Cider bottling...

19 August, 2015

Recently I bottled up my main cider batch, produced from the scrumped apples which were crushed earlier this year.

This was probably a bit later than I could have done it, as these had been sitting in secondary ferment for a while. But this was when I had time to do it, and really, cider doesn't exactly go off. I had always intended to bottle it as while I could drink it as is I'm aiming for a lightly carbonated cider, which either required a soda stream to fake the carbonation (not really my style) or bottling up with a few additions.

I have been storing up cider bottles from my purchased cider drinks for quite a while, so I had a nice stash of cider bottles to bottle into.

The three main brews were labelled with their recipes (I experimented with tea bags/red wine tannins and some additional malic acid) with my much loved chalk pens, so seperate bottling of each recipe was required. I was happy to have enough different bottles to keep each style to a recipe, which should help in telling them apart.

A little DIY with some tubing and an adjustable tap gave me a suitable siphon. I love a low tech solution. Plus, I get to do the sucking bit and do a little cider taste test.

Two birds, one stone.

It's interesting to see how different the taste is between brews. I don't have a favourite as yet, but will have to make sure I keep these recipes in mind for next years brewing.

The ciders were all fully fermented, so were a slightly dry beverage. As many of my friends and family prefer a sweeter brew, I decided to add some non-fermentable sugar (lactose in this case) to sweeten the brew.

To provide the carbonation I added half a teaspoon of regular sugar into each bottle, hoping that there are still some live yeasts to do a little extra carbon dioxide making, thus carbonating my brew. These will be closely monitored by regular taste testing, so that when optimal carbonation is achieved these will all go into the spare fridge to chill them down and prevent excessive carbonation and exploding bottles.

I now have quite a few bottles of cider. I also labelled these with the trusty chalk pens. Excess cider was in the glasses. No I didn't quite drink all of the cider that didn't make it into the bottles.

Bear in mind this is only half the batch, which were the recipe testings. I still have another carboy of naturally fermented, not adulterated cider to bottle up.

Good thing I have friends coming over this Saturday. I'm sure they will be happy to do some taste testing with me.


  1. Well done Bek that is a great effort, I'm looking forward to reading your tasting notes!

    1. Cheers. I will have to pay close attention then and report back :)