Best gravity for bottle carb

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Meadiator

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As the title says, I'm curious as to what the best gravity post-back sweetening is for carving to prevent bottle bombs. I just ask because I'm doing a Dave's Carmel Apple Cider and the recipe is somewhat unclear on this.
 
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I think you would back sweeten to taste then bottle and put 1 in a Plastic bottle and when bottle is firm pasteurize your bottles to stop the yeast before they eat all the sugars and thus create bottle bombs.
 
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Meadiator

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Sounds like a plan. Forgot about that method. But still, it would be nice if we knew the correct gravity for bottle carbing. It'd take out a lot of guess work.
 

moze229

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That's one of the main reasons I haven't done a cider yet. It would be nice to have a more formulated/static answer as to the best gravity to carb. Unfortunately, with everyone preferring different levels of alcohol and sweetness, there's simply too many variables to come up with a definitive answer for carbonation. And because apple flavor and sweetness are important, most aren't fermenting to entire completion, creating more issues.

I simply don't have the experience to even make an educated guess. I plan on just fermenting all the way out and priming, just like brewing beer. Once I see what that's like, I'll start changing things around. Like many, I don't feel like playing the guessing game or bottling one or two in plastic bottles and going by "feel". I also don't want to pasteurize because there are dangers in this as well. Kegging is an answer, but I don't do that either :)

With that caramel recipe, it's going to carb up fast. From what I've been reading, this has to be pasteurized in order to control the results.
 

Wine2Beer

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Sweeten based on the SG, instead of taste? More scientific, but might not result in something you want to drink. If you only want carbonation, and not sweetness, they you are probably safe with the 1oz/gal as if you were bottle conditioning beer. In that case, the point would be to consume all of the sugar. If you want to leave sweetness, then you can run into different issues based on which yeast you use, which can continue to consume sugar at a higher alcohol and pressure environment (bottle bomb), or stop earlier (more sweetness), or other variables. Probably better off with the suggestion above to sweeten, then pasturize at a finished carbonation level. Just an opinion.
 

AidanSavage

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There is no "scientific" answer to it to be honest. Not unless you approached it on a commercial point of view. When the cider hits dry (.995? maybe lower?), then it wont carb any further, but then it has absolutely no taste associated with sugars and sweetness. Outside of a massive amount of math, you just need to rely on instinct for bottle carbing. Your only other choice is killing yeast with the tablets, kegging it, force-carbing, then bottle from there. Unless you've already got that stuff, it's another couple hundred to invest.
 
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Meadiator

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So, my OG was 1.070. Will let it ferment dry, then add 5 12 oz cans of concentrate and 12 oz brown sugar caramel. Not sure how much this will affect the gravity, but I was kind of hoping that since I'm using safale-04, it's going to poop out after carbonating, because of the ABV being produced. Is there an exact point of alcohol that safale 04 will die at, or should I just watch this carefully?
 

AidanSavage

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So, my OG was 1.070. Will let it ferment dry, then add 5 12 oz cans of concentrate and 12 oz brown sugar caramel. Not sure how much this will affect the gravity, but I was kind of hoping that since I'm using safale-04, it's going to poop out after carbonating, because of the ABV being produced. Is there an exact point of alcohol that safale 04 will die at, or should I just watch this carefully?
Even for a 5gal batch, that just seems like waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much sugar for you to just let carb in the bottle and hope the yeast dies off. You're absolutely begging for bombs if you do that. To put it simply, carbing in bottles is going to rely on your intuition for when is "just right."

Is there a reason you refuse to consider pasteurizing? If you arent going to pasteurize, you have exactly 2 options: ferment dry and bottle (DO NOT add sugar), or invest the money in a kegging system and force-carbonate.
 

moze229

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I agree. You can't follow that recipe and not stop the fermentation manually. It's not possible. What you COULD do is ferment dry, then add just enough sugar for priming. But then you'll loose your caramel flavoring and most of your back sweetening. Perhaps someone has an idea on perhaps priming with the caramel part of the recipe? That still might be too much. AND it's not going to be as sweet as the recipe intends.

I've looked over his recipe for quite some time, and there just isn't a way to get it bottle conditioned without stopping fermentation.

As for S-04 dying at a certain ABV - likely, but that number is going to be higher than you can reach with what you're doing.
 

Maylar

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Take this for what it's worth - I picked it up off of a "how to" article -

1.005 is safe for bottle carbing in beer bottles. No need to pasteurize or do anything funky. With champagne bottles you can go as high as 1.010.

I can't swear to these numbers, because I've always used the carbonation calculators and measured out the required amount of sugar. But I can say that one batch I did was at 1.002 and was barely carbonated after 3 weeks.
 
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