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Old 09-28-2010, 11:05 AM   #1
skydragon
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Default 2nd shot at Cider making, advice requested

My first post here - Hello from UK!

I've an apple orchard and last year made appox 20 litres of Cider, which turned out ok, albiet a bit rough to drink. This year I'm trying again, but trying to do things a bit better. In saying that I would welcome some advise please.

My objective is to end up with medium sweet, sparkling cider at about 5%-6%alchohol.

So far; -

I juiced enough clean eating apples to make 25 litres of juice. I placed this in a sterilized brew bucket, with lid and airlock and added a sachet of cider yeast recommended by a local home brew shop.

The original SG of the apple juice was 1.046 (which my hydrometer says will give approx 5.5% alchohol potential)

I then added 19.5oz (550g) of white granulated sugar to the juice. My reasoning for this was looking at my hydrometer's sugar scale it said to raise the alchohol to 7.3% I needed to add this much sugar to a SG of 1.055.

Question No 1 - I didn't measure the SG again after adding the sugar to the juice. Would adding this sugar have raised the SG to approx 1.055 ??

After a few days in a warn room, the airlock was bubbling away just fine.

After 7 days the SG read 1.026

After 9 days (today) the SG read 1.021

Question No2 - Since I'm confused about the original SG after the sugar had been added (see question 1) what alchohol content have I now got?

a) 1.046 @ 5.9% minus 1.021 @ 2.7% = 3.2%

or

b) 1.055 @ 7.3% minus 1.021 @ 2.7% = 4.6%

??

Now for the next stage...

If I taste the brew today it is very nice, but still a bit too sweet. The Cider is still fermenting. However i don't want to end up with a really dry cider

I was going to leave it for a few weeks or so until it had stopped fermenting and then pour into glass airtight bottles with half a teaspoon of sugar and leave in a warm room to carbonate for 2 weeks and then move out into a unheated garage for a few months (day temp outside at moment is 12-13 deg C).

Reading this forum, to stop the cider getting too dry, I'm starting to think it might be better to let the cider brew to around 5.5%, then bottle into the glass bottles with approx 1/2 a teaspoon of white sugar per bottle and leave in a warm room for 8 -9 days to carbonate and then use the 190degF water bath pasturisation method to kill off the yeast.

Question No 3 - Does it matter if when i get to 5.5% alchohol and I want to bottle the cider that it is still cloudy and/or fermenting?

Views, advice, ideas??

Thanks !!

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Old 09-28-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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reading this post http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/cider-house-rules-187921/ I have answered question No3 ok now.

I need to let the cider brew until around 1.010 - 1.014 and taste to check it is sweet/dry enough (let it brew until it is dry enough) and then decant off to another container and mix with approx half a cup of white sugar and then bottle. Leave for a week in a warm room to carbonate and then kill off yeast via a hot water bath pasturisation.

can someone help me with questions 1 and 2

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:19 PM   #3
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On question #1 .... I attempted to put your numbers into a brew calculator. With the amount of sugar you added I come up with a SG of 1.065. You definitely should have taken another reading after you added your sugar. This is pretty much a standard when adding any kind if adjunct to any kind of brew. (Beer, cider, mead, wine, etc)

Question #2 .... You will always use the SG number you come up with in question #1. In this case you measured it at 1.021, which comes out to be about 5.7% ABV at that point. If you let it go to 1.014, that will give you 6.7% ABV. If it goes to 1.010 you will have 7.2% ABV.

I just sweetened a batch of cider to 1.014, and bottled it. It tastes fairly sweet, but the yeast will continue to produce some more alcohol and the CO2 produced will carb it up. I just need to monitor it over the next few days. My batch went from 1.065 to 1.002 in 5 days @ room temp of ~70* F.

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply.

You are right regarding me using the hydrometer again after I had added the sugar...lesson learnt by me as a newby ;-)

Are you sure ref

Quote:
With the amount of sugar you added I come up with a SG of 1.065
?

Using this table

SG 1045 5.8% 120g per litre sugar
SG 1050 6.5% 132g per litre sugar
CG 1055 7.2% 145g per litre sugar

The difference (per litre) is 120-145 = 25g of sugar per litre

25g x 25 litres = 625g

I added 550g (22g per litres) so am presuming the SG would have gone from 1.046 to approx 1.055 (mayby a little less)

So if we work on 1.055 as a guess, that means the SG today at 1.021, that means alchohol is approx 4.8%

Is my reckoning correct?

Cheers.
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:32 PM   #5
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My mistake. I didn't see that you used 25 liters of fresh cider. In that case you are correct with your 1.055 FG. With the current reading of 1.021 yields you 4.4% ABV, according to Beer Smith Calculator.

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Old 09-28-2010, 04:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help and confirmation mate.

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