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Old 10-26-2009, 06:24 AM   #1
aaronjg
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Jul 2009
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I've been making cider, and I was wondering how to get the cider carbonated without finishing fermenting.

I started out with 5 gallons of UV pasteurized cider(OG 1.041), 1 pound of corn sugar, added wine yeast, yeast nutrient and pectic enzyme. Started bubbling after a day, and after 4 days, I took a specific gravity reading, it was .94, and it tasted more like wine than cider.

I decided that we needed more juice, so I cold crashed it and after two days, added another gallon of juice (OG 1.050) and reracked, and put it back in the fridge. It is around 40 degrees right now, and appears that there is a little bit of yeast activity (positive pressure in the air lock).

My question is how and when to bottle this. I'd like it to remain off-dry, but I don't know how to let it carbonate. I'm afraid if I bottle it now it will explode, alternatively. Or I'm afraid if I wait too long all the yeast will come out of solution and it will remain sweet but not carbonated.

How do people usually handle this situation?



 
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:15 AM   #2
Teromous
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At a gravity that high, you should be able to just bottle it as is. Just bottle it and leave it in an area warm enough that the yeast will make a little CO2. The yeast should be slowed down pretty good from the cold crash so it could carbonate slowly (what you want) but on the other side, with a higher gravity like that the yeast could take off in a renewed fermentation.

I would check a bottle after about 3 or 4 days to see if it's very carbonated, and go from there. If it's good to go, put it in a cold place for storage to prevent bottle rockets. If it shows signs of carbonation, but not much, just leave it out for another week and test it again. The only problem would be if by chance no yeast at all survived and it doesn't carbonate at all.

This is assuming you want to use bottles. In all honesty if you want a sure thing, my advice would be to filter the cider to remove all sediment and keg it with some CO2. Kevin could give you some advice on kegging, I know he has experience in that.



 
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:26 AM   #3
gregbathurst
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The dishwasher pasteurisation method might work.

 
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
aaronjg
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Jul 2009
Philadelphia
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Thanks guys! Unfortunately I don't have the set up to do kegging, and it's only been in the fermenter for a week. Can I really bottle it now? According to my calculations SG after adding the last gallon of cider is around 1.006. Is this really that high a SG?

Also, I currently have a shortage of bottles due to slower than expected conditioning times on the previous two batches. How long can I let the cider sit in the bucket? It's down to 34 degrees, but it still appears there is some fermentation occurring.

 
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:15 PM   #5
Yooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronjg View Post
Thanks guys! Unfortunately I don't have the set up to do kegging, and it's only been in the fermenter for a week. Can I really bottle it now? According to my calculations SG after adding the last gallon of cider is around 1.006. Is this really that high a SG?

Also, I currently have a shortage of bottles due to slower than expected conditioning times on the previous two batches. How long can I let the cider sit in the bucket? It's down to 34 degrees, but it still appears there is some fermentation occurring.
My opinion is if you bottle it before fermentation is finished, you will have bottle bombs. I would never, ever bottle anything unless all activity had stopped.


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