unsure first time brewer: can someone check my process?

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TheParent

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Hi all! Today I bottled my first batch of hard Cider. So satisfying to make this and bottle it!

Now that I'm done, I'm going over my process and I'm a bit nervous about it, especially about the priming sugar and for bottle carbonation.
my process was as follows:

25-3
Start! 17,5 liters (3,7 gallons) of apple juice, Yeast Roeselaere Ale Yeast (Wyeast 3763) into the fermenter, put a lid on it and wait! temperature round about 65 the whole way through.
starting gravity 1.045

26-3
Fermentation start

28-3
Fermentation super active

15-4
still going, bubbling along.
reading: 1.010

26-4
still bubbling, but slower
reading: 1.005

12-5
almost silent
reading 1.001

17-5
silent, except for a fart every here and there
reading 1.000

24-5 Bottling day
reading 1.000

So, today I bottled. 16,5 liters. I first racked the cider from the fermenter to a second bucket, degassed it (although it didn't give of a lot of bubbles at all, after two minutes of stirring the cider was very still.)
Added 69 grams of cane sugar dissolved in water, to aim for 2.3 volumes of CO2 in the bottle. stirred it again for a minute or so to make sure my sugar water mixed in well with the cider.

Bottled it in this bottle, capped it (crowns).

I think I did it all correct, but since it's my first time I am worried that I missed something. What do you think?
 

FloppyKnockers

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If you can convert all that to about one tsp per 12 ounce bottle, that should get you the carbonation you're after.

Why did you degas though? Not saying it's wrong - I've just never done that with anything other than red wine.
 
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TheParent

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Oh crap, no, 69 grams in total comes down to 4 grams per liter, which is (according to conversions) roughly a teaspoon per liter. So, a third of what you would suggest. But I'm thinking I might have messed up conversion to metric. I'll have a very slight bubble then, haha!
I degassed because I read/saw somewhere that I can improve some of the taste because you get rid of trapped byproducts. I think it was youtube somewhere, I'll see if I can find my source.
 

Chalkyt

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Yep. as above.

It is always worth going back to first principles so you can get your head around what is happening. Have a look at (i.e. Google) Vinolab Calculator which shows that your 4.2g/L of sugar will only increase SG by 0.0012. As a general rule, two gravity points (i.e. 0.002) will ferment into one volume of CO2, so you are correct in that you probably will have a slight 0.5 volumes of CO2 "spritzig" fizz. not unpleasant, but probably not what you wanted.

Another good website is The Brewer's Friend Priming Calculator. This shows that for your 16.5 litres, you would need about 95g of priming sugar for 2.3 volumes of CO2.

However all is not lost. Your bottles are about 12oz. so I guess you ended up with 40-45 bottles from your 16.5 litres of cider. Although you probably don't want to recap all of these bottles, you could unseal some and top them up with about 3g of sugar and re-seal to get the sort of carbonation you are after. Alternatively, decant the lot, add sugar and start bottling again.

(The arithmetic if you want to get your head around it is... Assume a target SG of 1.005 for 2.5 volumes of CO2, which is 12.9g/L. You already added 4.2g/L per bottle so you need to add another 12.9-4.2=8.7g/L. Your bottles are 37.5 cl so each bottle needs 37.5/100 x 8.7 = 3.3g of sugar per bottle).

This is easiest done by making up a roughly 50/50 sugar/water solution, then add about 3ml of this per bottle and recap (easy with a small syringe). Just do a trial and error SG test with a sacrifice bottle (then taste test of course... yum!) to see how much sugar syrup you actually need to add for your target fermentation SG., but it should be in the order of an addition of 2/3 teaspoon (a teaspoon holds about 5g of sugar and you have already added 1/3 teaspoon), which pretty much lines up with "a teaspoon per bottle".

Don't get too fussed about precise measurements. I like my cider to have about 2 volumes of CO2, but it really doesn't matter if it is 1.5 or 2.5... it all tastes good. The idea is to have fun making and sharing it!
 
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toadie

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I just looked up Wyeast 3763 and confirmed that it has Brett, amongst others, in the mix. I wouldn't have thought to try it in a cider but it might be great. Based on personal experience the gravity will go below 1.00 so you will get a boost of CO2 that way though it also said age for 18 months for full sourness?
 

jrgtr42

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I just looked up Wyeast 3763 and confirmed that it has Brett, amongst others, in the mix. I wouldn't have thought to try it in a cider but it might be great. Based on personal experience the gravity will go below 1.00 so you will get a boost of CO2 that way though it also said age for 18 months for full sourness?
I've had soured (brett) cider and it was great. If this is so, then OP is probably doing OK.
Most of my ciders have ended up with a FG around .995 - with regular yeast, cider or S04/S05 - though it took around 6 months to get there. If I'm reading the OP right, they bottled at about 2 months? It still could move a bit not even counting the priming sugar.
 
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TheParent

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Hi! Sorry for the late reply. All is well here. I am tasting every couple of weeks and the flavour is shifting quite dramatically. At first it was sour (duh), harsh and dry, almost unpleasant, but the harshness is melting away and making space for a more round, deeper, almost buttery flavour. I do quite a bit of lacto-fermentation as well and it reminds me of that. Can't wait to taste it in a year haha! Thanks for all the suggestions, help and tips, super usefull!
 
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