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Coming to the end of fermentation

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Yasser

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It appears i might be coming to the end of fermentation of my first ever attempt at homebrew cider. I've got 15 gallons on the go and i'm trying to get 2 types. 5 gallons to be a semi sparkle in a pressure barrel and the rest into bottles. The bubbles are quite slow now so i need to be prepared but a few question i need to ask please.

1, Do i start taking sg reading now or when it actually stops bubbling?
2, I'm using a washed and sterile trial jar, do i pour this back into mix when i've taken readings?
3, I believe(so please tell me if i'm wrong) for the first batch i clear with finings in the bucket then when clear transfer into pressure barrel and add about 150 grams of sugar, then back into the warm for a few days and then store somewhere cool for 4 weeks. Will there be enough yeast in the clear liquid for the secondary fermentation or do i need to get a bit of sediment when transferring into barrel?
4, How long will the cider last(presuming i drink responsibly) in the barrel if its not opened and topped up with gas?
5, When bottling after clearing with finings, I believe its half tsp of sugar per 500 ml and then the same as the barrel and again how long will a bottle last before going off?

If there is something else i should be doing please tell me as i'm a total novice. Thanks in advance.
 

Clint

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Is it from fresh pressed apples, supermarket juice or a kit?
It's done when it's done...depends on yeast,fermentable content and temperature. The only indication us a constant,stable hydrometer reading. I left my supermarket cider two weeks before taking a reading.
DK NOT TIP ANYTHING BACK!
DRINK IT!
It'll last month's..
 

freester

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It appears i might be coming to the end of fermentation of my first ever attempt at homebrew cider. I've got 15 gallons on the go and i'm trying to get 2 types. 5 gallons to be a semi sparkle in a pressure barrel and the rest into bottles. The bubbles are quite slow now so i need to be prepared but a few question i need to ask please.
1, Do i start taking sg reading now or when it actually stops bubbling?
Personally I leave it at least a few days after any obvious bubbling, usually a week.

2, I'm using a washed and sterile trial jar, do i pour this back into mix when i've taken readings?
No. As stated above drink it!

3, I believe(so please tell me if i'm wrong) for the first batch i clear with finings in the bucket then when clear transfer into pressure barrel and add about 150 grams of sugar, then back into the warm for a few days and then store somewhere cool for 4 weeks. Will there be enough yeast in the clear liquid for the secondary fermentation or do i need to get a bit of sediment when transferring into barrel?
As long as you haven't left it very long after the ferment has finished there should be enough yeast. If in doubt add a pinch of yeast or as you say some sediment

4, How long will the cider last(presuming i drink responsibly) in the barrel if its not opened and topped up with gas?
Sorry no experience of pressure barrels but as long as there is CO2 on top forever!

5, When bottling after clearing with finings, I believe its half tsp of sugar per 500 ml and then the same as the barrel and again how long will a bottle last before going off?
Forever! I use a level tsp per 660ml bottle!

If there is something else i should be doing please tell me as i'm a total novice. Thanks in advance.

Personally I wouldn't bother with finings. Add pectolase before yeast gives a clear enough product!
 

terrym

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2, I'm using a washed and sterile trial jar, do i pour this back into mix when i've taken readings?
3, I believe(so please tell me if i'm wrong) for the first batch i clear with finings in the bucket then when clear transfer into pressure barrel and add about 150 grams of sugar, then back into the warm for a few days and then store somewhere cool for 4 weeks. Will there be enough yeast in the clear liquid for the secondary fermentation or do i need to get a bit of sediment when transferring into barrel?
4, How long will the cider last(presuming i drink responsibly) in the barrel if its not opened and topped up with gas?
5, When bottling after clearing with finings, I believe its half tsp of sugar per 500 ml and then the same as the barrel and again how long will a bottle last before going off?
2. No drink it
3. You should not use any more than about 90g priming sugar in a PB. They are not designed to hold high pressure. If you do add more sugar ultimately the rubber band RV lifts to protect the PB venting the excess CO2, provided it works. If your PB is new you are advised to check it over to make sure its leak free before you use it. More on that here
4. Provided you do not allow air into the PB especially by bubbling air into it via the tap when the internal pressure has gone your cider should, in my view, keep for a long time.
5. Bottled cider can take more carbonation than that in a PB. However half a tsp of sugar should be fine but you can go much higher if you prefer, perhaps twice as much sugar.
Finally from the little I know making proper cider is a long process. You may be better leaving your cider for weeks or even months to clear and mature in bulk before you go ahead and package, although you may have to add a pinch of yeast at packaging. Others on here may be able to advise better on that although this might be useful
 

Yasser

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Thank you @freester and @terrym, just the information i was looking and fantastic answer and links. Just what a beginner needs. And thank you @Clint, it tasted good!
 

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