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Old 12-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
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Default Need help with Hard Cider - Bottle Bombs

Just cleaned up 13 bottles of Hard cider that exploded everywhere...That sucked. I had a galon jug of apple juice that I fermented out to completely dry. Then I back sweetened with 6 cups of apple juice. I then bottled in beer bottles and let sit for 2 weeks to build up carbonation. I then wanted to pasteurize the bottles to kill off yeast and stop fermentation. I put bottle in large pot of water on the stove and began to slowly heat up and at around 120 degrees the bottles started blowing up, cider everywhere, kids crying from the loud noise, wife pissed off, it sucked. Anyway how do I accomplish a hard cider that is sweet and carbonated and avoid the bottle bombs in the future?

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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You say it fermented dry, do you know what the FG was?

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:27 PM   #3
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Check out this sticky:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/

Sounds like you had the bottles in while you were heating - you don't want to do that, since the bottom of the pot gets so hot. As outlined in the link above, get the water up to temp and then put the bottles in.

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Old 12-20-2013, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roxbob View Post
Check out this sticky:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/easy...g-pics-193295/

Sounds like you had the bottles in while you were heating - you don't want to do that, since the bottom of the pot gets so hot. As outlined in the link above, get the water up to temp and then put the bottles in.
+1

Just to be safe I usually heat my water to about 190-195, turn off the heat, add my bottles and cover for about 15 minutes, which is a bit more time/heat than is recommended but I've not had one blow up in the pot yet.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firestem4 View Post
You say it fermented dry, do you know what the FG was?
FG was around .099 - 1. That was prior to back sweetning and bottling. I think the backsweeting caused the bottles to start fermenting again and then I added heat to the mix, causing even more pressure inside the bottles, and BOOM!!!
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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Starting fermentation again is the point (assuming you want sparkling cider). Adding sugar gives the yeast something to munch on, and CO2 is produced, making your beer/cider fizzy. When you do this to beer, you only add just enough sugar to carbonate each bottle, and there's no need to pasteurize. With cider, most people add a bunch of sugar and, if left to its own devices, will explode from a buildup of CO2.

If you wanted a still and sweet cider, you could just add campden tablets and potassium sorbate to stabilize, then backsweeten. The campden and potassium sorbate prevent the yeast from fermenting again, and you're still left with sweet, still cider. Otherwise, the stovetop pasteurization thread will set you right

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Old 12-21-2013, 01:39 AM   #7
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I vote Truvia and dextrose next time. Maybe not as authentic as using applejuice to sweeten but it's measurable, consistant, and doesn't require pasturization.

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Old 12-21-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
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Another thing to consider that I have done with my cider is leave a bit more headspace that you would for beer to cushion the pressure increase during pasteurization, takes a little practice at getting it carbonated, but it has worked for me.

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Old 12-21-2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesy_Goodness View Post
+1

Just to be safe I usually heat my water to about 190-195, turn off the heat, add my bottles and cover for about 15 minutes, which is a bit more time/heat than is recommended but I've not had one blow up in the pot yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Desvio View Post
Another thing to consider that I have done with my cider is leave a bit more headspace that you would for beer to cushion the pressure increase during pasteurization, takes a little practice at getting it carbonated, but it has worked for me.
I should mention I only bottle carb for about 3 days so I can get away with.my temps and times. If you go longer I would stick to the recommendations in the pasteurization thread
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