Aging in Growler?

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rothschild

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Made a cider. Nothing scientific. Bought a gallon of unfiltered, spiced cider from Trader Joe's. Added approx 1 1/2 lb of honey. Fermented in the original container. Used Lalvin D47 yeast. Cold crashing now. Any risks in aging in two growlers with twist tops for a year?

Thanks!
 

Tw0fish

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When it's apples and honey it's a cyser, not a cider /nerd :p

Cold crashing with residual sugars can be a gamble. As soon as it warms up again, any yeast left over will start chugging away again.

If you have twist-top growlers that you're gonna put airlocks on.. sure. If you're gonna leave the twist tops on loosely enough for gas to escape, feasible. If you're gonna crank down the caps you may end up with carbed cider - or bombs.
 

KevinM

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Both good points. I think it comes down to... are you cold crashing because the cider/cyser has completely fermented to dry and you're getting the yeast to drop out for clarity? Or are you cold crashing in the attempt to halt the yeast and keep some sweetness?

If there's no residual sugars, you're fine. If there are sugars, you will need to make sure you use sulfites/whatever-can't-think-of-the-name to keep it from fermenting further, especially if you want to keep it in the growler.

I have a mead and a wine in a growler. One has been sitting in the closet since May.
 

divi2323

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Sorbate... is what he is trying to think of above :) Sorbate in combination with sulfites will halt your fermentation without the need to cold crash.
 

Tw0fish

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Sorbate... is what he is trying to think of above :) Sorbate in combination with sulfites will halt your fermentation without the need to cold crash.
I do not sorbate, nor do I sulfite - and so this will be hearsay.... but.

I have been told this statement is not entirely true - a fermentation that's rolling downhill (e.g. a well established population eating abundant sugars) won't stop with sorbate/sulfite.

A yeast population that has eaten all of the sugars can be stunned by them, I have been told: so you could let it go bone dry, rack onto sorbate/sulfite and backsweeten, then pop an airlock on to be doubly sure no more sugar is being eaten, THEN bottle.

Also if you look on the juice/yeast experiments sticky, some ferments can be stopped with cold crashing and racking.

I know I'm being picky, but some people really break their backs to get to the LHBS and may not need to/would be wasting their money if misinformed. and that's no fun.
 
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rothschild

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Thanks for all the helpful replies! I was cold crashing to get the remaining yeast to drop, not to stop fermentation. This is the first time I've made something from unfiltered juice and didn't trust that I'd know when the yeast had all dropped. But since I didn't test OG and just guessed that the fermentation was pretty much done I'll probably add airlocks for the first couple of months just to be on the safe side.

My primary concern was oxidation. I bought the growlers from a local brew pub and had to return one that had been sitting in their display because it had turned. But it sounds like with the cider, as long as I practice proper sanitation, it should be fine, yeah?

Thanks again!

P.S. @Two0Fish, I knew to call it ciser but thought, if I did so, some forum rule would make my question more appropriate in the mead forum, and then I thought I'd miss out on teh great wisdomz of the cider heads here. I was probably overanalyzing.
 

KevinM

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Sorbate, that's the stuff I couldn't remember. I've yet to use it as well, but may at some point. What I would do is cold crash to preserve sweetness, rack to leave yeast behind and sulfite/sorbate to prevent any additional yeast growth and fermentation. Something like that anyways. I haven't wanted to do it yet so I haven't researched.

More than likely, if this was a display growler that was filled, it was probably lightstruck somehow, so that the light was more of the issue than oxygen. Do you recall if it was skunky (something about light and hops) or if it was more like cardboard (usually oxidation)?

And proper sanitation should always be followed regardless of drink, and you should be fine in that regard.
 
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rothschild

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The beer that had turned was an ale (this one specifically: Titan Ale - Watch City Brewing Co. - Waltham, MA - BeerAdvocate ) that tasted undrinkably sour. I don't know how long it'd been since it was filled. It wasn't on tap when I picked up the growler. It had been sitting in the front of the display where there is a lot of light exposure. The growler was made of dark brown tinted glass. It was filled almost to the top.

I think I may pick up some sorbate just in case. I have campden tabs for the sulfite but was concerned that adding them to a container with no way for gases to escape might lead to sulfur odors in the cider.
 
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