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Old 12-30-2006, 07:44 PM   #1
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Default Champagne yeast & bottling

I made two batches of apple wine (or cider if you prefer) using champagne yeast. The first batch is very small was an experiment that turned out tasty enough to encourage me to start a larger second batch.

I LOVE the bubbly character of the small batch, but am concerned about bottling. I've been reading that sparkling wines require special bottles and caps. However, I've also run across several websites that indicate bottling cider made with champagne yeast is just like bottling beer, and can be done in any bottle suitable for beer.

I'm assuming that bottling isn't even considered until the SG readings taken on consecutive days remain the same. It is my understanding that wines are agitated to remove CO2, and now I am totally confused. Agitating a sparkling wine seems counterproductive. Also, since champagne yeast is so effective at converting sugar to CO2 and alcohol, does one prime with less sugar for bottling?

Can someone clear up this confusion?

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Old 12-30-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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When I brewed a cider, I did it just as you would beer. Champagne yeast does hang in there longer and hence gives you a very dry brew, but once it has settled down, treat it just like beer and use the same amount of priming sugar (~3/4 cup per 5 gal. batch) If you don't want the brew too dry, you may want to add Lactose to sweeten in at bottling time. I added 3/4 cup of Lactose and it still came out very dry for my taste but I have read that many people sense lactose sweetness differently. You could just experiment with 1 bottle and teaspoons of lactose until you get the right sweetness for you and then scale it up for your batch.

BTW, make sure you keep the bottles fairly warm (~70 degrees) so that the yeast will hang in there long enough to carb. It should only take about 2 weeks.

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Old 01-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #3
Default Special Bottles


I think what Hopfan said is correct. If you wanted to put sparking cider into special bottles you can contact a banquet hall and ask for the empty champaigne bottles. They may want you to cover a deposit they have sunk into the bottles.

These bottles would be awesome for what you are doing. They can also be capped like beer bottles. However I think you need arbor press style capper.

I've never done this, some day I will though. This style would be especially nice for gifts or if you have nice Belgian Chimay that needs bottling!!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:24 AM   #4
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I've made peach champagne the turned out very good.

I make it as I would a wine. Stabilize it. Add a bit of sugar to it to sweeten. Put it in a corny keg or properly equipped better bottle and hit it with 15 PSI of CO2 while its very cold. Then bottle with a counter pressure bottler, just like beer.

I got my champagne bottles from a bottle recycling place. I think I paid 20 cents each. They wanted more for the champagne bottles. And they were disgusting to clean. But they worked well. Most winemaking places sell the regular champagne corks and the wires to hold them down.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:12 PM   #5
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The main point is, don't bottle a sparkling anything in a standard wine bottle. They are not designed to handle pressure. Beer and champaign bottles are. Prime as you would a very fizzy lager.

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