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secondary cider help

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AML

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Hi all - looking for a little direction/advice -

Ten days ago I put up 4 gal of no press apple (and a wee bit of aprcot) cider (Apple) - OG 1.040, Lalvin EC1118. I should note that there was a nice apple/apricot aroma, but taste wise, it was pretty hoochy when racked out today.

At same time, with an extra gallon of apple juice left, I mixed up a ginger/sugar boil to put up a second carboy of about 2.5 gal mixed apple - ginger (Ginger). OG here was 1.075 also with the Lalvin EC1118.

Both pretty much stopped bubbling through the air lock yesterday and since the apple had a good 1/4 carboy of sediment I decided to rack it to a secondary.

I checked gravity on apple and it was 1.004 and the ginger was 1.035 (which surprised me a bit). As I was racking into a 5 gallon secondary, and the FG on the apple was pretty low, I decided to rack the ginger into the apple so as to fill the carboy up.

Combined gravity is 1.008. I think that's pretty dry and I know it needs to 'rest' - but, should I try and arrest further fermentation by campden or cold crash? I would like to bottle carb in due course and am thinking campden would inhibit that process.

The combined 5 gallon carboy still has some decent sediment floating around, so I may have to rack again once it settles.

I had a few litres of ginger left over, so I've bottled them...:)confused: - ony 3 litres, so it was bottle or drink...)...wondering if I can leave it out for a few days to carb or if there is too much residual sugar and I should gently toss them in the fridge and forgo carbing?

confusedly yours,
Thanks

A
 

CvilleKevin

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If you want to bottle carbonate with residual sugar, you should read the sticky on bottle pasteurization and start as soon as you can, because if you think it is dry now, it will only get drier, although you can always backsweeten when you bottle.

Campden will inhibit a bottle ferment. Cold crashing CAN inhibit a bottle ferment under the right conditions.

I'd put those bottles in the fridge right now unless you are prepared to drink them all when they carb up, 1118 is tough to cold crash for still cider, With ale yeast you could do this but I would not trust chilling a fully carbed bottle of 1118 to stop it. The ginger is probably slowing down the yeast so you might be able to get away with leaving them out a couple days and get a small carb before chilling. so it comes down to: Do ya feel lucky?
 
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AML

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Thanks Kevin

I had read it a couple weeks ago and forgot about it...just reviewed it.

this morning one of the ginger bottles had popped - lucky it was in the covered primary so no big cleanup...the rest are in a hot bath as I type...

As to the secondary of apple/ginger I guess my weekend now has a bottling event scheduled!

What has thrown me, I guess, is all the chat about storage in secondary to age/smooth/enhance doesn't apply here (naturally sweet, bottle carbed) and that aging happens in the bottle.

I recall a comment that ciders age better in bulk, rather than in bottles. I suppose that means back sweetening and priming?

So (he wonders) to the extent that full fermentation removes most flavour and all sugar, could back sweetening with reserved juice add back missing flavour and allow for sufficient sugar to allow bottle carbing followed by pastuerization? or is it more likely that there is not enough sugar in the juice and to get enough would cause undue dilution?
 

CvilleKevin

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Yes, there are at least a couple ways to get a sweet carbonated cider using the pasteurization method. You can let it ferment out all the way, bulk age, then add enough sugar to sweeten and prime at bottling time (and yes reserve juice will work fine for this as long as you can raise your fg to slightly beyond where you want it to end up). Or you can bottle with the residual sugar before it ferments out. If you dont ferment out all the residual sugar, it wont need as much time to smooth out, and IMHO it tastes a lot better than fermenting out and backsweeting. However the advantage to method #1 is that you can do it on your time, with #2 you have to do it when the cider is ready
 
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