Question about first time brew

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TheParent

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Hi everyone!

As we speak, my apple cider is fermenting away. Nice bubble activity. I used Roeselare ale blend because I like it sour. I' aiming for completely dry, bottle carbonated (I want to use Belgian Candy sugar because I think it matches the yeast).

I bought two 30 liter (6,6 gallon) buckets with a tap, but I started with a 20 liter (4,4 gallon) batch of apple juice. All good for first fermentation, but then I realised: if I use the 6,6 gallon bucket for 4,4 gallons of cider after racking, I might have way too much headspace (at least a third of the bucket...)?

What would be your solution in this situation?
 

IslandLizard

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What he said! ^

[Edited]
[...] I might have way too much headspace (at least a third of the bucket...)?
That's the correct assessment, do not "secondary" in buckets. Large headspaces as well as non-tight sealing lids are not doing your Cider (or beer, wine) any favors: There's an increased risk of infection and oxidation.

Let it be in your primary bucket, don't lift the lid until ready to bottle. It will clear mostly by itself, given enough time (say 2-3 weeks) after visible fermentation has finished.

Then carefully rack to a bottling bucket, to prevent yeast and trub from transferring. A little bit of yeast coming along is fine, just not too much. Start racking from the middle, halfway up between the (top) surface and the (bottom) trub/yeast layer, then lower the siphon/cane as the Cider level drops. Tilt the bucket somewhat toward the end, so the siphoning well remains deep. As soon as it sucks yeast, stop the transfer. Use one of those flow inverter tippies on the bottom of the siphon/cane.
 
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TheParent

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Thanks for the input!

I'm also still a bit confused about the whole pasteurisation thing. Did I understand correctly that you don't have to pasteurise dry ciders?
 

CKuhns

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If dry 1.000 or less and you add you are correct, no need to pasteurize.

Here is a limk to a pretty good article explaining priming sugar. www.homecidermaking.com/cider-priming-sugar-calculator/

Rule of thumb for me is 1oz sugar per gallon. I make 5 gallon batches and use a whole can of frozen apple juice concentrate. Works out to about the same.

If not at 1.000 or less then adjust for the residual sugar and if above 1.004 pasteurize after you hit the carbonation you want. (1.004 to 1.005 gives you about 2.5 volumes CO2. Similar to sodas or beer.)
 
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