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Old 10-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
garbs
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Default Adding sulfites to keg

Hey guys,

I'm getting ready to rack a cider to my keg and would like to backsweeten it as well. I want to add the campden and potassium sorbate directly to the keg instead of transferring to another vessel first. Right now, the cider is in my only 5 gallon fermenter, and I'd rather not rack into my 6 gallon better bottle for fear of excessive headspace.

Is this an option? If I pull the pressure relief valve every now and then, won't the sulfites still be able to off-gas?

Thanks!


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Old 10-05-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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Hey guys,

I'm getting ready to rack a cider to my keg and would like to backsweeten it as well. I want to add the campden and potassium sorbate directly to the keg instead of transferring to another vessel first. Right now, the cider is in my only 5 gallon fermenter, and I'd rather not rack into my 6 gallon better bottle for fear of excessive headspace.

Is this an option? If I pull the pressure relief valve every now and then, won't the sulfites still be able to off-gas?

Thanks!
Well, it's not the offgassing at all you have to worry about. What you want to do is stabilize the cider first, and then a few days later sweeten it. If you stabilize and sweeten at the same time, the sorbate isn't as effective. Sorbate doesn't kill yeast (neither does campden). What sorbate does is inhibit yeast reproduction, so that they yeast that are in there can't make more yeast to cause fermentation to restart. So, you stabilize first. Wait a few days, then sweeten.

If there is no sediment at all in the fermenter, you could add the sorbate and campden to it (dissolved in a little water or cider first). Then, rack to the keg with the sweetener in a couple of days. If it were me, I'd rack to the larger carboy along with the sorbate and campden and wait a couple of days then sweeten it to taste. Then I'd rack to the keg.


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Old 10-05-2009, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thanks Yooper

What do you think about racking to the keg with sulfites, purging the headspace with CO2 and then waiting a couple days before backsweetening?

Won't that accomplish pretty much the same thing? I'm just nervous about racking 4 gallons of juice into a 6 gallon better bottle. That's a lot more head space than I'm comfortable with.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #4
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Thanks Yooper

What do you think about racking to the keg with sulfites, purging the headspace with CO2 and then waiting a couple days before backsweetening?

Won't that accomplish pretty much the same thing? I'm just nervous about racking 4 gallons of juice into a 6 gallon better bottle. That's a lot more head space than I'm comfortable with.
Well, I'm not so nervous about the headspace. But if it makes you more comfortable to do it that way, that's fine.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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Thanks! I'll be giving it a try as soon as I can get my hands on some sulfites.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:18 AM   #6
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The reason you dont want to use your keg as the secondary is that often the cider goes through an additional sediment drop once it comes off the primary yeast cake. You dont want that to be in the bottom of your keg.

Yes, if the cider has fermented out and is stable, you can keep it in the keg for as long as you want before backsweetening. If you backsweeten right before a party then you can skip the chemicals as long as the keg is kept cool and consumed before the yeast can get too far with it. It will taste much better.

Racking into 2 gal of headspace is not ideal, but you can do it by filling it with CO2. I use a keg charger with a pipe nipple. A cheaper way is to dial your regulator almost all the way down to a couple psi, take the gas nut off one of your kegs and use it with your regulator as a blower, to blow the air out of your carboy.


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