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Can I ferment apple cider in a carboy?

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KnoxVol

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Hello Wine Making Talk;

Question: Can I ferment apple cider in a carboy instead of a fermentation bucket?

I was reading the instructions for making hard cider from another website. They said you need to ferment your cider in a 6 gallon plastic bucket. Then transfer your cider to a glass carboy so the sediment would fall to the bottom.

I'm 62 years old. I cannot lift a big heavy 6 gallon bucket very easily. I was thinking about setting the carboy on top of concrete blocks, then siphoning the cider into smaller bottles.

Thanks.
 

Norton

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I have started in a carboy a couple of times. You have to be careful about it bubbling over though. Not filling up too much and/or using a yeast that is "low foaming" might help.
 

Blazedup

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Something that works for me is to start primary fermentation in a bucket on an elevated platform. From there it's easy to rack into a carboy on a dolly placed below the primary bucket.
 

Scooter68

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Fermenting a clear or cloudy cider ? A clear cider is less likely to create a lot of foam but a cloudy sider with lots of apple pulp in it could create more foam. Of course if you have 5 gallons in a 6 or 6.5 gallon carboy you are much less likely to have an issue. Also don't forget that Apples are a HIGH pectin fruit and you need to be sure to add enough Pectic Enzyme for that.
 

richmke

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Don't fill it up more than 1/2 way, and you should be fine.


I was thinking about setting the carboy on top of concrete blocks, then siphoning the cider into smaller bottles.

Thanks.
Set the 6 gallon buck on top of concrete blocks. You don't have to fill the bucket.
 

BernardSmith

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Hi KnoxVol, and welcome. The main idea behind using a bucket is to allow you to more easily incorporate air into the active fermentation a couple of times a day (by stirring) and to remove CO2 from the liquid (the same stirring). Fermenting in a bucket reduces the risk of volcanoes that will happen if you add powdered nutrient to the must after it has begun fermenting. Stirring also helps keep all the yeast suspended in the liquid. But all that said you can still ferment in a carboy although you now have a problem of ensuring that a) during active fermentation the carboy has lots of headroom and b) after active fermentation there is none.
One other possible solution is to think out of the box: you might consider purchasing a vacuum pump to allow you to transfer wine (or cider) without the help of gravity. Vacuumpumpman (one of the members of this forum) I am sure will be more than happy to advise you about this.
 

AkTom

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I make cider from store bought juice. 5 gallons in a 6 gallon carboy frequently. It is a struggle moving it from fermentation chamber to counter. I have since bought Steve's all in one wine pump. I love that tool.
 

bkisel

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Welcome to the forum!

I've now got 18 gallons (3 6 gallon batches) of wine, from fresh pressed cider, under my belt and any one of the 3 batches could have been fermenting in either of my two ~6.5 gallon Italian carboys. However, i would not feel comfortable fermenting in any vessel not allowing 1/2 gallon or more head space. Hope this helps.
 

KnoxVol

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Thanks everyone for responding.

I think I might start off with just a one gallon bottle. That may be the best way to learn.

Thanks again.
 
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