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I'm a novice "homebrewer" about to attempt my first ever brew. I've been reading about a homebrewing process in which yeast is added directly to a juice for a period of time in order to achieve alcoholic content.

I want my yeast to be able to carbonate my brew, but I also don't want to bottle too soon so that I have a bad sulfurous smell.


My Planned Process

I am aiming to make a carbonated alcoholic cider at least 5% abv (I do not plan on clarifying the brew):

  • Sanitation: Star San for consistency.
  • Juice: Simply Apple, > 20 g of sugar per serving, minimum preservatives (no sodium benzoate or potassium sorbate), pasteurized (not sure which process, apparently cold (UV) pasteurized is preferred?)
  • Container: 1 Gallon Carboy with airlock
  • Yeast: Lallemand Belle Saison
  • Starter: Introduce yeast into juice in separate bottle, seal, shake, rest for 6 hours or until bubbling.
  • Ferment, then bottle.

Reading about apple cider brews, it came to my attention that they can yield unpleasant armomas, like in this question, where the remedy was to simply wait, unless the brew was "infected" (I believe my sanitation process should prevent this). Simple guides on the subject suggest a 3 day wait until bottling if carbonation is desired, while the stackexchange post suggest a 2 week wait to wait for the sulfurous smell to be released.

How long should I wait till bottling my brew so that I can achieve a smell-free carbonated brew?

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Sulfur odor is usually gassed off in a vigorous fermentation.

Couple suggestions.

  1. Saison yeast may not be the best choice, it can add a peppery ester that may not work well in a cider. I would simply use a wine or Champaign yeast.

  2. Fully ferment the cider don't try to bottle it at that magic point to achieve carbonation. Most ciders will be fully fermented in a couple weeks or less. Only a gravity reading will tell you for sure, when it's done.

  3. If it's a 1 gallon batch. After fermentaion is complete. Add about 2 cups of the same unfermented juice to the batch then bottle it. This will "prime" it again with sugar for the yeast that's already in suspension to naturally carbonate the bottles. 2 weeks is the normal wait time for bottle conditioning.

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    So to achieve what I want I would have to ferment until target SG is achieved, then add more juice and bottle, then wait for bottle conditioning period? – Bennett Yeo Nov 18 '17 at 21:23
  • @BennettYeo correct – Evil Zymurgist Nov 18 '17 at 21:30
  • I wasn't aware that the yeast would still be alive/active after 2+ weeks of fermentation. – Bennett Yeo Nov 18 '17 at 22:02
  • @BennettYeo yeah no problem there. There will still be plenty in suspension. When you bottle no need to include any of the trub from the bottom. – Evil Zymurgist Nov 18 '17 at 22:04
  • As far as the yeast goes, I was originally thinking of using a champagne yeast, but decided to go with one of the empirically tested yeasts from this stackexchange post where the OP had described belle saison as having a "pleasant aroma, dry, good carbonation, exceptional clarity, above-average carbonation. SG ". Other users seemed to be in agreement as far as the final taste of the brew. – Bennett Yeo Nov 19 '17 at 0:47

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