Originally Posted by eluterio
So, I added about 2 lbs of sugar to 5.5 gallons of tree top and pitched yeast. Yeast took off and I ended up with 11% hard cider.
I am unfamiliar with this brand of juice but I find it very surprising that the addition of 2 lbs of sugar in 5.5 gallons would result in an ABV of 11 percent. That would mean your must's starting gravity would have been about 1.085.
Four pounds of sugar would add only about .015 per gallon in 5.5 gallons of must so the original gravity of the juice would be about 1.070. This sounds very high for commercial apple juice. Are you certain that your hydrometer reading was accurate? If it was accurate I need to join Costco... my local orchard's pressed apples provide a gravity of about 1.050 or an ABV of about 6.5%.