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Old 01-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #1
xmonkeymanx
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Jan 2012
thurso, scotland
Posts: 3


Hello all. I'll get straight to it as I need a wee bit of advice. I've just started my first brew and it's a cider kit. Everything is in the fermenting bucket which has a heating belt around it to provide a bit of assistance. I've got a pressure keg and 2 dozen bottles so here goes with my questions.

1. My fermenting bucket has a lid but no hole for one of those plastic air locks. I've just left the lid sitting loosely on the bucket. Is this ok?

2. When the first stage of fermentation is complete should it just go straight into the keg with some sugar for a secondary fermentation or is it better to bottle it. And when it's in there should the cap for the keg be kept tight on the keg?

3. If it completes a secondary fermentation in the keg can you then bottle it with a little sugar in the bottles or is this a step too far. What I was hoping was that pouring into bottles for a third fermentation may also reduce the amount of sediment.

I realise a lot of what I just said may sound like nonsense but I am a complete beginner and some advice from people who know would be really appreciated.

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:15 PM   #2
liquidavalon
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Mar 2008
Salem, Oregon
Posts: 151

I can answer question #1 for you. I had a buddy that had the same issue and he drilled a hole big enough in the bucket lid to fit a stopper and airlock. You want to make sure that while in fermentation it is as close to being airtight as possible and leaving the lip on loosely could bring in potential contamination or wild yeasts that could ruin your batch. The stopper firmly in place and the airlock in it will make sure that no outside air contamination will happen.

Personal preference, I put vodka in the airlock that makes certain sure that if anything tries to get in or out...it will be taken care of.

**Again this is all IMHO, I am not an authority on cider making nor claim to be.**

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
MarkKF
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Dec 2011
Meriden, CT
Posts: 1,339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidavalon View Post
I can answer question #1 for you. I had a buddy that had the same issue and he drilled a hole big enough in the bucket to fit a stopper and airlock. You want to make sure that while in fermentation it is as close to being airtight as possible and leaving the lip on loosely could bring in potential contamination or wild yeasts that could ruin your batch. The stopper firmly in place and the airlock in it will make sure that no outside air contamination will happen.
I prefer a smaller hole and a grommet to a larger hole and a rubber stopper.

I know plenty of people who make wine with the loose lid method.

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
xmonkeymanx
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Jan 2012
thurso, scotland
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidavalon View Post
I can answer question #1 for you. I had a buddy that had the same issue and he drilled a hole big enough in the bucket to fit a stopper and airlock. You want to make sure that while in fermentation it is as close to being airtight as possible and leaving the lip on loosely could bring in potential contamination or wild yeasts that could ruin your batch. The stopper firmly in place and the airlock in it will make sure that no outside air contamination will happen.

Personal preference, I put vodka in the airlock that makes certain sure that if anything tries to get in or out...it will be taken care of.

**Again this is all IMHO, I am not an authority on cider making nor claim to be.**
OK great. I suppose that makes sense. Drilling a hole and fitting an airlock and stopper. It'd certainly take away the worry of contamination. May be a bit late as I'm three days in but nothing to lose I suppose. Thanks very much, question one answered.

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
Pickled_Pepper
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Nov 2011
Atlanta, Georgia
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#2: How much "sugar" were you planning on adding? There's really no need to add more sugar to the cider if you are just looking to age it. (Unless you had a specific reason for doing so)

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
liquidavalon
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Mar 2008
Salem, Oregon
Posts: 151

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkKF View Post
I know plenty of people who make wine with the loose lid method.
I know plenty of people as well that used the 'loose lid' method. They have lost entire batches to something ugly invading their buckets ( Not all mind you, but 85% I would say ). Their sanitation was impeccable, the cider they used in separate batches was both from the store and from organic orchards having been pasteurized and not...all the same outcome.

I guess that I would rather take 5 min, drill a hole on the bucket lid, stick a stopper with an airlock in said hole and cut my chances drastically that some outside contamination could occur. I would rather be safe than sorry. If I knew there could be even a slight chance of contamination, however small...I would side with being proactive rather than sitting on gallons of yeti piss.**

 
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:51 PM   #7
dinnerstick
 
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Nov 2010
utrecht, netherlands
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my 2p
1 why not drill the hole for an airlock, but during fermentation it's not a problem to just have a lose lid, or even a towel + rubber band. keep dust and bugs out but oxygen is not yet your enemy. if you leave it a long time in the fermenter or do a secondary fermentation then this is not an option; oxygen is indeed your enemy
2 personally i would not bother with secondary unless you have the correct sized carboy (ie it will be full with no air space), no harm from leaving it alone for a while under your new airlock, it will clear in the primary in time and be sheltered by the CO2 generated during fermentation, less likely for things to go wrong by leaving it be than fussing with it, or having it in contact with a lot of air for a long time in a too-big secondary
3 when it is finished, and the gravity is stable or giving a reasonably low reading, ie below 1.000, you can do anything you like with it, including priming with sugar and bottling for sparkling cider, best bet there is not to pour, but siphon to a bucket and mix the sugar into the whole thing, preferably dissolved in some boiling water then mixed well through the cider, then bottle. but the old teaspoon of sugar per bottle also works. just that sometimes you put in too much and the bottle explodes...
good luck; get drunk

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
xmonkeymanx
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Jan 2012
thurso, scotland
Posts: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
my 2p
1 why not drill the hole for an airlock, but during fermentation it's not a problem to just have a lose lid, or even a towel + rubber band. keep dust and bugs out but oxygen is not yet your enemy. if you leave it a long time in the fermenter or do a secondary fermentation then this is not an option; oxygen is indeed your enemy
2 personally i would not bother with secondary unless you have the correct sized carboy (ie it will be full with no air space), no harm from leaving it alone for a while under your new airlock, it will clear in the primary in time and be sheltered by the CO2 generated during fermentation, less likely for things to go wrong by leaving it be than fussing with it, or having it in contact with a lot of air for a long time in a too-big secondary
3 when it is finished, and the gravity is stable or giving a reasonably low reading, ie below 1.000, you can do anything you like with it, including priming with sugar and bottling for sparkling cider, best bet there is not to pour, but siphon to a bucket and mix the sugar into the whole thing, preferably dissolved in some boiling water then mixed well through the cider, then bottle. but the old teaspoon of sugar per bottle also works. just that sometimes you put in too much and the bottle explodes...
good luck; get drunk
Excellent. Thanks for the advice and thanks to the other two that answered. I think I have a better idea where to go with this now. I'll report back, hopefully once I have gotten proper drunk.

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
SCOdoubleT
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Mar 2011
West Hartford, CT
Posts: 19
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I agree.

- Towel over primary for the first week
- Drill small hole with gromet and airlock in plastic lid

Enjoy!

 
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