Step 10: Bottling

Picture of Bottling

After you have left your cider for a few weeks, it will clear as the yeast settles, and it will be ready for bottling.  It may not be completely clear, but that doesn't really matter because it can clear in the bottle. 
For each wine size bottle, you will need to prime the bottles by adding just over half a teaspoon of sugar to each. This will restart the fermentation, but because it happens in a sealed bottle, the carbon dioxide released gets dissolved into the cider and creates pressure. When the bottle is opened later, the pressure is released, allowing the gas to esacpe, which creates the sparkle. 
You should use bottle designed to stand pressure such as bottles made for sparkling wine.  Seal your bottles with corks and champagne wire cages.  You can use beer bottles with crown corks, but this needs a special tool.

dbistline4 years ago
Most explosions happen because fermentation has not finished. The Hydrometer mentioned in a previous step is used when pitching yeast to see the potential for alcohol. Use it again before bottling, float the Hydrometer take a reading of the specific gravity then take another reading three days later. If the reading is the same its safe to assume fermentation has finished. If the reading has changed then take another reading in another three days. Repeat if needed.
This is my first time trying to make cider. I admit, I am short-cutting at the moment; I purchased a gallon of pasteurised apple juice (no addititives) and champagne yeast from the local brew shop, an air lock, hydrometer (researched how to read the bleedin' thing!) added me sugar and yeast. Going to experiment with different batches to get the right taste, but I want to make this pretty potent. The recipe I used called for 2 cups sugar, one brown, one white. Added those. Added 1/4 tsp of yeast, but forgot to add it to 100-105 deg F water. Next day, added probably 1/8th tsp yeast mixed the proper way. Next day (today) I have bubbles coming out the water-filled stopper, so I presume I now have fermentation.

I have a satchel of mulling spices I placed in a cheesecloth that I intend to add after a week (unless recommended otherwise.) Then, I plan on siphening off the liquid and transferring into a steralised gallon jug, and discarding the sediment from the initial jug. Am I on the right track here?

When do you recommend I take my next SP/Brix/Potential alc reading?

Thank you,
manicmonday4 years ago
If you have too much pressure, and/or weak bottles they will explode. Best to take that possibility into account and put them in a place where other things won't be ruined if that happens.
joshbierton5 years ago
hi, thought this might be some useful information, for every gallon of cider you will need 6 average wine bottles and 9 average beer bottles