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4 gallons of trader joes honeycrisp cider pitched. now what?

I have great fermentation going on 4 gallons of trader joes cider. And a packet of Lalvin QA23 champagne yeast.
Just need help with a timeline. When to bottle. And also how to avoid exploding over carbonated bottles. Thinking of adding roughly 1/2 cup white sugar before bottling
Any guidance would help, especially about the explosion part.

Take a gravity reading after 2 weeks and if it you get the same reading a few days apart chances are it’s done. That is, if the gravity reading is low enough. Use this for when you are ready to carbonate. Over carbed brews are a pain.


Champagne yeast will consume every trace of sugar in the juice, so be prepared to give it a long time in secondary if you can. Cider can take a good 4-6 weeks to fully ferment and even longer to clear. Look for a final gravity of 0.995 or less.

As mentioned above, once you’re at final gravity and the cider is clear, use a priming sugar calculator to make sure you don’t overcarbonate and you should be fine. I just bottled my 2013 cider about 3 weeks ago, and after sitting for a year it’s crystal clear, getting nicely sparkling, and tastes fantastic!

Thanks guys. Will send you the bill if they explode. Or a case if they don’t.

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