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Old 07-26-2008, 11:04 AM   #1
Jul 2008
Eastern Wisconsin
Posts: 93

Hi. I have been trying to learn about carbonating cider by reading the posts and I am confused.
I am hoping someone can explain to me how to safely sweeten and lightly carbonate ciders and not have bottle bombs. I want to bottle some cider with wine bottles and corks. My wine supply store told me I should buy plastic bottles with screw caps so that if I am in trouble I would be able to see it before something explodes. I do not have the equipment for forcing carbonation
and I'm wondering if there is a fool-proof way to carbonate and bottle safely.

Thanks for your help.

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Old 07-26-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
EvilTOJ's Avatar
Dec 2005
Portland, OR, Oregon
Posts: 6,401
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First off, you can't bottle anything carbonated in wine bottles. The cork will pop out, and if you somehow managed to keep it in, they're too thin for pressure and may explode. You'd have to bottle in champange or martinelli's bottles and use a cork and cage system or even bottlecaps. Or, you can use beer bottles too.

The main problem with trying to carbonate cider is the yeast will eat all the sugar, making it dry. Trying to backsweeten will only result in the yeast eating all the sugar until it's dry again. You can try using splenda to sweeten, as that's an unfermentable sugar and then add your regular bottling sugar. Anything else would need kegging equipment and killing the yeast.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:33 PM   #3
Jul 2008
Eastern Wisconsin
Posts: 93

OK - I didn't know I couldn't use wine bottles. Thanks.
My confusion is that I have read about using splenda for baking - part is non-fermentable and part is fermentable, so it would both sweeten and still give the yeast sugar so it would carbonate after bottling. Is this safe using bottles and caps? Can you just sweeten to taste and it wouldn't cause too much carbonation?
What about using 5 grains of yeast added to bottles along with non-fermentable sugar to sweeten? Is 5 grains of yeast per bottle safe?
What about using carbonation drops?
There seems to be different ways of doing this, but non comment on if they work and are they safe, or is there still risk of bottle bombs. That is why I am confused.
does anyone know for sure a safe way of doing this?

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Old 07-27-2008, 10:40 PM   #4
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,877
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I've never heard that splenda is at all fermentable- that's a new one on me.

You can use lactose to sweeten if you want- that's not fermentable by ale or wine yeasts. You would still need to prime with about 5-7 ounces of priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch if you want it bubbly, and you could use soda bottles or beer bottles with caps.

Carbonation drops work fine- just use them according to package directions, after sweetening with a non-fermentable sweetener.
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:18 AM   #5
May 2008
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 512
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Not all Splenda is 100% Splenda. There is a version that is a mixture of regular sugar and Splenda Its called SPLENDAŽ Sugar Blend.

SPLENDAŽ Sugar Blend is a mix of SPLENDAŽ Brand Sweetener and pure sugar and provides only 1/2 the calories and carbohydrates of pure sugar. It helps you reduce the sugar in your home baking, while keeping the great sugar taste your family loves!

If you use this thinking is pure Splenda you will be in for a surprise.

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