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How to carbonate Apfelwein?

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Mschooley53

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So I would like to start a batch of Apfelwein and I have not been able to find the answers I need before I start. I plan on bottling my batch into 12oz beer bottles but I would like so info on how to carbonate when I bottle.

I saw people used carb drops and some use sugar. Which is easier and how long do I wait after I carb?

Thanks
 

Boatboy24

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Drops or priming sugar are the typical method. You can also use honey. Starting out, I'd be tempted to go with drops until you are comfortable with exactly how much sugar should be added. About two weeks should be enough time.
 

Mschooley53

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Drops or priming sugar are the typical method. You can also use honey. Starting out, I'd be tempted to go with drops until you are comfortable with exactly how much sugar should be added. About two weeks should be enough time.
So once I add the drops I can go ahead an cap my bottles, correct? And are there any other things I should do?
 

salcoco

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one method is to ferment apple juice , do not add k-meta or sorbate and let wine clear. add 3/4 cup sugar per 5 gallons and add to beer bottles. wait one month and try one bottle should be carbonated. this is the method used to carbonate beer. I have done it in the past and works well. make sure apple wine does not have a abv above 10%
 

Johny99

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I use sugar, but I cap right away. You want to keep the co2 in. I put in meta, but that is a personal choice.
 

Mschooley53

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one method is to ferment apple juice , do not add k-meta or sorbate and let wine clear. add 3/4 cup sugar per 5 gallons and add to beer bottles. wait one month and try one bottle should be carbonated. this is the method used to carbonate beer. I have done it in the past and works well. make sure apple wine does not have a abv above 10%
When you say add 3/4 cup sugar per 5 gallons, do you add this to your carboy and then directly bottle from that? I assume you are just using granulated sugar, correct?
 

JohnT

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The problem of carbonating through fermentation is that, you will always have sediment in the bottle and special care will be needed to pour it. You also have the worry of bottles exploding and worries over the yeast going active again.

For just a little bit of money, you could invest in a keg system and do a forced carbonation. The technique is simple and leaves you a nice, clear, carbonated wine.

Place your finished, clear wine into a keg. Seal and add about 30 psi of CO2, then place keg into a refrigerator for anywhere from 2 days to a week. Ta-Da! No worries over sediment, getting your yeast to fire back up to perform carbonation, or your bottles exploding because you misjudged the amount of sugar to add.
 

Bodenski

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When you say add 3/4 cup sugar per 5 gallons, do you add this to your carboy and then directly bottle from that? I assume you are just using granulated sugar, correct?
If you want consistent carbonation between bottles then that sugar has to be mixed thoroughly. I don't know if you have a bottling bucket or not. What I did was mix the sugar with a little of the Apfelwein, add it to the bottling bucket, then syphoned the rest on top of that. Stirred well, then bottled. If you add it to the carboy then just make sure you have a great way to stir it well. If you don't get fairly even distribution of that priming sugar you run the risk of bottle bombs. (That comes from reading, not from experience!)

Also, that quantity of sugar assumes you have finished fermentation. Make sure you ferment to dry, then add the sugar.

Last point: I would measure the sugar in oz instead of cups if you can. I use 1 oz dextrose per gallon. And I *think* that if you measure by weight, all the sugars are more or less equivalent. My last batch of cider I used 1 oz/gallon and it worked great! But it wasn't quite as alcoholic as full-on Apfelwein.
 

Mschooley53

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The problem of carbonating through fermentation is that, you will always have sediment in the bottle and special care will be needed to pour it. You also have the worry of bottles exploding and worries over the yeast going active again.

For just a little bit of money, you could invest in a keg system and do a forced carbonation. The technique is simple and leaves you a nice, clear, carbonated wine.

Place your finished, clear wine into a keg. Seal and add about 30 psi of CO2, then place keg into a refrigerator for anywhere from 2 days to a week. Ta-Da! No worries over sediment, getting your yeast to fire back up to perform carbonation, or your bottles exploding because you misjudged the amount of sugar to add.
I'm planning on giving away some of the bottles so that was my reasoning behind carbing the bottles themselves vs a keg. If there was a way to force carb the bottles then I would be interested in that.
 

Mschooley53

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If you want consistent carbonation between bottles then that sugar has to be mixed thoroughly. I don't know if you have a bottling bucket or not. What I did was mix the sugar with a little of the Apfelwein, add it to the bottling bucket, then syphoned the rest on top of that. Stirred well, then bottled. If you add it to the carboy then just make sure you have a great way to stir it well. If you don't get fairly even distribution of that priming sugar you run the risk of bottle bombs. (That comes from reading, not from experience!)

Also, that quantity of sugar assumes you have finished fermentation. Make sure you ferment to dry, then add the sugar.

Last point: I would measure the sugar in oz instead of cups if you can. I use 1 oz dextrose per gallon. And I *think* that if you measure by weight, all the sugars are more or less equivalent. My last batch of cider I used 1 oz/gallon and it worked great! But it wasn't quite as alcoholic as full-on Apfelwein.
I do have a bottling bucket so I would rack to that once it clears in the secondary. Also I would also use a wine whip to stir.

So dextrose is the sugar of choice when carbonating or is it just preference?
 

Bodenski

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So dextrose is the sugar of choice when carbonating or is it just preference?
I can't say any science behind why it's "the standard". But I'd have no qualms about using regular table sugar myself. I'm actually starting another batch of cider this weekend, and I don't plan on getting any more dextrose for the priming this time around.
 

BernardSmith

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You could add concentrated apple juice but you want to know or calculate the amount of sugar that is in the concentrate. You want about 1 scant oz per gallon . The nutritional label will tell you how much sugar is in the concentrate (sugars from the apple) but you may need to do some arithmetic to determine what amount that is for your purposes and so how much concentrate you want to add.
 

JohnT

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I'm planning on giving away some of the bottles so that was my reasoning behind carbing the bottles themselves vs a keg. If there was a way to force carb the bottles then I would be interested in that.
I would force carbonate, then chill the wine down as much as possible, then decant into your bottles and cap. It is amazing how much carbonation you can keep when the medium is cold.

This is far better than fermenting in bottle. No need to let the bottle settle and then decant. Clean and clear right down to the last drop!
 

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