to screw up hard cider. Heres what I did; perhaps someone can tell me where I went wrong:

I bought 5 gallons of apple cider at Wal-Mart as it was on sale.

Threw it in my fermenting bucket along with 4 pounds of sugar and a packet of champagne yeast.

I let it roll until the bubbles stopped, then a few days afterwards.

Bottled it up, and let it sit.

I gave a few to my buddy, and he called me like 4 days later and said that they had busted just sitting at his place.

So I opened a bottle here at home, and foam everywhere! A few days later I opened another and there was even more foam. So instead of taking the risk and possibly having a bunch of my bottles bust, I dumped it out.

Except I forgot that I took 3 bottles over to my moms house for long term storage. About 4 days after dumping everything, one of those bottles busted! When I went to dump out the other two, I couldnt believe it, the caps flew off at the speed of sound when I cracked em even the slightest bit. The second one I opened, the cap made it all the way across the neighbors yard and I heard that ZING! as it started flying. I thought I had put a cap into orbit, seriously.

What I think I did wrong was a mixture of the Champagne yeast and fermenting time.

The yeast may have given it the extra bubbly effect (?) and I most likely didnt give it enough time to ferment, thus adding pressure inside the bottles that eventually lead to some breaking.

Any tips?

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:11 AM   #2
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First of all, wrong forum. Cider takes much longer to ferment than beer. You should've taken at least 2 hydrometer readings over a 3 day period to make sure fermentation is complete before bottling. Cider should finish between 0.998-1.002. Don't judge fermentation by airlock activity alone.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:16 AM   #3
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Did you check the gravity? The bubbles mean nothing. Check your gravity with a hydrometer always. I learned that the hard way with an IPA. Wife was none so pleased.

The sugar in apple juice is 100% fructose, as far as I know, and will ferment out completely with champagne yeast. You should expect a final gravity of 1.000 or even below. If you don't nuke the yeast with some kind of sulfite, it'll keep fermenting until there's nothing left.

My mildly-educated guess is that your cider wasn't done fermenting and you set youself up with the perfect recipe for bottle bombs. One thing that I've learned in this hobby/obsession is to use the tools that have been developed to test things; gut instincts are for the experts, which I ain't one of.

Best of luck. Don't give up, just clean up the messes of the bombs and plan your next attack.

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Old 10-14-2009, 03:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMOKEU View Post
First of all, wrong forum. Cider takes much longer to ferment than beer. You should've taken at least 2 hydrometer readings over a 3 day period to make sure fermentation is complete before bottling. Cider should finish between 0.998-1.002. Don't judge fermentation by airlock activity alone.
Regardless of the forum, SMOKEU is spot on.
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