hello, new to the forum from south carolina. just recently fell into the hobby of homebrew wines. have completed a 5 gallon batch of scuppernong/muscadine wine which taste great. did everything from picking the grapes to stomping them with my feet and finally drinking a nice 10-11% wine.
i really enjoyed the process and it looks like i have a new hobby.
i also have 5 gallons of "welches" wine fermenting right now.
so on to my question. this weekend i am going to be in North Carolina and its apple picking season. originally i planned on buying a bushel of apples, pressing the juice out, and making some apple wine. i called the orchard and found out that a bushel of apples costs 34 dollars but they also sell fresh 100% cider from their orchard for 7 dollars a gallon. so to speed the process up im going to pick up 5 gallons of 100% cider.
my question is, will starting with cider instead of apple juice create a more flavorfull wine or will i be wasting money at 7 bucks a gallon when it wont end up any different than if i used regular grocery store apple juice.
i have tried a friends aphelwein or how ever you spell it, and while i thought it was good, it lacked the flavor that i was expecting. i was hoping that the cider would leave a little more flavor after the fermentation process.
also, im planning on using brown sugar instead of white sugar, and maybe adding a little bit of cinnamon to the batch.
and my last question is, how high of a SG should i shoot for? i want to make the wine as "alcoholic" as possible, but dont know where the happy medium is. hoping to end up with something around 11-13% ABV, but not sure if that would be too strong after tasting my friends aphelwein. (his was about 6%)
other than cider,sugar,campden tabs, and yeast, is there anything i need to add to it? yeast nutrient? acid blend?
any comments/pointers/recipe/help would be appreciated.