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Old 11-16-2010, 04:24 AM   #1
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Default Determining Alcohol Content w/o OG

I was assured that all I 'Needed' to start brewing was a fermenter, air lock and yeast. So that's what I bought. Then I started a batch of cider. Only after bubbles started, did I find this wonderful forum!

I now have a hydrometer but am clueless of what to do with it at this point. From what I have read, it seems as if it's impossible to estimate the actual alcohol content without an Original Gravity reading.

Is this true?

Also, because I don't have an OG, I'm guessing that using the hydrometer to see if fermentation is done is impossible given there is no Control number....?

Help! & Thank You

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:28 AM   #2
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While it's true that all you needed was a fermenter, air lock, and yeast...you would never be able to repeat a batch without knowing the numbers.

Unforunately, there's no was to know exactly what your ABV is now...so all you can do is guess.

But...you can still find out when it's done fermenting. As long as the gravity stays the same for 3 days (at least 2 readings), your cider is done.

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:31 AM   #3
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How much juice, sugar, and what yeast?

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:38 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tip Suthrncomfrt, I'll do that for sure.

Gila: 3 gal of juice, 3 lbs sugar (about 2 lbs brown and 1 lb cane) and Red Star 'Pasteur Champagne' yeast. I just read about using Nottingham and am thinking about doing that for the next batch.

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Old 11-16-2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pstohs View Post
Thanks for the tip Suthrncomfrt, I'll do that for sure.

Gila: 3 gal of juice, 3 lbs sugar (about 2 lbs brown and 1 lb cane) and Red Star 'Pasteur Champagne' yeast. I just read about using Nottingham and am thinking about doing that for the next batch.
Est OG 1.062
Est ABV 6.2%
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Old 11-16-2010, 05:10 AM   #6
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Awesome! Thanks for that. Did you use a software for that or another recipe?

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Old 11-18-2010, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Est OG 1.062
Est ABV 6.2%

What Juice did you use? The 6.2 % calc would be higher if the juice contained sugar
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:05 PM   #8
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I used Organic 365 Apple Juice from Whole Foods, no sugar added, but that stuff was SWEET. I then added sugar as well at the ratio of 1lb to 1 gallon.

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Old 11-19-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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The 365 I had had a gravity of 1.050. Add sugar at 45 points/lb = 1.095 for 3 gallons. Assuming you ferment down to 1.000, abv is approx = 9.5 x 1.3 = 12.5%.

If you use Nottingham, cut back on the sugar; it will not get you to that abv and will not carbonate in the bottle if that is what you want.

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Old 11-20-2010, 12:41 AM   #10
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Calder is correct about the alcohol and gravity estimates.

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