Carbing cider?

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myleviathan

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How about carbing cider? I've got a batch in primary that I threw in last night, so it will be a month or so before I need to carb anyway. In the meantime, I'm trying to find out if I should carb it or not. I'd like to carb half and leave the other half still. Either way, any recommendations for carbing cider? Tablets vs. priming sugar, etc...

Thanks!
 

devaspawn

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Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.

:tank:
 
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myleviathan

myleviathan

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Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.

:tank:
How come a keg would be easiest? Keep in mind I'm a noob, and I've got very basic equipment at this point. :fro:

I understand priming sugar, but I'm not sure what you man by "bottling the whole batch with CO2". When you refer to "nonfermentable sugars" you mean sugars that will counteract the drying effect caused by carbonation?

Thanks for the help!
 

devaspawn

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No worries. When you keg you MAY remove the option of natural carbing (or adding priming sugar) and Force Carb from a CO2 tank if you like. I have made cider before and it comes out rather dry (search for Apfelwein for the recipe I use) I like to backsweeten with Apple Juice concentrate. When bottle priming you can't use that to backsweeten as it is fermentable and will cause you to over carbonate your bottles at the least and give you bottle bombs at the most. After killing the yeast in your primary/secondary you can rack your cider directly on top of a couple cans of AJ concentrate in your keg and force carb. This is why I am saying that it would be easier if you had the option of kegging.

You were saying that you were considering doing half carbonated and half uncarbonated. I was recommending doubling the priming sugar amount if you decided that you wanted to have the whole batch carbed.

A couple of examples of unfermentable sugars are lactose and splenda. You will get varying opinions on this forum as to people preferences for unfermentable sugars. You will have to decide on your own what tastes you prefer. I find that backsweetening doesn't so much counteract the dryness so much as just take away some or all of the mouth pucker you get with dry ciders/wines. Ever had a really dry wine? Notice how there's no residual sweetness at all? Backsweetening will help this immensely.

The drying effect doesn't come from carbonating it. It's the yeast almost or fully fermenting the sugars.

One other thing you could do which I did on my first batch of cider is backsweeten to taste AFTER it's ready to drink. I just added a little splenda or sugar to each glass to my level of desired sweetness. Your guests would be able to determine what they want for sweetness as well if you plan on sharing it. ;)

What yeast did you use by the way?

:tank:
 
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myleviathan

myleviathan

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No worries. When you keg you MAY remove the option of natural carbing (or adding priming sugar) and Force Carb from a CO2 tank if you like.
Ah, yes - I've heard of force carbing. I follow you now. Maybe one of these days I'll invest in such luxeries...

You were saying that you were considering doing half carbonated and half uncarbonated. I was recommending doubling the priming sugar amount if you decided that you wanted to have the whole batch carbed.
I really like still cider. But I would like to try some carbed cider too... so thanks for the advice.

What yeast did you use by the way?
I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast. :drunk:
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
 

Yooper

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I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast. :drunk:
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
Well, you may not get any carbonation at all with bread yeast- the yeast "poop out" pretty early, and probably won't have enough attenuation ability to carb up the cider. You can certainly try, but I don't think it'll happen, particularly if the cider was left a bit sweet.
 

devaspawn

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that's the good news...you should have some residual sweetness left over. go with the still for now. maybe try to carb 6 or 12 bottles of the cider. use 5 or 6 munton carb tabs or follow the instructions for whatever is available for carb tabs.

Maybe Yooper you could give a suggestion for the next yeast he should use. Better yet, leviathon, you should really do a search for apfelwein and read everything you can. Many people have experimented with many different yeasts and you can get an idea of what you want to use next time.

:tank:
 
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myleviathan

myleviathan

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The recipe I used was basically five gallons of unfiltered apple juice, 2.5 tsp of bread yeast, a mixture of white sugar and brown sugar, and cinnamon extract.

I heated up a portion of the juice to dissolved the sugar, then pitched my yeast into the warm sugar mix. Then added the warm mixture to the rest of the juice, then sealed & airlocked. I know bread yeast isn't the way to go, but the results were good the first time I tried it, and I kind of forgot about this forum until I received an email stating something about a discounted premium membership or something.

I would definitely like to hone my technique. I'm sure there's all sorts of yeast suggestions all over the cider threads. But you're right - I need to read up. I admit I was a little lazy with this batch.
 

jameswardpeterson

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I don't want to admit it, but I used supermarket bread yeast. :drunk:
It worked well my first batch. So I figured I'd try it again.

Thanks for your input!
tsk, tsk,

No, good for you actually, after I joined the forum I didnt have the courage to go against the advice here, I figure ill try it some day just for sh!ts and giggles.

devaspawn said:
Keg would be the easiest. If kegging isn't an option, let it ferment completely out, then use about 3 to 3.5 oz of priming sugar (if you want it carbed heavier than beer) boiled and poured into your bottling bucket and bottle as usual as if you would your beer. If you bottle the whole batch with CO2 than use 6 to 7 oz of priming sugar. You can do a search for nonfermentable sugars for backsweetening if it's too dry.
I'm guessing this is the recommendation for a 5 gallon batch?
Could anyone throw out an estimate of how much to prime with per gallon to get something like mikes lemonade?:eek: I brew for my friends, mostly women, and a good amount of men that drink like women.
 

ingannilo

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Today at my local homebrew store in sarasota, I asked the owner what a good amount of priming sugar would be for my cyser, she said one oz per gallon(oz by weight).
 

Tonedef131

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Well, you may not get any carbonation at all with bread yeast- the yeast "poop out" pretty early, and probably won't have enough attenuation ability to carb up the cider. You can certainly try, but I don't think it'll happen, particularly if the cider was left a bit sweet.
I did a gallon of cider with bread yeast and it fermented completely dry and carbed up perfectly. I actually think it turned out a lot better than with Montrachet, it might not hold up as well if you tried them side by side after a year, but after three months it tasted great. I did pull it off the yeast and bottled/primed it as soon as it was done fermenting though, I wouldn't let it sit there for weeks.
 

zoebisch01

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If you have heavy bottles you can really prime it up, something like 4 volumes or more. It will be much like Sparkling Wine then. It really has no head retention, so you can give it the sugar. I have a bunch of 16 oz. Franziskaner bottles before they started making them thinner (boo!) which I use for this. So if you can find something similar, or even consider reusing Sparkling Wine bottles.

Personally I never keg it because well two reasons; One reason is that it just takes a long time to age and I do not (odd my apostrophe key stopped working :D) want to tie up a keg. Secondly, I do not like to drink that much Cider, only occasionally.
 

cider_freak

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I have a five gallon batch that is ready to bottle... is there anyone who can just post step-by-step instructions on how to carb and bottle my batch?

I am using 22 oz. bottles
 

Tonedef131

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If you are carbing the whole batch it is easy, just make sure everything is sanitary.

1. Boil 5oz of corn sugar with a cup or so of water and pour that into you bottling bucket and rack the cider on top of it.

2. If your vessel has a spigot on it, hook a a line up to it and a bottle filler on the other end of the line. If it doesn't have a spigot just use a racking cane or autosiphon.

3. Fill each bottle right to the top and when you pull out the filler it will leave the perfect amount of headspace.

4. Cap and crimp

5. Wait at least 3 weeks with them at 70F, then chill and consume.
 

devaspawn

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I would also suggest giving it a gentle stir every 6 bottles or so to make sure the priming sugar is still thoroughly mixed. The priming sugar is heavier than fermented cider and is likely to drop to the bottom while you fill. Also, as most commercial ciders have higher carbonation than most beers, I would go with 6 or 7 oz of priming sugar. This is a personal preference though and is not meant to say that Tonedef131 is wrong. I find that I get more of the apple flavor with a little higher carbonation level.

:tank:
 

Andy77

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If you are carbing the whole batch it is easy, just make sure everything is sanitary.

1. Boil 5oz of corn sugar with a cup or so of water and pour that into you bottling bucket and rack the cider on top of it.

2. If your vessel has a spigot on it, hook a a line up to it and a bottle filler on the other end of the line. If it doesn't have a spigot just use a racking cane or autosiphon.

3. Fill each bottle right to the top and when you pull out the filler it will leave the perfect amount of headspace.

4. Cap and crimp

5. Wait at least 3 weeks with them at 70F, then chill and consume.
Here's my semi-idiotic question, is that 5oz by weight or volume? As i don;t have a scale in my kitchen, whats the volume of dry measure for priming?

thanks
 

Freezeblade

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I thought that dry english style ciders have lower carbonations (more like the carbonation on a mild) and french styles have higher carbonation, as well as being sweeter. I usually use 1/2 a carb tab per 12 oz bottle when I bottle my dry english-style ciders. I like the slight carbonation more than higher carbonation.
 

BoxofRain

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No worries. When you keg you MAY remove the option of natural carbing (or adding priming sugar) and Force Carb from a CO2 tank if you like. I have made cider before and it comes out rather dry (search for Apfelwein for the recipe I use) I like to backsweeten with Apple Juice concentrate.
I have a batch of apfelwine in the primary and my first cornies on there way. I'll have to drop a campden tablet in there if I want to backsweeten?
 

devaspawn

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I have a batch of apfelwine in the primary and my first cornies on there way. I'll have to drop a campden tablet in there if I want to backsweeten?
Not if you are planning upon immediately refrigerating. I have done this a few times before with no problems whatsoever. Yeasties won't work at that temp (40 degrees F)

If you are planning on leaving it out of the fridge then you will need to drop a couple campden tabs in and leave for 24 to 48 hours before backsweetening.

:tank:
 

Yooper

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Not if you are planning upon immediately refrigerating. I have done this a few times before with no problems whatsoever. Yeasties won't work at that temp (40 degrees F)

If you are planning on leaving it out of the fridge then you will need to drop a couple campden tabs in and leave for 24 to 48 hours before backsweetening.

:tank:
Campden probably isn't enough- you'd have to use both campden and potassium sorbate to inhibit re-fermentation.
 

devaspawn

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Yoop's right. I haven't used it in a while and wasn't even really thinking about it. Campden should be primarily used for killing wild yeasts in fruit based beverages prior to pitch. Potassium sorbate is the stuff you want to use. Understand though that if your yeast hasn't crapped out (still fermenting) the sorbate won't stop it from continuing to ferment. It will/should stop a new ferment from beginning after the yeast is done eating. (I think Yoop might be the one that told me that)

:tank:
 

BoxofRain

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Yoop's right. I haven't used it in a while and wasn't even really thinking about it. Campden should be primarily used for killing wild yeasts in fruit based beverages prior to pitch. Potassium sorbate is the stuff you want to use. Understand though that if your yeast hasn't crapped out (still fermenting) the sorbate won't stop it from continuing to ferment. It will/should stop a new ferment from beginning after the yeast is done eating. (I think Yoop might be the one that told me that)

:tank:
Ok. A few questions then:

#1) I need to use both campden and potasium sorbate, but how much for a 5 gallon batch?

#2) Any reason why I wouldn't want to do this in a keg?

#3) How much concentrate should I use to backsweeten? I know it would be to taste but how much do you use?

#4) Does this give a "near" cider taste?

#5) Any suggestion on serving pressure?

Looking forward to celebrating my baby's birth in December and am making this to my wife's liking...so I figured it would make a nice sweet Christmas cider.
 

Yooper

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Ok. A few questions then:

#1) I need to use both campden and potasium sorbate, but how much for a 5 gallon batch?

#2) Any reason why I wouldn't want to do this in a keg?

#3) How much concentrate should I use to backsweeten? I know it would be to taste but how much do you use?

#4) Does this give a "near" cider taste?

#5) Any suggestion on serving pressure?

Looking forward to celebrating my baby's birth in December and am making this to my wife's liking...so I figured it would make a nice sweet Christmas cider.
1. One campden tablet per gallon, and (I THINK) 1/2 tsp potassium sorbate per gallon, up to 1.5 tsp total. Check that dosage, because if you add too much sorbate, you can taste it.

2. No- you can do it in carboy or keg. Wait a couple of days before sweetening, though, just to ensure it's had time to work.

3. A good way to do it is to pull out a sample, and sweeten that sample until it's good to you. Then, take the SG of that sample, and sweeten the entire batch to that amount.

4 & 5. No clue. I don't know what you mean by "near" cider taste. I don't like mine carbed, so I don't know what psi would be good, either!
 

BoxofRain

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4 & 5. No clue. I don't know what you mean by "near" cider taste. I don't like mine carbed, so I don't know what psi would be good, either!
Thanks! Well, the Apfelwine tastes more like a wine when it's not backsweetened. I was wondering if it comes close to lets say...a woodpecker cider when sweetened and carbed.
 
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