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Some random newbie questions

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cottonwoodks

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For those of you fermenting in gallon jugs as opposed to bigger carboys, where do you rack your cider to after your primary fermentation? Into another gallon jug? If so, then what do you fill it the rest of the way up with? Do you rack it straight into bottles?

Also, how long should the second fermentation be, if your first one was hot and fast? Do you put and airlock on the second one as well?

Thanks.
 

Harleybrew32

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so for ciders i usually ferment for 3-4 weeks then keg it and back sweeten.
i havent had luck with potassium sorbate or potassium metabisulfate forgive my spelling im a few beers in, i have tried them both with no luck and tried to pasteurizer in a hot water bath but they popped the corks out of the bottles and ended up carbonating anyway.
the less you can expose your cider/beer or wine to O2 the better you are.
I only secondary when i add fruit or my meads.
cheers
 

devilssoninlaw

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Since I don't drink cider as much as beer, I'll make 2 gallon batches in a 2 gallon Mr Beer fermenter I got unused at a garage sale. It's a plastic fermenter that looks like a small keg and the top doesn't seal completely allowing CO2 to escape.

After a week or so I will transfer it to two 1 gallon wine jugs with air locks to finish up fermenting
 

Transamguy77

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If your going straight into bottles than I would just leave it in primary for a few weeks to a month.

I like @Harleybrew32 keg and backsweeten, I do use campdon tabs to stop fermentation, I use 1 tablet per gallon and have not had it ferment again.

Are you looking for still or carbonated cider?
 
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cottonwoodks

cottonwoodks

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If your going straight into bottles than I would just leave it in primary for a few weeks to a month.

I like @Harleybrew32 keg and backsweeten, I do use campdon tabs to stop fermentation, I use 1 tablet per gallon and have not had it ferment again.

Are you looking for still or carbonated cider?
I'm okay with still at the moment. Seems simpler.
 

Cooknhogz

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Kegging is very simple and you never have to worry about bottle bombs. Nothing like a good Hard Cider off tap.
 
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cottonwoodks

cottonwoodks

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So if you have a whole bunch of sediment in the bottom of your bottles, does that mean that you bottled too soon? The SG was well below 1, but there's a LOT.....

And kegging means....you have to buy kegs. Maybe I'll look into it. But since this was such a good year for apples, next year probably won't be.
 

Harleybrew32

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my ciders usually get down to .998, if it got below 1.000 you should be fine.
how cloudy was it when you bottled it? it could be just the yeast settling out.
thats why i usually let it sit for 3-4 weeks in primary, it usually clears right up.
cheers
 
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cottonwoodks

cottonwoodks

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Yes, the earlier ones were still cloudy. The later ones were clearer.

But I'm afraid I'm making bottle bombs. Every one I've opened (to taste, y'know) have been pressurized. So it seems that something is still going on.....
 

Harleybrew32

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are they carbonated like a beer or a soda? if they are getting to the soda level or champagne levels put them in the fridge. what yeast did you use?
I have heard of people open bottles then recapping, I personally never have done it .
how many bottles do you have left?
 
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cottonwoodks

cottonwoodks

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are they carbonated like a beer or a soda? if they are getting to the soda level or champagne levels put them in the fridge. what yeast did you use?
I have heard of people open bottles then recapping, I personally never have done it .
how many bottles do you have left?
I dunno....they don't really seem carbonated, but they make a big whoosh when I open them. And I have maybe three dozen bottles.

The ones that I fermented in the gallon jugs and then put in 16 oz bottles used SafCider and Cider House Select yeast (in different batches). My later batches are in a 5 gallon carboy for a second ferment.
 

jseyfert3

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Maybe I'll look into it. But since this was such a good year for apples, next year probably won't be.
Are these your trees? My very limited understanding is the alternating boom/bust cycle of apple production is due to no pruning or insufficient pruning, whereas proper yearly pruning will maximize apple production and have fairly steady year to year harvests (assuming good weather).
 
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cottonwoodks

cottonwoodks

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Are these your trees? My very limited understanding is the alternating boom/bust cycle of apple production is due to no pruning or insufficient pruning, whereas proper yearly pruning will maximize apple production and have fairly steady year to year harvests (assuming good weather).
Yes, they're my trees. Once trees are mature (and these trees are about 12 years old), it's not so much the pruning as thinning on the "on" years for trees which tend toward biennial producing. The Jonafree tree definitely has a biennial cycle, and yes, it really needs massive thinning on those "on" years, but it's a really busy time of the year for me, so I've never actually done it. But both the Liberty and Enterprise trees are reliable annual bearers. But some years there are late frosts, and other years are brown-rot years, and some years the drought comes at the wrong time (so yes, assuming good weather, which is not exactly a safe assumption). And this year just happened to be a great year for apples at my house. In fact, the best ever. And for the folks just outside of town, it was a bad year. A late frost there, where it's about five degrees cooler, killed all the apple blossoms.
 
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