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carbonation problem

I made some cider and spiked it with some brown sugar turned out to be about 10.5 ABV let it sit in secondary for about 2 months really clear tastes good so i put a few in bottles with table sugar to test if they would carbonate let them go for three weeks no carbonation what should i do to get some carbonation.

Could use a few more details. ie. what yeast did you use? how much sugar in what volume ? what temp. did you hold them for carbonation?

The yeast was probably too dead to carbonate the bottles for you. You could try dissolving some fresh yeast in a little juice then pop all your bottles and add a few drops to each bottle, that might help.

Also, 3 weeks might not be a long enough wait. I’ve had uncarbonated cider in 3 weeks where after I waited about 6 months all the bottles were very well carbonated.

Bottom line is that your yeast is just really tired if not dead. If you secondary for several months it’s always a good idea to add fresh yeast at bottling time. But you MIGHT get lucky if you wait long enough. Maybe, maybe not.

And even if you add fresh yeast, at 10.5% alcohol, the fresh yeast might just die right away anyway. This is why most wines are uncarbonated – the yeast just can’t handle the high alcohol level. If you make a cider out of fresh juice with no added sugars, where the alcohol level will only be around 6-7%, then you stand a much better chance at getting carbonation if you want.

Personally, I drink most of my cider flat. It tastes just as good.

I think it is very unlikely that the cider has sat too long for the yeast to still be viable. Two months is getting to the point where it might take longer for the yeast to get active again, but there should still be enough there to get the cider carbonated in most cases.

It is far more likely that your yeast either hit their alcohol tolerance limit (10.5% is pretty high for most beer or cider yeasts, but not for wine yeasts), or conditions just aren’t right for the yeast to get active again. Temperature too low is the thing that I would check first, the cider should be around room temp to bottle condition.

Did you stabilize the cider before bottling? If yes, that will prevent carbonation also.

I used a wine yeast bottle carbonated at 65 degrees F with a teaspoon table sugar i only did a few so i would not mess up the whole batch. If i do add more yeast should it be the same yeast or just any wine yeast?

Short answer: Yes. It doesn’t matter too much. Same yeast is best but anything should work in a pinch.

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