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Old 01-10-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
jkbrewski
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Default Sampling Hard Cider While Still Fermenting

I just recently brewed a maple brown sugar hard cider, but I wanted to cut the fermentation off at certain point to where the cider is not too dry and has a sweet flavor. I wanted to try and sample some of the cider to see if the taste is close to where I want it, but I do not want to remove the airlock and risk contamination. Any suggestions?

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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I just recently brewed a maple brown sugar hard cider, but I wanted to cut the fermentation off at certain point to where the cider is not too dry and has a sweet flavor. I wanted to try and sample some of the cider to see if the taste is close to where I want it, but I do not want to remove the airlock and risk contamination. Any suggestions?
You can always back sweeten to taste when bottling/kegging. How long has it been in primary? Maybe just remove airlock from stopper and use a santizied small dia. hose to draw a sample. Assuming you will not lose much Co2 that way.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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You can always back sweeten to taste when bottling/kegging. How long has it been in primary? Maybe just remove airlock from stopper and use a santizied small dia. hose to draw a sample. Assuming you will not lose much Co2 that way.
Wouldnt removing the airlock put the batch at risk for bacteria? Just want to be safe!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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Wouldnt removing the airlock put the batch at risk for bacteria? Just want to be safe!
To some degree yes. It is considered acceptable risk.

Also note that once it has been fermenting a while, it is at less risk for 2 reasons:

1. It's got loads of active yeast in there out competing other bugs.

2. It is alcoholic, if high enough it is effective at limiting the growth of many bacteria. For example, i was listening on NPR the other day about a RAW EGG Nog, spiked with e-coli for testing, was made mildly alcoholic, and after a couple weeks it was sterile. The higher the ABV, the faster it works to kill bugs.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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To some degree yes. It is considered acceptable risk.

Also note that once it has been fermenting a while, it is at less risk for 2 reasons:

1. It's got loads of active yeast in there out competing other bugs.

2. It is alcoholic, if high enough it is effective at limiting the growth of many bacteria. For example, i was listening on NPR the other day about a RAW EGG Nog, spiked with e-coli for testing, was made mildly alcoholic, and after a couple weeks it was sterile. The higher the ABV, the faster it works to kill bugs.
What would suggest to do in order to sweeten it while carbonating it as well? (Bottling it not kegging)
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rayfound View Post
To some degree yes. It is considered acceptable risk.

Also note that once it has been fermenting a while, it is at less risk for 2 reasons:

1. It's got loads of active yeast in there out competing other bugs.

2. It is alcoholic, if high enough it is effective at limiting the growth of many bacteria. For example, i was listening on NPR the other day about a RAW EGG Nog, spiked with e-coli for testing, was made mildly alcoholic, and after a couple weeks it was sterile. The higher the ABV, the faster it works to kill bugs.
I take it that it would be ok to taste that sample I take from my carboy correct?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Its pretty stable after its got some alcohol in it. Get a bottle of sanitizer and rack enough off for a sample then spray the rubber stopper on the airlock and the opening with sanitizer and put it away. Make sure whatever your racking with is also sanitized

Try to get a hydro reading and remember its gonna taste funny if the yeast havent fully floculated.

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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Its pretty stable after its got some alcohol in it. Get a bottle of sanitizer and rack enough off for a sample then spray the rubber stopper on the airlock and the opening with sanitizer and put it away. Make sure whatever your racking with is also sanitized

Try to get a hydro reading and remember its gonna taste funny if the yeast havent fully floculated.
What is the best way to stop fermentation? I want to have to backsweeten and worry about the sugar breaking down in the bottle.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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Pasteurize bottles on a stove top or dishwasher. Use the SEARCH function for details. I have heard of campden tablets being used but I cannot confirm results. I keg mine and run it through a filter. Backsweeten and carb in the keg.

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