Pasteurizing while bottle conditioning

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Adam Graves

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I am brewing cider and have traditionally left them still because it's easier than carbonating. But I've decided to try carbonating in the bottle.
I've read a lot about people using the hot water method to kill of yeast and stop carbonation with some sweetness left. (I back-sweeten with apple juice concentrate + flavoring syrups I make from scratch).
Is it possible to use potassium metabisulfate and potassium sorbate instead?
For example, could I bottle the cider, let it sit a week (between 1 and 2 volume of carb) then put the sulfates in the bottles to stop the yeast from further carbonating? This seems like a safer method than heating the bottles.

Thanks!
 

pursuit0fhoppiness

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Can't speak to the sulfates but definitely don't advise heating the bottles (as some do), they exploded in my kettle.. The lid of my kettle has little rust marks where the caps hit it..
 

InspectorJon

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For example, could I bottle the cider, let it sit a week (between 1 and 2 volume of carb) then put the sulfates in the bottles to stop the yeast from further carbonating? This seems like a safer method than heating the bottles.
You would have to cap the bottles, wait a week, hoping it didn’t over carbonate. Then open each bottle, add the chemicals and recap. I’ve not heard of anyone doing this before but I’ve also heard there is nothing new under the sun.

If you don’t want to do hot water pasteurization I would suggest using sorbitol to taste to back sweeten as it’s sweet and won’t ferment. Then add a measured/calculated amount of sugar and bottle. I’ve liked the cider I made this way.
 

bkboiler

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could also ferment to dryness, stabilize, chill, backsweeten and bottle it from the keg.
 

bkboiler

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this method is much safer with all plastic bottles...I'm wouldn't recommend in glass.
1. Reserve a small potion of the juice and do a Fast Ferment Test to determine what the FG will be
2. check SG daily of your main ferment
3.when it's enough points above your target (0.006 equals 3 volumes of CO2) plus your desired sweetness then bottle
4. bottle at least one in a plastic bottle where you can screw on a gauge to tell the pressure. When it reaches the appropriate pressure then jam it all in the fridge.
I do this when I make homemade ginger beer, which is much easier since it's just cane sugar...so you kinda know the FG...
I just squeeze the bottle and when it's very firm I pop it in the fridge. Easy!
 
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Adam Graves

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this method is much safer with all plastic bottles...I'm wouldn't recommend in glass.
1. Reserve a small potion of the juice and do a Fast Ferment Test to determine what the FG will be
2. check SG daily of your main ferment
3.when it's enough points above your target (0.006 equals 3 volumes of CO2) plus your desired sweetness then bottle
4. bottle at least one in a plastic bottle where you can screw on a gauge to tell the pressure. When it reaches the appropriate pressure then jam it all in the fridge.
I do this when I make homemade ginger beer, which is much easier since it's just cane sugar...so you kinda know the FG...
I just squeeze the bottle and when it's very firm I pop it in the fridge. Easy!
How long will the bottles last in the fridge before becoming bombs? Thanks so much!
 

bkboiler

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PET bottles are rated to hold soda carbed to 4.0 volumes, shipped and stored in hot warehouses with ample margin for safety against burst. Google says 150-180psi.
Other cool thing is it's a "toughened material", see how in the video it doesn't shatter, it mushrooms like metal would?
If your FFT shows 1.008, and you plan for 1.007 of extra residual extra sweetness that equates to roughly 3.5 extra volumes of CO2, which at cold temps is going to be about 18psi extra.
So if you carb to 35psi at 65F, then chill, your pressure in bottle will drop to 14psi or so...
EVEN IF the yeast still do work at 41F, you'll only sum up 18psi plus 14psi, which is way less than the 4.0 volumes in coca cola when stored in a retail shop, roughly 45psi.
I wouldn't worry about bottle bombs...unless you take it out of the fridge.
Then the 35 psi you carbed will get added to roughly another 40psi...still well shy of the supposed burst pressure rating, but I'd never advocate to use that range in normal operation (it's meant to be there to keep you safe of course).
 
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Adam Graves

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I've decided to do a little experimentation following the advice from people above:
one bottle using the fridge method given by bkboiler above
one bottle using the chemicals.

Here is my process:
1. Ferment the cider dry
2. Add priming sugar and bottle. Overshoot carbonation on purpose.
3. After carbonation is complete, open the bottle and toss in K-sorb and K-sulphate. Put in a fridge to help yeast come into contact with chemicals and maintain some carbonation.
4. Back-sweeten with apple juice concentrate. Leave it in room temp box for a month and see if it explodes.

I'll report back what happens! Thanks to everyone for their advice!
 
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