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Old 03-24-2008, 03:14 AM   #1
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Default Bottling cider early for carbonation?

I was at the LHBS the other day and the guys asked me what I had brewing. I told them I had some cider going that was almost done. One of the guys said something to the effect of "if you bottle it while it's still fermenting and cloudy you'll get sparkling cider". I was planning on just bottling my cider still in wine bottles, but I thought carbed cider might be cool too. So it's down to about 1.003 and bubbling some...

I know they used to carb like this in the old days but it hardly seems like an exact science. I realize if you do it too early you'll get bottle bombs, but is there any way to do this safely? I've got plenty of empty beer bottles around that could stand to be used.

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Old 03-24-2008, 04:10 AM   #2
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I always carb my cider but never before it's done fermenting. There is plenty of yeast after it's finished and cleared for carbonation. I use beer bottles because wine bottle can't take the pressure. Please do not listen to the idiot at your LHBS! Cider should be handled just like beer; finish it properly (fermented and cleared) then prime with dextrose and bottle.

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Old 03-24-2008, 04:53 AM   #3
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Unless you are in a time crunch I'd suggest letting fermentation finish and then prime like you would a beer(4.5oz Corn Sugar at bottling time).

I have done it before. I was moving in a few days and I needed to bottle a batch of apfelwein. Checking the SG I believe I was at 1.001, which I felt was safe to bottle at. It turned out fine, no bottle bombs and I have a decent carbonation.

So it'd probably be best just to wait, carb like beer, and use beer bottles.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nurmey
Please do not listen to the idiot at your LHBS!
Better advice has never been given.
I wonder how some of these guys stay in business.
Seriously. I'm here for BEER
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #5
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Although it can be done, leaves too big a window for error because you cannot truly predict what your FG is going to be. So you don't know how much carbonation you'll achieve, so like you say it's not an exact science because of this reason.

As mentioned above, let it finish and then control the amount of carbonation you want. You can go as high as the bottles will take pressure-wise with Sparkling Cider because it won't form a head or 'gushing' bottles if you overcarb, so in a sense overcarbonated in this case would be merely what you feel is too much aggression on the tongue, etc.

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