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Will this work for bottling?

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Makilio

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Hi all, I am making my cider (juice, cider yeast, nothing else). I have had it sit for about 18 days now, and I am a little lost what next to do. I want to add juice/fruit to it. I do not have hydrometer (I am going to buy next time I am at the shop) so no readings. Would this be ok, you think? I made 10L of cider, I will add 2-4 liters (please advise me) of juice or something equal, then add pectic enzyme and potassium sorbate, then put in refrigerator. Will this work? No risk of bottle bombs? I want to try cooler pasteurization next time but I am lost for this batch.

Thank you everyone.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Re pectic enzyme, if you are adding it for clarity, I believe you'll want to add it before making the juice addition, and give it 24 hours to work. Are you looking to flavor your cider, or do you want to carbonate it as well?

There's a great sticky explaining how to carb and stop the yeast before all the sugar is gone.
 
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Makilio

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Ok, I will add it before I add juice. I just want flavor, carbonation is not a priority yet, each batch is one extra step for me to try!

Thank you I will look at it. Sometimes with my English it can be hard to understand it all.
 

Yooper

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If the cider is finished, and clear, then campden and sorbate will allow you to sweeten the cider. If it's not finished and there are a lot of lees (sediment), it won't do anything.

The way it works is that sorbate does not kill yeast, but it prevents yeast reproduction. So, in an active fermentation when there are hundreds and hundreds of billions of active yeast, it won't do a thing. But once fermentation stops, and the cider clears, and the cider is racked off of the fallen yeast, it can be added to prevent yeast reproducing, thereby not allowing fermentation to begin again (usually). Sorbate works better in the presence of sulfite (campden), so they are generally added together.

However, it will NOT stop an active fermentation and will not work in a cider that is not clear and done fermenting.

If you use this method, and it is successful, you can sweeten to taste without any risk of bottle bombs.

Because the yeast has been inhibited, however, you will not be able to bottle carbonate the cider. Carbonation is a function of the yeast.

It's fairly easy to make a sweet still cider, or a dry carbonated cider. To make a sweet sparkling cider, extra steps and techniques like bottle pasteurization or kegging would be needed.
 
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Makilio

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I have fermented it for 3 weeks now, but it is still not clear. Do I just wait for it until it is?
 

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I have fermented it for 3 weeks now, but it is still not clear. Do I just wait for it until it is?
If you started with clear juice, then yes, wait for it to clear (as it's likely yeast). But if you started with cider that wasn't clear to begin with, it might never get as clear as it could. The thing to look for in that case is to make sure it's not dropping any more sediment, after sitting for at least 60 days in a new vessel. Once it's not dropping any more lees, and it's been at least 60 days, then it would be ok to stabilize it at that point.

Remember if you stabilize with sorbate, you won't be able to carbonate it, but you can make a sweetened cider that way without bottle bombs.
 
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Makilio

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Ok, thank you! So I should let it continue to sit for 60 days, then add sorbate + my juice to sweeten? Should I add pectic enzyme now, later, ever? After this batch I can try to do sweet carbonated cider, but this one I just want to have sweet cider.
 

ebbelwoi

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It's a bit too late to help you now, but when I add peach or pineapple juice, I use pectic enzyme/pectinase in a separate container to clarify it first, then siphon it into my cider.

If you're done fermenting, I don't see a problem adding the potassium sorbate now. I add it after about a week of secondary, then add juice, and it seems fine. I use force carbing in PET bottles, and I drink everything within a week or two.
 
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